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Tuesday’s NBA slate features an NBA on TNT doubleheader with only two other games on the docket. Regardless, I’m honing in on three of them with best bets in Nets-Spurs, Trail Blazers-Nuggets and 76ers-Clippers.
You can listen to the audio versions of these handicaps on my recently launched NBA Hoops At Lunch show on the OutKick Bets Podcast feed Monday-Friday.
(Buyer beware: It’s the “load management” era in the NBA and players are sitting out more games. It would behoove you to wait until the final injury reports before betting.)
Brooklyn Nets (27-15) at San Antonio Spurs (13-31)
Brooklyn smacked San Antonio 139-103 in their first meeting earlier this month, cashing the Over on a 237.5-point total. The Nets’ offense has suffered since Kevin Durant went out with an injury. They have gone Under the total in five straight.
But, this should be a get-right spot for Brooklyn’s offense. San Antonio has the worst non-garbage time defensive rating in the NBA, per CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG).
The Spurs are bottom-10 in points off of turnovers, second-chance points per game (PPG) and paint PPG allowed. Furthermore, San Antonio plays at the seventh-fastest pace in the NBA.
More possessions usually equals more points. Also, Nets PG Ben Simmons returns to the lineup after missing the last game, which helps our Over wager. Brooklyn gets out in transition a lot more with Simmons on the floor and its fastbreak efficiency greatly improves.
All the Over/Under (O/U) trends for San Antonio point to this being a higher-scoring affair. The Spurs are 13-9 O/U at home, 5-0 O/U in their last five games vs. teams with a 60% winning rate or higher and 233.4 PPG are scored in Spurs’ home games.
Lastly, these teams are a combined 19-10 O/U in non-conference games. I.e. both teams’ offenses show out vs. unfamiliar opponents.
NBA Best Bet #1: OVER 232 in Nets-Spurs (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook, up to 233.5
Portland Trail Blazers (21-22) at Denver Nuggets (30-13)
Denver leads the season series 2-1 straight up (SU) but Portland is 2-1 against the spread (ATS) in those contests. In their last meeting, the Nuggets stole a SU and ATS victory by beating the Trail Blazers 35-16 in the third quarter of a 120-107 win.
Both teams have similar profiles; each is top-10 in non-garbage time offensive rating and bottom-10 in non-garbage time defensive rating, per CTG.
However, the Trail Blazers have a +3.4 ATS margin (ranked fourth) vs. top-10 offenses and the Nuggets have a -3.5 ATS margin (25th).
Portland is 13-5 SU vs. bottom-10 defenses with a +7.1 adjusted net rating (fifth) and +3.8 ATS margin (third). Whereas Denver is 14-8 SU but have a +1.7 adjusted nRTG (18th) and -3.4 ATS margin (29th), per CTG.
Furthermore, the Trail Blazers have the best shot quality in the NBA and attempt the seventh-highest volume of field goals at the rim. Denver is 29th in defensive field goal percentage vs. attempts at the rim and 24th in paint PPG allowed.
Finally, sharp money is backing Portland. According to VegasInsider, the bets a split 50/50 in Vegas on this game but more than 90% of the money is on the Blazers.
Per Pregame.com, more money is on Portland and more bets are on Denver, at the time of writing. DraftKings is reporting via VSIN that more cash and bets are on the Nuggets. But, the line is oddly moving toward the Trail Blazers.
NBA Best Bet #2: Portland Trail Blazers +6.5 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook, down to +6
Philadelphia 76ers (27-16) at Los Angeles Clippers (23-22)
I’m going back to the well by betting another Under in a Clippers’ home game. LAC is 3-20 O/U at home this season with a -10.0 O/U margin and 1-7 O/U as home ‘dogs.
Both teams play at a snail’s pace: Philadelphia is 23rd in possessions per 48 minutes and LAC is 22nd. There shouldn’t be a lot of second-chance points since neither team crashes the glass: Philly is 26th in offensive rebounding rate and LAC is 19th, per CTG.
The Clippers’ offense has suffered because of the absences of Paul George and SG Luke Kennard. George is “questionable” to play but Kennard has already been ruled out.
LAC scores 8.0 fewer points per 100 possessions when PG is off the floor, according to CTG. Their offense’s effective field goal shooting (eFG%) drops by 4.2% when Kennard is out of the game.
Clippers F Marcus Morris is “questionable” to play and their defense improves by 6.9 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time when Morris is off the floor.
Moreover, Clippers coach Ty Lue replaced PG Reggie Jackson in the starting 5 with G/F Terance Mann, which improves LAC’s defense. The Clippers are 1-4 O/U in the five games since starting Mann at PG.
Lastly, both teams are top-10 in non-garbage time defensive rating and defensive eFG%. LAC is fourth in defensive FT/FGA rate and the Sixers live at the foul line.
The Over on a 218-point total cashed in the first 76ers-Clippers meeting this season in a 119-114 Philadelphia win. This explains why more than 80% of the action at DraftKings is on the Over, per VSIN.
However, what’s suspicious is the fact that the 76ers-Clippers opened with a 225-point total and has been lowered despite all the pro-Over money. Let’s follow the line move and …
NBA Best Bet #3: UNDER 223 in 76ers-Clippers (-105) at DraftKings Sportsbook, down to 222
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