Betting NBA Before the Break: Two Teams to Play, A Juggernaut to Fade, and An Over

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Consistency, consistency, consistency. It’s everything for a sports bettor. Well, that and winning, of course.

I love winning, so do you. So let’s develop a fool-proof plan to pad our bankroll on NBA betting, shall we? Full disclosure, I’m not a high-volume NBA bettor, but when there’s gold at the bottom of a well, it behooves me to keep going to it. This article focuses on the gold – the teams you should consider playing (bet on) and fading (bet against).

Most teams have just four games left until the All-Star break, so the first half of the NBA season is coming to a close next week. We want to continue cashing in until then (you know, before Anthony Davis is healthy and balling out for the Lakers again), as the second half schedule has peculiarities we’ll want to focus on when the time comes.

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Sports betting is ever-evolving, so what happens next week may not carry over after the break. But you know what your mother used to tell you – eat your food before it gets cold! Sound advice, mom. Let’s dig in.

Teams To Play

Utah Jazz – If you read my column last week, I asked the question: If you’re not betting the Utah Jazz right now, what the hell are you doing?

All the Jazz do is win, cover, and make sports bettors boatloads of cash. If you’re keeping score, they’ve now covered the spread in 21 of their last 24 games (19 of their last 20). Wednesday might’ve been the most impressive yet when Utah crushed the Los Angeles Lakers, 114-89. The line closed with the Jazz as 9-point favorites. They beat the defending champs by 25, and it should’ve been more. (Can you tell I’m a Lakers fan?)

If you’re searching for a model of consistency, right now, the Utah Jazz is it. There’s no telling how long it’ll last, but we’ll take profiting 21 of 24 games all day, every day.

The Utah Jazz should undoubtedly be the favorites to win the West right now, even when the Lakers get AD back, but carrying the momentum of a ridiculous against-the-spread run across the All-Star break may be a tall order. As long as the price is within reach, I’m riding the Jazz into the break.

Brooklyn Nets – The Nets have finally found their groove, covering each of their last seven games. Brooklyn closed as underdogs in four of those games, winning all of them outright, including wins against the Clippers, Lakers and Suns.

The Nets have the best offense in the league, averaging 121.2 points per game, a league-leading 50.1% field goal percentage, and the second-best 3-point percentage.

By all measures, the duo of Kyrie Irving and James Harden is clicking. With Kevin Durant nearing his return (expected before the All-Star break, per head coach Steve Nash), the Nets are a team I want to play. They’re priced a little high on Thursday night (-9 in the FanDuel Sportsbook), but I think it’s worthy of a play.

When lines are tighter (inside 5 points or as underdogs), the Brooklyn Nets are a must-play.

Team To Fade

Los Angeles Lakers – You knew it was coming. The public loves them and will continue to put astronomical-sized wagers on them. They’re the defending champs, have Lebron, and play in the best basketball city in America. By all measures, they should be juggernauts. Without Anthony Davis, they’re not even close.

If last night’s beatdown against the Jazz wasn’t convincing enough, they’re 1-6 against the spread in their previous seven games. Losing to the juggernaut Jazz is understandable, but the Lakers are losing to poor teams too. (Seriously, Lakers, the Wizards?!?!)

Los Angeles inexplicably gave up a 17-point lead to Washington on Monday night, losing in overtime, 127-124. It’s their only loss in overtime so far this year, but it highlighted a massive underlying issue – they’re a team built around Davis. They don’t win when he’s not in the lineup.

While Davis is out, you’ll want to fade the Lakers, so long as their price is still at a premium. That’ll likely remain the case through the All-Star break because the public loves betting them. It’s terrible news for Lakers fans but good news for the savvy sports bettor who wants to cash in while the getting is good.

Betting Trend to Follow

New Orleans Pelicans Over the Total – In their last 20 games, the Pelicans are 18-1-1 to the over. Amazingly, it doesn’t appear the public has caught on yet, likely because New Orleans isn’t a team a casual bettor plays. On Wednesday against Detroit, the line on the total closed around 223 points. The two teams crushed it by 23.

The Pelicans averaged about as many points as they’ve given up going into Wednesday’s game. In their last 20 games, New Orleans has averaged 119.9 points per game while giving up 119.5 to their opponents.

If a team like the Pistons, who aren’t known for scoring many points, can help Pelicans get to the over, any team can. I’m riding this trend through the All-Star break.

After the All-Star Break

While we certainly hope these trends continue in the second half of the season, there’s no guarantee they will. Teams will get much-needed rest, regroup and position themselves for a title push.

The NBA finally released its second half schedule on Wednesday, and like everything during the pandemic, it comes with peculiarities. Stating the obvious, COVID-19 outbreaks can postpone and cancel games, as they did in the first half. But two teams have interesting potential betting situations we’ll want to keep an eye on.

The LA Clippers don’t leave Los Angeles from March 29 to April 13. They’ll play nine home games during that span, making them a team we may want to play every night.

And at the season’s close, the Golden State Warriors will be playing their final six games at home, solidly positioned for a playoff push.

It’ll be interesting to see how the second half plays out, but until then, let’s eat.

New users: Don’t forget to take advantage of your risk-free bet up to $1,000 in the FanDuel Sportsbook. You can lock the promotion in by clicking this link.

For more betting tips, follow @ErickValenciano on Twitter. Make sure you’re following our sports betting account, too: @OutKickBets.

Written by OutKick Bets


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