Videos by OutKick
A much more interesting NCAA Tournament basketball betting slate is on the horizon. But, for now, the NBA will have to do on Wednesday, even though I keep getting dropkicked in the NBA.
My Sacramento Kings SF Keegan Murray points prop cashed Tuesday whereas the Brooklyn Nets choked and couldn’t cover +4 at home vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers.
I’m rolling with a couple of home teams in the NBA Wednesday. The games I zeroed in on are the Toronto Raptors hosting the Indiana Pacers and the Phoenix Suns visiting the Los Angeles Lakers.
(BUYER BEWARE: We are in the NBA’s “load management” and “tanking” eras. It’s best to wait until the final injury reports come out before placing a bet).
NBA Hoops At Lunch: Wednesday, March 22 Ft. David Troy
Indiana Pacers (32-40) at Toronto Raptors (35-37), 7:30 p.m. ET
Toronto should crush Indiana on the glass. The Raptors are 3rd in both offensive rebounding rate and 2nd-chance PPG. While the Pacers are dead-last in defensive rebounding rate and 28th in 2nd-chance PPG allowed.
The absence of Pacers PG Tyrese Haliburton — who is “questionable” to play with an injury — should increase Indiana’s offensive turnover rate (TOV%). Toronto leads the NBA in defensive TOV% and points off of turnovers per game.
Indy is 20th in both offensive TOV% and points off of turnovers allowed per game. When Haliburton is off the floor, Indiana’s offensive TOV% increases by 2.4%, per CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG).
This is a better spot for the Raptors who are playing on two days of rest whereas the Pacers last played Monday. Toronto has winning against-the-spread (ATS) records both with a rest edge and when playing on 2-3 days of rest.
The Pacers are 2-0 SU and ATS vs. the Raptors this season. But, both of those meetings were in Indiana. Toronto was missing PG Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam for the 1st as well.
Toronto is at full strength, and even picked up elite defensive big Jakob Poeltl at the trade deadline. The Raptors are +21.7 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time when Poeltl has been on the floor, per CTG.
Lastly, Toronto’s motivation should be through the roof. The Raptors are only one game behind the Atlanta Hawks for an 8-seed in the East.
The difference between the 8- and 9-seed in conferences is the difference between playing one or two postseason play-in games.
NBA Best Bet #1: Raptors -8 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook, up to -8.5
Phoenix Suns (38-33) at Los Angeles Lakers (35-37), 10 p.m. ET
The Suns-Lakers has been one-sided since Chris Paul went to Phoenix in 2020. Over the past three seasons, the Suns are 1-8 straight up (SU) and 2-7 ATS vs. the Lakers.
But, the Lakers have been playing much better than the Suns recently and Phoenix gutted its roster for a player — Kevin Durant — who is out with an injury.
Also, KD has missed the last six games. Over that span, the Suns are 2-4 SU with a -3.0 adjusted net rating (22nd) and 1-5 ATS with a -3.0 ATS margin (24th), per CTG.
According to CTG, LAL is 4-3 SU with a +4.5 adjusted net rating (ranked 8th) and +3.0 ATS margin (6th) over the past two weeks. The Lakers have been getting solid production from their bench.
LAL’s bench is scoring an NBA-best 50.0 points per game over the last two weeks. I’m confident they’ll show up Wednesday since role players generally perform better at home.
The Lakers have a major strength-on-weakness edge over the Suns in getting to the foul line and finishing around the rim. LAL has a +5.0 free-throw-attempt per game differential and Phoenix is 4.1.
Finally, the Suns are dead-last in defensive field goal percentage vs. shots at the rim, according to CTG, and the Lakers attempt the 3rd-highest rate of shots at the rim.
NBA Best Bet #2: Lakers +1.5 (-110) at DraftKings, down to a pick ’em
Listen to the ‘OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark’ podcast HERE.
First-time DraftKings users can get up to a $1,000 deposit bonus and receive a 20% first deposit match up to $1,000 when they sign up. New users can lock in this offer NOW by clicking this link.