Expert NBA Best Bets and Player Props Today – Friday, March 8th

Zachary Cohen runs through his NBA best bets and player props, featuring picks for Timberwolves-Cavaliers, Hawks-Grizzlies and Bucks-Lakers.

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Mar 6, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard (0) dribbles the ball against the Golden State Warriors in the second quarter at the Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023-24 NBA season is in full swing and we’re tackling it hard at VSiN. As always, Jonathan Von Tobel will be providing you with his exceptional coverage of the greatest league in the world. Just click here for all of his content. However, all of my picks will be featured in this daily column, which will combine my NBA best bets and NBA player props. So, keep reading to find out how I’m playing the NBA slate on Friday, March 8. Also, check out our NBA Odds page for the latest line movement. 

MORE: Check out our Pro Picks page for everything our experts have on March 8

 

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2023 Record: 239-229-2 (1.01 units)

NBA Best Bets Today – March 8

Minnesota Timberwolves at Cleveland Cavaliers – 7:30 pm ET

Not only are the Timberwolves playing the second night of a back-to-back, but last night’s game was played with the intensity of a playoff game. So, I question where this team will be both physically and emotionally. On top of that, Cleveland is one of the toughest places to win. This Cavaliers team has incredible crowd support at home. And I believe that will help the group overcome injuries to Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley and Max Strus. That said, I’m firing Cleveland up as an NBA best bet.

Karl-Anthony Towns’ injury didn’t impact the Timberwolves against the Pacers. But Indiana is one of the worst defensive teams in the league. Cleveland is one of the best. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Timberwolves have some trouble scoring here. Also, tired legs on the Minnesota side should help Cleveland beat the league’s best defense. Look for Darius Garland to cook for the Cavaliers in this game. He’s a little too quick for Mike Conley to keep up with. Even Nickeil Alexander-Walker, one of the better guard defenders in the league, might struggle with Garland’s quickness.

Bet: Cavaliers ML (-113 – 2 units)

Atlanta Hawks at Memphis Grizzlies – 8:00 pm ET

I’m a little nervous about how obvious it feels to back the Hawks tonight. But I’d be kicking myself if I passed on them and they won. There’s just no reason to believe that Atlanta can’t go into Memphis and win. This Hawks team has won and covered in four of its last six. And the group has been very locked in defensively, holding opponents to 101 or less in all four of those wins. Now, the Hawks face a Grizzlies team that is extremely shorthanded. Outside of Jaren Jackson Jr., there really isn’t much there for Memphis. So, Atlanta’s job should be rather easy defensively.

The question here is whether the Hawks will have enough offensively to roll the Grizzlies. Jalen Johnson is out for Atlanta and he has been excellent all year. But I still trust the Hawks to find a way here. Dejounte Murray and Bogdan Bogdanovic should both be in for big games, and guys like Saddiq Bey and De’Andre Hunter can help.

The Grizzlies are also just 7-24 straight-up at home this season. So, it’s not like this has been a tough place to play this year.

Bet: Hawks ML (-130)

NBA Player Props Today – March 8

MIlwaukee Bucks at Los Angeles Lakers – 10:00 pm ET

Damian Lillard is starting to look a little more like his Portland self lately. Lillard still has some games where he isn’t as aggressive as he should be. But he generally knows when it’s time for him to turn it on. And I think he’s going to take it upon himself against the Lakers. Los Angeles is just extremely weak when it comes to point-of-attack defense. Lillard will mostly be going at D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves and Spencer Dinwiddie in this game. That has the potential to be very bad for Los Angeles. With that in mind, Lillard is my main target with tonight’s NBA player props. I don’t see him having much trouble scoring 25, and I also think he’ll flirt with 30. It doesn’t hurt that Lillard loves a big stage. He’ll enjoy the bright lights of a national television game in Los Angeles.

Bet: Lillard Over 24.5 Points (-115 – 2 units) & Lillard To Score 30+ (+230 – 0.5 units)

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