NBA: Best bets and analysis for Friday, March 1st

Jonathan Von Tobel (94-75-2 | Units: +13.8) gives his daily NBA best bets and analysis for Friday, March 1st

Feb 29, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward Brandon Miller (24) shoots against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to my daily column of NBA best bets! Here at VSiN we have a ton of NBA content daily, so make sure to keep tabs on Zach Cohen who is doing an excellent job handicapping the league on a daily basis.

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NBA Best Bets

Record: 94-75-2 | Units: +13.8 | ROI: 7.5%

*Charlotte Hornets at Philadelphia 76ers (-11, 216.5)

Charlotte was absolutely demolished by Milwaukee in the last two games. The Bucks won both games by a combined 50 points while limiting the Hornets to just 0.968 points per possession. The market might turn a cold shoulder to Charlotte now that it is 1-3 SU/1-2-1 ATS in its last four games, but there is no shame in losing to the likes of Milwaukee and Golden State. It would seem the market has jumped ship on the Hornets here, but I’m going to test that theory.

Philadelphia has not been playing particularly well in recent days. The 76ers are 4-8 SU and ATS in the 12 games since losing Joel Embiid to injury. They have been outscored by 9.2 points every 100 possessions in non-garbage time over that span. This team is now laying 11.5 points at home to the Hornets, a team that was just catching 14 points in Milwaukee.

This number just doesn’t jive at all. The market has severely downgraded Charlotte because of two ugly losses to Milwaukee, but that ignores what Philadelphia has been since Embiid went down. It’s a negative scheduling spot for the Hornets – they are playing on no rest and their third game in four nights – but the number is too off from my own to ignore.

Best Bet: Hornets (+11.5) – Playable to (+10)

NBA Best Bets

Hornets (+11.5)

Remaining Games

Cleveland Cavaliers (-9.5, 227) at Detroit Pistons

Donovan Mitchell is questionable to play with knee soreness. Until his status is official it is hard to justify jumping into this game. Cleveland is also at the peak of its market rating and not playing particularly well. The Cavaliers come into this game 3-4 SU/0-7 ATS in their last seven games, and they are failing to cover by 8.9 points per game. Meanwhile, the Pistons are 15-5 ATS in their last 20 games and are covering by 6.6 points per game. The market has moved slightly toward Detroit here, but the real move is on the total which opened 227 overnight.

Dallas Mavericks at Boston Celtics (-7, 240)

Another game with a questionable designation that will alter the point spread. Luka Doncic is questionable to play tonight with an ankle injury. His status is why this number is as high as it is this morning, and it will close higher if he cannot play. The Mavericks are outscored by 3.5 points every 100 possessions without Doncic on the floor, and their offensive rating of 115.3 ranks in the 47th percentile. In the minutes with Kyrie Irving on his own Dallas has a positive net rating (+1.1), but they give up 121.4 points per 100 possessions. Suffice to say, the Mavericks need Doncic out there tonight.

*Golden State Warriors (-2.5, 238.5) at Toronto Raptors

Golden State is 13-6 SU/14-5 ATS since Draymond Green returned from suspension, and there really seems to be no slowing down. They play on no rest tonight, so the injury report will be needed to attack this game. On the surface, this number of -3.5 seems light considering the Warriors’ current form. They are averaging 119.1 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time in these 19 contests. It is likely that offensive success continues against a defense which has allowed 120.9 points per 100 possessions since reconfiguring its roster. 

Sacramento Kings at Minnesota Timberwolves (-7, 223.5)

Injuries on both ends make this game impossible to get involved with this morning. De’Aaron Fox is questionable for Sacramento with a knee contusion. Anthony Edwards is questionable with a sore ankle. Both are obviously players who can impact a spread, so information will be important here. Having said that, I believe Minnesota has a higher floor without Edwards than Sacramento has without Fox. In the possessions without Fox on the floor the Kings have a -7.0 net rating and average only 113.4 points every 100 possessions.

Indiana Pacers at New Orleans Pelicans (-3.5, 238)

The market seems to be all in on the rematch theory here. These two teams met in Indiana on Wednesday and the Pacers came away with a win and cover as 4.5-point favorites. Today, the market is up to 5.5 in favor of the Pelicans in New Orleans. That is a massive swing for just a venue change and no injury news. The number would say play Indiana, but the situation would say play New Orleans. However, the market has been somewhat high on the Pelicans, as they enter this game 5-7 ATS in their last 12 games.

Portland Trail Blazers at Memphis Grizzlies (-3, 208)

If you’re still reading this I have a question for you: Do you really want some insight on this game? The simple analysis here is to stay away. DeAndre Ayton is doubtful with a hand injury and Scoot Henderson remains out with an adductor strain for Portland. On the other side, GG Jackson is questionable to play, and both Luke Kennard and John Konchar are doubtful. Where in the world is the offense coming from for either team? 

*Milwaukee Bucks (-5.5, 225.5) at Chicago Bulls

Is Milwaukee starting to turn a corner, or has it just taken advantage of a soft schedule? The Bucks are 4-0 SU/3-0-1 ATS since returning from the All-Star break. In those games they have a +21.0 net rating. However, three of their games have come against the 76ers and the Hornets, two teams hardly considered to be contenders as currently constructed. The market has backed Milwaukee consistently all season, so this winning streak is all it needed to jump back in. Keep in mind, with this being a back-to-back we do not get the Bucks’ official injury report until later in the day. This could be a game in which someone takes a seat, so make sure you have the information before diving in.

*Washington Wizards at Los Angeles Clippers (-14.5, 239.5)

Paul George and Ivica Zubac are questionable to play tonight for Los Angeles. The Clippers would love to have them considering their recent form. After blowing a 21-point lead to the Lakers on Wednesday night they fell to 1-7 ATS in their last eight games. This could be a good opportunity to bounce back and take your frustrations out on Washington which is 0-13 SU/6-7 ATS in its last 13 games, but until bettors see it from Los Angeles it is easier to stay away.