NBA best bets and analysis for Monday, March 18th

Jonathan Von Tobel (103-90-3 | Units: +6.7) gives his daily NBA best bets and analysis for Monday, March 18th.

Feb 27, 2024; Portland, Oregon, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) looks for an opening during the first half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Best Bets for Monday, March 18th

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.

NBA Betting Splits | NBA Odds | NBA Injury Reports


NBA Best Bets

Record: 103-90-3 | Units: +6.7 | ROI: 3.1%

*Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers (-5, 215.5)

The betting market clearly overvalued the situation for Miami today, and we saw a correction from the overnight number. The Heat are playing their third game in four nights with no rest, but they played yesterday without Jimmy Butler. It did seem that Butler’s absence yesterday was more about having him ready for this contest, so we can expect him on the floor tonight. If he does play – which the market clearly believes will happen – Miami should be in a good spot to dispatch a struggling opponent.

Philadelphia won and covered against Charlotte last time out, but the larger sample size is poor. The 76ers are 8-16 SU/7-16-1 ATS since Joel Embiid suffered his initial knee injury. Over that span they have averaged 111.3 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time on offense. The Heat struggle on offense themselves, but they are great defensively. When Butler is on the floor with Bam Adebayo Miami limits opponents to 113.4 points per 100 possessions. It should be able to bottle up an offense that averages 0.994 points per possession with Kyle Lowry at point guard.

The market has been oddly high on Philadelphia since Embiid’s injury. In the 24 games without him the 76ers have failed to cover by 4.9 points per game, which is the second-worst rate in the league. The Heat have slipped in March – 2-6 ATS this month – but with Butler getting a day of rest this team is in a better spot than a usual back-to-back would provide. Give me the better defensive team with the rested star, even on the road.

Best Bet: Heat ML (+115) – Playable to (-110)

NBA Best Bets

Heat ML (+115)

Remaining Games

Cleveland Cavaliers at Indiana Pacers (-4, 227)

Donovan Mitchell is back on the sidelines after aggravating his knee injury and suffering a nasal fracture. Max Strus and Evan Mobley are still out as well, and Dean Wade is doubtful with his own injury. Cleveland has been dealing with this rash of injuries since March 3 and the results have been poor. The backcourt of Darius Garland and Caris LeVert allow 124.4 points every 100 possessions on the floor. That is not conducive to success against a team with offensive firepower Indiana possesses. Still, the market has pushed back a bit on the high number of Pacers -8 and has settled in at -6.5 consensus. The total is also down to 225 across the board. The Cavaliers will likely struggle on defense here, but it’s worth noting that the team has greatly slowed its pace since injuries ravaged its roster. Cleveland averages 98.04 possessions per game, but in the last six games that has plummeted to 95.92 per contest.

*Detroit Pistons at *Boston Celtics (-15, 223.5)

Both teams are on the second leg of a back-to-back, so we do not have official injury reports to sift through. However, we do know that there are some names to look out for. Ausar Thompson has missed the last four games for Detroit. Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and Kristaps Porzingis sat out the game in Washington D.C. yesterday. White and Brown should be back, as it seemed that rest was the reason for their absences. Porzingis is truly questionable with a hamstring injury that has caused him to miss the last five games. The Celtics have been resting their players recently, so waiting for an official injury report is recommended here. The Pistons extended their current ATS run to 20-9 over the last 29 contests, but Thompson will be vital if they are to stay inside this number.

Portland Trail Blazers at Chicago Bulls (-7.5, 214.5)

Portland is not a serious team, but the market power rating has bottomed out on it which has led to a 6-3-1 ATS record this month. Still, there are better teams to go to battle with. Jerami Grant – who has missed five of the last six games – is doubtful. Matisse Thybulle is questionable. A bettor could fade this mash unit of young players, but you’re paying a massive tax. Chicago is just 18-11 SU/14-14-1 ATS as a favorite this season. It does not handle expectations well, and is not worth laying a big number with. It is likely a bettor will be able to find a better number once the game begins, and that would be the recommended way to attack this contest.

Minnesota Timberwolves (-7, 223.5) at Utah Jazz

Rudy Gobert, Kyle Anderson and Monte Morris are questionable to play for Minnesota tonight. Those three will all have an impact on the spread if they cannot play – especially if all three are ruled out – so until there is clarity with their status it would be wise to sit on the sidelines here. Utah could also get Lauri Markkanen back on the floor tonight, which would be massive. Markkanen has missed the last six games with a quad injury, and when he is on the floor he improves the Jazz’s net rating by 11.5 points every 100 possessions. Still, Jordan Clarkson is out and three rookies are playing massive roles for Utah. It might be 4-3 ATS in March, but the team is still 7-13 ATS over its last 20 games. 

New York Knicks at Golden State Warriors (-4, 213)

OG Anunoby will not play for New York tonight in order to manage his return from injury, so the market has jumped up to 6.5 in favor of Golden State. Without Anunoby the Knicks are still a formidable defensive team which allows 113.9 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time. It is why we see this total as low as it is (211.5) marketwide. If this side climbs any higher it would be worth it to look at the underdog here. Tom Thibodeau will play his best players well over the usual threshold in order to secure a victory, and with New York barely hanging on to homecourt in the postseason this game means quite a bit.