NBA best bets and analysis for Wednesday, March 13th

Jonathan Von Tobel (101-87-3 | Units: +7.8) gives his daily NBA best bets and analysis for Wednesday, March 13th.

Dec 2, 2023; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges (1) shoots over Orlando Magic forward Franz Wagner (22) in the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-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: 101-87-3 | Units: +7.8 | ROI: 3.8%

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Toronto Raptors at Detroit Pistons (-2, 233)

Injuries continue to be an issue for Toronto, and until they clear up it is a team worth playing against regularly. Scottie Barnes, RJ Barrett, Chris Boucher and Jakob Poeltl remain sidelined tonight. Immanuel Quickley and Gary Trent Jr. are questionable to play. Every injury is impactful here, but the frontcourt injuries will be the most damaging.

Detroit is a very good rebounding team. It ranks third in defensive rebounding rate over its last 26 games (75.3%) and 13th in offensive rebounding rate (26.8%). In those contests the Pistons have generated the fifth-most points (24.0) and the sixth-most putback plays (19.9) per 100 missed shot attempts. Without Poeltl and Barnes on the floor the Raptors will be unable to consistently keep their opponent off the glass tonight.

There’s also the issue for Toronto on defense. Since the reconfiguration of this roster the Raptors are 28th in non-garbage time defensive efficiency (120.8). Their last four opponents have averaged 1.196 points per possession or better. There is no reason to trust this team on that end.

Finally, the Pistons are just playing well. Those 26 games mentioned earlier were mentioned for a reason. Detroit is 18-8 ATS in those contests and it has covered by a league-best 5.1 points per game. Cade Cunningham is quietly averaging 21.8 points and 8.1 assists on 46.4% shooting from the floor in his last 18 games. Even with the line move I believe that this has not adjusted enough.

Best Bet: Pistons (-3) – Playable to (-4.5)

Brooklyn Nets at Orlando Magic (-6.5, 206)

Brooklyn is finally healthy. Cameron Johnson is expected to return from a three-game absence tonight. Cam Thomas returned two games ago and dropped 60 points on 48.8% shooting from the floor in those contests. The Nets have their perimeter players back in the fold, and it might be time to bank on their success.

The number is what sticks out to me here. These two teams met in Orlando just over two weeks ago. The Magic closed as 6.5-point favorites and grabbed a win and cover. However, the Nets were playing their fourth game in six nights with no rest. They were also without Thomas who has been injured the previous game. Here we are today, and Brooklyn is catching the exact same number despite Thomas’ return and two days of rest.

There is also a fascinating dynamic at play with the way both teams play offense. The Nets take 37.6 3-point attempts per game and shoot 36.8% on those shots. The Magic only take 30.9 attempts from deep per contest and they shoot only 35.1%. Brooklyn will go into this game with an edge of three made 3-point attempts on average. How much does that dynamic work in the Nets’ favor?

Best Bet: Nets (+7) – Playable to (+6)

Los Angeles Lakers (-1, 239) at *Sacramento Kings

Call this a play on principle. Los Angeles closed as a 2.5-point favorite just a week ago at The Crypt and were smoked after taking a 19-point lead in the first quarter. Sacramento is 6-1 SU and ATS in this matchup over the last two seasons. Yet, here we are with the Kings as underdogs on their home floor.

For what it is worth, it is the second leg of a back-to-back for the Kings and the fifth game in eight nights, but that is not worth a swing like this. From a power rating standpoint, these two teams are equals at worst. Recent history would tell us that Sacramento has an edge here, and that should be worth an edge at home to the spread. There is no official injury report yet, but the only questions for the Kings should be Trey Lyles and Keegan Murray. I’ll take my chances here.

Best Bet: Kings ML (+120) – Playable to (-120)

NBA Best Bets

Pistons (-3)

Nets (+7)

Kings ML (+120)