NBA Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Monday, March 13th

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Welcome to the daily NBA best bets page, your source for analysis on the betting lines for the day in professional hoops. For updates throughout the day follow me on Twitter, and make sure to subscribe to the Hardwood Handicappers podcast!

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All game lines via the VSiN NBA odds page

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*Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back
**Lines are opening numbers

Best Bets

Record: 56-64 | Units: -10.74 | ROI: -9.18%

There are numerous key injuries for almost every game on the card tonight, and that has led me to holding off any best bets as of this morning. If Kyrie Irving and Giannis Antetokounmpo play then both Dallas and Milwaukee will be bets for me tonight, but their status needs to be confirmed before a bet is made.

NBA Games & Odds

Memphis Grizzlies at Dallas Mavericks (-1, 222.5)

Kyrie Irving is questionable once again so it goes without saying that his status will be key in how this is shaped, but the market is moving in a somewhat contradictory direction. The total has been bet up from 222.5 to 224.5, which is an indication that the market believes Irving will return, but the line is slowly flipping toward Memphis. 

Dallas is an extremely slow-paced team, and they were able to dictate tempo when these two teams played in Memphis on Saturday, as that game ended with 95 possessions for each team. If Irving does not play that tempo for the Mavericks will remain the same, but without him or Luka Doncic on the floor the offense will continue to struggle, like it did when it put up 1.137 points per possession in non-garbage time on Saturday. 

Irving not only improves the Mavericks’ offense, but he speeds them up as well. When he is on the floor their transition frequency jumps by 2.1% and they average 17.7 more points per 100 transition plays. So, a total move like this would mean a belief in Irving’s return, but the line flipping to Memphis is contradictory to that belief. Either way, confirmation of Irving’s status is the key, but if he is confirmed it’s not a stretch to say this should close in favor of Dallas.

Indiana Pacers (-4, 229.5) at Detroit Pistons

The injury report reads like a book for both teams heading into this game. Tyrese Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin, Myles Turner and T.J. McConnell are all out with various injuries and Buddy Hield is questionable. If Hield does not play that would mean the Pacers are taking the floor without their top four scorers on the season. The Pistons will not be in much better shape. Six players – among them are Jaden Ivey, Hamidou Diallo and Marvin Bagley – are listed as out. 

These two teams met on Saturday with similar roster issues and it was a fast-paced game with 105 possessions and 236 points scored. This total opened 1.5 points higher than the close on Saturday, but has since bottomed out at 227 at one shop this morning. It should be a similarly paced game as the one on Saturday, but the efficiency of both teams on offense will be fleeting. 

Utah Jazz at Miami Heat (-7.5, 224.5)

Utah wraps up a five-game road trip along the east coast here in Miami. Jordan Clarkson is questionable to play once more, and seeing as the Jazz have a four-day break coming up between games it is likely Clarkson misses his fourth consecutive game. In the three games without Clarkson the Jazz are 3-0 ATS with a 118.1 offensive rating, so it would not be wise to discount Utah without him, especially against the sliding Heat. 

The vibes around Miami are just bad. The team is 4-13 ATS in its last 17 games, and Jimmy Butler seemed somewhat fed up in the loss to Orlando when he stormed off the court before time had expired on Saturday. It is certainly a more favorable situation for the Heat, hosting a team on the final game of a long road trip, but what about their ATS results would tell you they are accurately rated and capable of covering this number?

Minnesota Timberwolves at Atlanta Hawks (-4.5, 240)

Minnesota’s defense has been the most consistent aspect of its season, but its last three opponents have combined for 123.8 points per 100 possessions and two of those contests ended up as losses. Rudy Gobert played in those three games, but he is listed as questionable tonight which would be a massive blow for a struggling unit. Meanwhile, not much has changed for Atlanta with Quinn Snyder now at head coach. The offense is putting up 119.9 points per 100 possessions in the seven games since Snyder’s debut, but the defense has not been any better and the Hawks’ +0.9 net rating represents that. Gobert’s status makes this game murky, but the high total and two struggling defenses means bettors will have plenty of opportunities to find a number in-game.

Phoenix Suns at Golden State Warriors (-4, 239.5)

It would seem that the way to handle Golden State from a betting perspective is simple. The Warriors improved to 28-7 SU/24-11 ATS at home this season when they took out the Bucks on Saturday night, and now back at home once more it would seem that play is to just ride the run as long as the game is at the Chase Center. That angle looks especially sharp if the Suns are going to play defense the way they did on Saturday against the Kings, where they allowed 1.221 points per possession in a big loss. Phoenix also struggled on offense in that game which was the bigger issue. They averaged only 1.133 points per possession against the league’s sixth worst defense, and now they have to try to fix those issues against a Warriors team which has limited opponents to 108.0 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time at home. 

Milwaukee Bucks (-1, 244) at Sacramento Kings

Giannis Antetokounmpo is questionable to play tonight with a hand injury, and his status will keep this number in limbo all day. If he does play this will be a fascinating matchup of the league’s best defensive team facing its best offensive team. On the surface, the Bucks have the pieces capable of limiting the Kings’ offense. Milwaukee not only allows the fewest points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time (110.1), but it also leads the league in transition defense. Opponents have only added 1.3 points per 100 possessions through transition offense against the Bucks, and their 115.7 defensive rating in transition is nearly two points better than the second best team. If Antetokounmpo plays this will be a bet for me on Milwaukee, but the confirmation of his status will not come until much later in the day.