NBA Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Monday, March 20th

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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!

All game lines via the VSiN NBA odds page

Stay up to date on injury news with our injury report page as well.

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

Best Bets

Record: 58-65 | Units: -9.92 | ROI: -8.26%

Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies (-1.5, 228.5)

Luka Doncic was upgraded to questionable on the injury report for this game, and all indications are that he will make his return from injury tonight in Memphis. However, the status of his running-mate, Kyrie Irving, is a question. Irving returned from a three-game absence against the Lakers on Friday night, but also admitted his foot injury is “worse than expected” so this could be a true questionable designation for him. If Irving is on the floor tonight this game is a candidate for a play on the Over, especially if the Grizzlies do not have Jaren Jackson Jr. on the floor.

Jackson is questionable with a calf injury, and if he cannot play tonight Memphis’ defense will suffer greatly. Memphis only allows 106.6 points per 100 possessions with Jackson on the floor this season. If he cannot play this will be a frontcourt that is missing its top three options, due to the injuries to Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke. The Grizzlies will not be able to defend at the same level with Jackson, while also still being able to take advantage of a Mavericks defense that has allowed 116.4 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time this season.

Playing a side or total with as many questionable designations to key pieces as this game is not the smartest move in the world, but I will attempt to read the tea leaves here and assume I am at least getting Doncic on the floor tonight due to the upgrade of his status. If that is the case this total should close at about 231.5 consensus, and maybe even higher if Irving plays as well. 

Bet: OVER 229

Best Bet Recap

Mavericks/Grizzlies OVER (229)

NBA Games & Odds

Chicago Bulls at Philadelphia 76ers (-7.5, 224.5)

The trend of overs continued with Philadelphia over the weekend when their game with Indiana sailed over the number. Totals are now 7-3 to the over since the 76ers reinserted Tyrese Maxey into the starting lineup, but the results are not coming as frequently. The market has bumped this total up slightly, but that might have more to do with the potential absence of Alex Caruso as opposed to the trend. Philadelphia brings an 8-0 SU/6-2 ATS run into this game as well, and the team is healthy as well, with PJ Tucker listed as the only questionable player of note. His absence means one less quality defender in this contest as well, so this might be one that finishes on the high side of scoring, especially if Chicago can continue its run of high-efficiency scoring that has seen the team put up a 121.7 offensive rating over the last six games.

Indiana Pacers (-1.5, 232) at Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte is 0-4 SU/1-3 ATS in its last four games, and it just might be a true candidate to tank the last few weeks of the season with only two losses separating it and San Antonio for one of the three worst records in the NBA. However, the market might be too low on the Hornets here. Indiana will not have Tyrese Haliburton tonight, and both Bennedict Mathurin and Chris Duarte are questionable to play. The Pacers have also been playing some terrible basketball, allowing 123.6 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time this month. It’s not a team I’m looking to lay points with on the road, and those reasons are why this side has not moved but the total is up two points from the opening number.

Minnesota Timberwolves at New York Knicks (-7.5, 229)

The injury report for Minnesota is extremely crowded this morning. Anthony Edwards, Rudy Gobert and Naz Reid are all questionable to play, and Jaylen Nowell is doubtful. Those are quite a few productive players for the Timberwolves that could miss this game tonight in New York. Gobert has played in nine straight games, so his designation can largely be ignored, but Edwards’ cannot. He was injured early in that double-overtime game in Chicago and missed the following night in Toronto. That was a back-to-back situation, so perhaps the probability of him playing tonight is higher, but unfortunately this is not a bet that can be made until his status is clear.

Golden State Warriors (-9.5, 238) at *Houston Rockets

Golden State fell to 0-11 SU and ATS in its last 11 road games with the loss to Memphis on Saturday night. The Warriors are now 7-29 SU/9-27 ATS away from home this season, but the market continues to chase this ghost. On Saturday that number moved four points from the overnight in Golden State’s direction, and we have a half-point move toward it once more this morning. Houston might be on a back-to-back, but it is 6-4 ATS in March and catching 10 points against a team that has covered 25.0% of its road games.

Sacramento Kings (-6, 238.5) at Utah Jazz

It would seem that this is where the market peaks for Sacramento. The overnight number was immediately cut down by a point and has since sat there. Lauri Markkanen is questionable to play with back pain and Jordan Clarkson is out once again with a hand injury. There is certainly a chance that this number goes back to the opening line, but that would mean Kevin Huerter was going to play tonight. Both Markkanen and Huerter can have an effect on this total and where it closes, so clarity on their status is paramount tonight.