NBA Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Thursday, April 6th

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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: 63-70 | Units: -11.30 | ROI: -8.75%

There are no best bets as of now. There is so much noise in today’s card it would not be smart to force a pre-flop bet at this time of the day.

NBA Games & Odds

Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers (-5.5, 220.5)

Playoff Scenario: Miami’s magic number to clinch the seventh seed is one. It can still win the sixth seed, but does not control its destiny in that race. Philadelphia has clinched the third seed.

Philadelphia knows what its playoff seed will be, but its work may not be done. The 76ers can decide their playoff opponent tonight by beating the Heat and locking them into the play-in tournament. Brooklyn is the more favorable matchup for Philadelphia, so do not be surprised if we get a full effort from the 76ers tonight. If that is the case then we should talk about Miami’s defense.

Over the course of the last 22 games the Heat have allowed 119.9 points per 100 possessions. It has been a shocking decline on that end of the floor, and it does not seem to be correcting itself. Philadelphia averages 122.4 points per 100 possessions with both Joel Embiid and James Harden on the floor, and with Maxey in that mix they have a +11.1 net rating. Should Maxey play tonight this would be a look toward the 76ers who have plenty of motivation to win.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Orlando Magic (-8.5, 223)

Playoff Scenario: None. Cleveland has clinched the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. Orlando has been eliminated from postseason contention.

Cleveland has nothing to play for tonight and the injury report reflects that. Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, Caris LeVert  and Isaac Okoro are all out tonight, and that is why this number opened as high as it did. Bettors will likely flock to Orlando here because their opponent is playing next to nobody, but also because the Magic are rolling. They enter this game on a 9-0-1 ATS run. The bet to make here was under the total, but the market jumped on that and this is now down to 219 consensus. 

Portland Trail Blazers at San Antonio Spurs (-2.5, 230)

Playoff Scenario: None

Obviously neither of these teams have anything to play for, and their injury reports are absolutely loaded with names. Between these two teams there are a total of 23 players with some sort of injury designation. As I have discussed in this column and on our podcast, game between eliminated teams are ones which I will look to play over the total. However, this might be one in which I am sitting on the sidelines. We can absolutely expect a quicker pace in this game, but the efficiency likely won’t be there for two teams that are playing with skeleton crews. The market has dropped this number down to 228.5 consensus, and despite that going against an angle I have been betting down the stretch, I think that is the right move.

Oklahoma City Thunder (-5.5, 236.5) at Utah Jazz

Playoff Scenario: Oklahoma City’s magic number for the 10th seed is two. Utah is still mathematically alive, but does not control its destiny in regards to any playoff seed.

Jordan Clarkson, Rudy Gay, Walker Kessler, Lauri Markkanen and Collin Sexton will all miss this game for Utah tonight. It is why this number opened as high as 5.5 and why its up a full point. As usual, I will caution everyone reading this number to not just jump on a team that needs wins. The betting market generally overvalues those teams and the result is some very inflated point spreads. Just look at last night when Dallas was facing Sacramento. The Kings had nothing to play for while the Mavericks had their season on the line. The market closed that line at 6.5 and Dallas needed a massive comeback just to win that game. There are countless other examples, but just remember this: Just because a team needs to win does not mean it will also cover.

Denver Nuggets at Phoenix Suns (-7, 223.5)

Playoff Scenario: None. Denver is locked into the top seed in the Western Conference and Phoenix is locked into the fourth seed.

This is a game where information is vital. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray are questionable to play, and while Phoenix’s injury report is clean they have spoken about potentially resting personnel down the stretch. Whether that manifests itself tonight or against San Antonio tomorrow remains to be seen, but it is something that bettors must monitor. Even then, should the starters take the floor tonight there is no guarantee that they play the entire game for the Suns.