NBA Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Thursday, March 23rd


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: 60-67 | Units: -10.11 | ROI: -8.14%

There are no best bets on the card today. If the number for Los Angeles dips to -3 or better that is a number to jump on, but until then it will be a college basketball night for me.

NBA Games & Odds

*New York Knicks (-3, 230) at Orlando Magic

After the loss to Miami last night New York is now 3-5 SU and ATS in its last eight games. Its defense has allowed 119.2 points per 100 possessions over the course of this slump, but this is a matchup in which they can right the ship. The Knicks are an elite transition defense which has allowed the fifth fewest points added by opponents through transition offense off live rebounds, and that is one of the Magic’s biggest strengths. The market has shown some tepid support of New York this morning by driving this number up a half-point, but the bigger move has been on the total which is down to 228.5 consensus. The market did the same thing Tuesday when Orlando faced Washington, but got it wrong. It might be the right side tonight considering how well the Knicks match up with the Magic offense.

Cleveland Cavaliers (-3.5, 218) at Brooklyn Nets

When these two teams met on Tuesday it was a slow affair with just 94 possessions, but it went over the total due to relatively efficient nights from both teams. Cleveland put up 1.204 points per possession, exploiting what has become an extremely weak Brooklyn defense. The market has adjusted by opening this total two points higher than the open on Tuesday, and betting it up to 219 consensus as of this morning. The adjustment is warranted, but one has to wonder if the Nets, which have averaged just 111.1 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time since the trade deadline, will be able to hold up their end of the scoring to push this game over the number.

Charlotte Hornets at New Orleans Pelicans (-8, 225.5)

Charlotte snapped its 0-4 SU slide with a win over Indiana on Tuesday night. The Hornets are 4-3 ATS in their last seven games, and the market has been too low on them in games like this where they face a similarly struggling opponent. New Orleans has won and covered its last two games, but those came against Houston and San Antonio and that win over the Rockets came after an outright loss to them two days before. The market has bumped this a half-point toward the Pelicans with no real move on the total. This game figures to have the lowest handle on a day in which the NBA is already playing second fiddle to college basketball. It is an easy one to pass up on, especially with an overvalued favorite on one end and an injured and sliding team on the other.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Clippers (-3, 232)

There were a few shops that opened this number at 2.5 on the overnight line and that was a mistake. Assuming that three points is the standard number for homecourt that number, and the consensus opener of -3 were too much of an adjustment on Los Angeles. Yes, Paul George is not going to be on the floor for the Clippers tonight, but to say his absence suddenly makes the Thunder the higher rated team is flawed. The market has since corrected this situation, and we are now seeing Los Angeles at -4 as of this morning. Oklahoma City is playing great basketball and comes into this game 8-2 SU and ATS in its last 10 games, but this could be a sell-high spot for the plucky Thunder.