NBA Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Thursday, March 9th




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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

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

Best Bets

Record: 54-61 | Units: -9.65 | ROI: -8.46%

New York Knicks at Sacramento Kings (-4, 235)

Much like the Los Angeles Clippers play from yesterday’s column, this one is all about the number. Jalen Brunson is still day-to-day with a sore foot that has kept him from competing in the last two games, but there is some growing optimism that he will return for this nationally televised game. Without him, the Kings and Knicks are equals at worst, and if we are using our usual three points for homecourt that would make this number long. Should Brunson play, my own ratings would make this just under 1.5 in favor of Sacramento, so this is a play either way.

New York did lose to Charlotte on Tuesday, but they are uniquely equipped to handle Sacramento. Mitchell Robinson can match up with Domantas Sabonis, and when he faced him back in December he helped keep Sabonis to just 20 points. The Knicks also thrive defensively in two key categories: at the rim and in transition. Opponents take just 32.3% of their attempts within four feet against New York and shoot just 64.2% on those attempts. The Knicks also limit opponents to the fifth fewest added points per 100 possessions through transition offensive off live rebounds (+0.8). 

De’Aaron Fox is expected to return tonight, but as previously mentioned, New York’s transition defense has been among the best in the NBA and should be able to contain the fastbreak Sacramento squad.

Bet: Knicks ML (+130)

Best Bet Recap

Knicks ML (+130)

NBA Games & Odds

Houston Rockets at Indiana Pacers (-9.5, 235.5)

Houston is just 3-12 SU/6-9 ATS since the beginning of February, and over that span they have been outscored by 12.7 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time. Those who have been “fading” the Rockets since the All-Star break are 7-2 ATS and probably feeling like going back to the well, but their market rating seems to be approaching a low point. 

Let’s compare lines to similar opponents, much like we did with Toronto and Los Angeles in the column yesterday. Indiana was just in San Antonio where the market closed with the Pacers as 6-point favorites. The Rockets just finished a home-and-home series with the Spurs, and in San Antonio they closed as 2-point favorites. That would indicate a four-point difference between both Indiana and Houston, or a 7-point line in Indiana which is obviously not where we are this morning. 

Kevin Porter Jr. is going to miss this game for Houston, but his impact on the team is minimal. He improves their net rating by only 0.2 points per 100 possessions when he is on the floor, and he is by no means an impact defensive player. This not going to be a best bet, but bettors should be wary that they are selling at a low when it comes to betting against Houston.

Charlotte Hornets (-3, 226) at Detroit Pistons

Detroit seems set on solidifying itself at the bottom of the standings, so it’s no wonder it finds itself as a home underdog to Charlotte. Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks and Isaiah Stewart are all out with injury of some sort, and while Killian Hayes and Jalen Duren are listed as probable I would confirm their status before jumping in. The Hornets might not have LaMelo Ball anymore, but they showed their competence in coming back and snapping the Knicks’ winning streak on Tuesday. This line is up to 3.5 consensus with the total heading down to 225.5 at most shops.

Utah Jazz at Orlando Magic (-3, 232)

Wendell Carter Jr. is going to miss this game due to injury, and while that is a blow to Orlando’s defense, the injuries for Utah could be very impactful. This line is now 3.5 consensus due to the questionable status of both Jordan Clarkson and Walker Kessler. With Collin Sexton still sidelined with his hamstring injury this is a Jazz team that could be very short-handed when it takes the floor tonight. Expect this to close at about 5.5 if both Clarkson and Kessler cannot play.

Golden State Warriors (-2, 235.5) at Memphis Grizzlies

It is probably time to stop expecting Golden State to exorcize whatever road demons it has. The Warriors fell to 7-25 SU/9-23 ATS when it lost in Oklahoma City on Tuesday night. They are 0-7 SU and ATS in their last seven away games as well with a -11.3 net rating in those contests. Memphis is extremely short-handed though, as both Steven Adams and Ja Morant are still out. The market is starting to move toward Golden State this morning, but given how poor this team has been away from home it is at the point where I have to see it to believe it.