NBA Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Tuesday, March 28th

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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: 60-69 | Units: -12.11 | ROI: -9.60%

There are no best bets as of this morning, but I will be waiting to see what Jarrett Allen’s status will be tonight. That is a game to bet over the total, but Allen’s status will alter this number no matter what his designation will be. If he plays this number should drop, and if he is ruled out then bettors will need to quick on the trigger before this number gets up to 237.5 or so.

NBA Games & Odds

Cleveland Cavaliers (-1, 234.5) at Atlanta Hawks

Jarrett Allen and Isaac Okoro are both questionable for Cleveland tonight, and that is why this number is shorter than it should be this morning. Allen did have 24 points and 14 rebounds in 36 minutes of work against the Rockets last time out, so this could be a soft questionable designation for him, but if he does not play then Atlanta will go off as a small favorite and that makes a difference for moneyline bettors. If Allen cannot play the Cavaliers’ frontcourt becomes very small, and that obviously leads to an advantage for Clint Capela who comes into this game averaging 14.6 points and 13.8 rebounds on 81.6% shooting from the floor over his last five starts.

This total is up to 236 at a few shops, and while it could be due to the potential absence of Allen this game is a candidate to go over because of Atlanta’s inability to defend. The Hawks have allowed 121.1 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time to its last 11 opponents, and Trae Young won’t have many places to hide in this matchup on defense. This current total of 235.5 is the lowest total for a Hawks game since March 6 so it’s not a surprise that the move is where it is here this morning, and I agree with it. This will be a bet to make once the status of Jarrett Allen is clear.

Boston Celtics (-11, 227) at Washington Wizards

Washington has pulled the plug on the season. The Wizards are 3-10 SU/4-9 ATS in their last 13 games, and they have been outscored by 8.4 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time over that span. It does not look like it will be getting any better tonight. Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma will miss another game, and both Monte Morris and Daniel Gafford are questionable to play. When neither Beal or Kuzma are on the floor Washington has a -6.7 net rating, and their projected starting lineup if both Morris and Gafford can play has a -31.9 net rating. That is over a very small sample size, but the point is that Washington is not in a good place right now. Meanwhile, Boston has quieted the noise with a 3-0 SU and ATS run that it brings into this game. We’re starting to see 11.5 appear on the board this morning, but the market usually moves slowly against the team that is dealing with injury questions. This will swing back to under 10 if Morris and Gafford both play, so Celtics backers will want to wait until then to fire.

Miami Heat at Toronto Raptors (-3, 218)

Toronto is 5-2 SU and ATS in its last seven, and finally paying off the market’s belief in it with the success at the window. Three of those wins came against Washington, Detroit and Oklahoma City, so this home game against Miami is going to be one of the bigger tests it has faced recently. The Raptors are 2-1 SU/2-0-1 ATS against the Heat this season, but all three matchups came before December, and these teams are very different from the ones that took the court at the beginning of the season. 

Miami is slowly showing some consistency, but it has been fleeting. The Heat are treading water in recent weeks, going 7-4 SU/5-6 ATS in their last 11 games with a 0.0 net rating. The changes to their lineup have improved their offensive output and they have averaged 120.2 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time, but that has meant a massive dip in defensive production. Seven of the last 12 games have gone over the total for Miami as a result. The market has moved toward the over once more today, and it’s hard to argue against the move.

Orlando Magic at Memphis Grizzlies (-7.5, 235.5)

Ja Morant is considered doubtful to play tonight with a thigh injury, and as a result this total is down to 231.5 consensus. Not only does Morant’s absence drive this number down, but so does Orlando’s play on defense. The Magic’s last eight opponents have been held to 111.3 points per 100 possessions, and their halfcourt defense has allowed the fourth fewest points per 100 plays (95.2) over that span. More importantly, Orlando is the sixth best transition defense in the NBA, limiting opponents to 117.9 points per 100 plays in transition off live rebounds. Memphis is still a good defensive team without Morant on the floor, so this adjustment is appropriate.

Charlotte Hornets at Oklahoma City Thunder (-9, 234)

The betting market has adjusted its power rating on Oklahoma City since its 6-1 SU and ATS run earlier this month, but the adjustment might be too much. The best example of that adjustment was over the weekend, when it closed as 10.5-point favorites at Portland in a game the Thunder would go on to win but fail to cover. Here today, the number is slowly climbing to 9.5 consensus, which shows the market is not really backing off its upgrade of Oklahoma City. That is even despite a questionable tag for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Charlotte will likely be without Gordon Hayward and Kelly Oubre is questionable to play, but as we just saw with this team against Dallas, it is far from quitting. 

*New Orleans Pelicans at Golden State Warriors (-9, 234.5)

New Orleans has suddenly caught fire, but one could make the argument that the competition has not been the best. The Pelicans are 5-0 SU and ATS in their last five games, but four of those wins have come against Houston, Charlotte, San Antonio and Portland. This should be a a massive step up in competition, and they are catching the Warriors coming off a rare home loss. The driving force for this run has been Brandon Ingram, who has averaged 29.4 points and 8.6 assists on 54.4% shooting from the floor. This is by far the best defensive opponent New Orleans has faced, and it comes in a high-leverage contest. Golden State is now seventh in the Western Conference and they are 1-2 SU in this series. A win for either team is massive in the play-in race, and it wouldn’t be surprising if this game is played at more of a playoff tempo, which would mean slower tempo. The market has dipped slightly to the under from the overnight, meaning there is perhaps something to that thought process.