NBA Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Wednesday, March 29th

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

Los Angeles Clippers at *Memphis Grizzlies (-4.5, 234.5)

Los Angeles is 2-1 SU and ATS in the three games since losing Paul George to injury, but it recently made another lineup change that could benefit them greatly. Against the Bulls on Monday night Marcus Morris was benched for the foreseeable future, and Nic Batum was inserted into the starting lineup. Batum improves the Clippers’ net rating by 3.2 points every 100 possessions on the court, and is a much better facilitator and shooter than Morris and his presence should greatly improve Los Angeles’ primary starting group. Going to Memphis is a brutal spot considering how great the Grizzlies have been at home, but this is the second leg of a back-to-back for them.

When Batum and Kawhi Leonard share the floor the Clippers have a +7.7 net rating, and their offense averages 121.1 points per 100 possessions. It was my belief that the betting market undervalued Los Angeles after the loss of George and through three games that has proven to be true. I will ride with that theory once more tonight.

Bet: Clippers (+4)

Best Bet Recap

Clippers (+4)

NBA Games & Odds

Los Angeles Lakers (-2, 226.5) at Chicago Bulls

These two teams met on Sunday in Los Angeles and Chicago had its way in a 118-108 win to improve to 7-3 SU and ATS in its last 10 games. The Lakers closed as 5-point favorites in that game, a number that would translate to Bulls -1 back in Chicago, but this opening number is obviously three points off of that number. Why?

The first reason could be LeBron James’ workload. James played only 30 minutes off the bench on Sunday, and should he start and play about 36 minutes that could be the reason for the upgrade in rating. The second reason is that D’Angelo Russell also seems set to return from an ankle injury that caused him to miss the last two games for Los Angeles. Those two factors could be worth an upgrade of about three points, but there is still a small problem with that logic.

James is listed as questionable to play tonight, and the market will usually move about a point in the direction of the injured players’ team once he is announced as active. If we assume that to be the case, this number could close at -3 and we’re already starting to see evidence of that with 2.5 starting to appear across the board. That would translate to an upgrade of four points to the Los Angeles Lakers’ rating despite losing to this opponent at home two days ago.

Milwaukee Bucks (-11.5, 238) at Indiana Pacers

Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed as probable to play tonight against Indiana, but that means absolutely nothing. Antetokounmpo has missed multiple games this season despite a probable designation on the morning injury, so monitor shootaround before diving into this contest with your money. Indiana is seemingly bowing out of the Eastern Conference play-in race with its recent 1-4 SU and ATS stretch and the soft shutdown of Tyrese Haliburton for the season, so I would not blame anyone looking to play against the Pacers.

Houston Rockets at Brooklyn Nets (-12, 230)

Since a 5-4 SU/6-3 ATS run to start March it’s been downhill for the Houston Rockets. The team is 0-6 SU/1-5 ATS in its last six games with an abysmal -17.6 net rating. However, Brooklyn is by no means this much better than Houston and the market is acting accordingly. The Nets are 1-6 SU/2-5 ATS in their last seven games. This game opened up at -12 and is down to 10.5 consensus, and that is likely due to the market pushing back on this inflated number.

*Miami Heat at New York Knicks (-4, 223)

Since Feb. 13 the Miami Heat are 25th in non-garbage time defensive efficiency (120.4), and over that span the team is 8-11 SU/6-13 ATS. For the first time this season it would seem the market is starting to move against Miami consistently, but New York might not be the opponent to do it with. The Knicks are 4-6 SU and ATS in their last 10 games, and since March 3 they have allowed 118.3 points per 100 possessions to opponents. Two of the three games in this series have flown over the total, but this number has been sitting at 223 since it opened and that is likely due to the injury situation for both teams. Jalen Brunson is questionable with his hand injury, and Miami has yet to submit a report with this being a back-to-back. 

Dallas Mavericks at Philadelphia 76ers (-5.5, 231)

Joel Embiid and James Harden are questionable to play tonight, and until there is clarity on their availability this game is impossible to handicap. Harden has missed the last four games with his sore Achilles, so his status is truly questionable. However, Embiid played both ends of a back-to-back on the west coast before sitting out the game in Denver on Monday night. This number is down to -4 consensus, but if my theory is correct that Embiid will be on the floor we can expect this number to close much closer to the overnight line and perhaps even higher if both are on the floor.

Detroit Pistons at *Oklahoma City Thunder (-11.5, 229)

In yesterday’s column I wrote about the market possibly overrating Oklahoma City since its successful run at the beginning of the month, and it would seem that is true. The Thunder are 1-3 SU/0-3-1 ATS in their last four games, but more importantly this will be the third consecutive game in which they are laying nine or more points. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is in question as well after sitting out Oklahoma City’s loss to Charlotte on Tuesday night. Detroit is 1-17 SU/7-11 ATS in its last 18 games and shutting the season down, but that does not mean there is value in blindly fading them. Laying 11.5 with a team that is possibly missing its best player is an example of that.

Utah Jazz (-4.5, 233) at San Antonio Spurs

Lauri Markkanen was ruled out with his hand injury, but the market does not seem to mind much. Since it was announced that Markkanen would sit this line moved only a half-point and Utah is still a 4.5-point favorite at multiple shops. Remember that Jordan Clarkson and Collin Sexton remain out and Rudy Gay will not play either. This team is extremely thin, but is laying 4.5 points on the road. San Antonio might be punting on the season as well with Keldon Johnson, Jeremy Sochan and Devin Vassell all listed as out.