Welcome to the Wednesday, March 13 edition of the NBA Best Bets column. Here, I’ll strive to identify one NBA bet for tonight I feel has profit potential at DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, 888 Sportsbook, and BetStars Sportsbook.
Depending on the circumstance, I’ll hone in on moneylines, point spreads, or projected totals. Sometimes I may even touch on multiple metrics. Then, I’ll take you on a fairly deep dive as to why.
Please note we’ll be referencing only legal, regulated sportsbook betting odds and totals here at PlayPicks. A “pick” is a wager that, as of the time of this writing, we feel confident recommending. A “lean” is a wager we favor over the other side. This play could end up on our card with the release of additional information.
Season to Date:
ATS Leans/Picks: 48-35-1 (.578)
Moneyline: 26-9 (.750)
Over/Under: 21-13-1 (.618)
3/13/19 NBA Betting Pick:
Brooklyn Nets (36-33) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (41-26)
The Nets continue their quest to be the most-improved NBA team tonight against the Thunder. To its credit, Brooklyn has recovered from a couple of lackluster stretches and remain firmly in the Eastern Conference postseason conversation. The Nets come in hot Wednesday, having notched five straight wins and currently slotted into the No. 6 seed.
Unsurprisingly, Brooklyn has been a much better team on its home floor. The Nets boast a 21-16 record at Barclays Center, as opposed to a 15-17 mark when traveling. The pedestrian road record can be largely explained by slight downturns at both ends of the floor. The Nets are scoring 109.3 points per road game, compared to 114.0 at home. The near-five-point difference directly ties into much more lackluster shooting performances outside of the Big Apple. Brooklyn drains just 44.1 percent of its attempts on the road, the sixth-lowest figure in the league. Then, they’re yielding 112.0 points per away game. That’s a slight uptick from the 111.5 they allow at home.
Of the Nets’ 30 non-overtime road games, 25 have come in under Wednesday’s projected total. Plus, the Thunder haven’t exactly been the most accommodating of teams on their home floor of Chesapeake Energy Arena. OKC boasts an impressive 22-9 home record. The Thunder allow 109.9 points per home game, compared to 112.2 in their away contests. While the former figure ranks them just outside the top half of the league, Brooklyn’s shooting issues on the road could well prevent them from fully exploiting any vulnerability.
Two other factors should be considered regarding the Under hitting: rest and some of the Nets’ individual home/road splits.
The schedule makers have made OKC work hard in recent days. The Thunder will be on their fourth game in seven nights Wednesday. And they’re coming off a four-game road trip. Plus, one of those contests was a knock-down-drag-out overtime win against the Trail Blazers last Thursday. With the last three games decided by single-digit margins, the Thunder’s two most important pieces have logged heavy minutes. Paul George has played 38 to 43 minutes in three of his last four. Russell Westbrook has played 37 to 40 in three of the last four as well, and at least 34 minutes in 12 of his last 13 games.
Then, although D’Angelo Russell has actually performed better as a shooter on the road, he’s still hitting just 43.7 percent of his attempts when traveling. Caris LeVert is shooting an abysmal 41.1 percent on the road. That includes a 20.8 percent mark from three-point range. And even the emerging Joe Harris is a bit less sharp outside of Barclays. He’s averaging 12.7 points per road game (compared to 14.3 at home) due to more than a five percent drop in shooting percentage.
By The Numbers
The Under is 16-16 (50.0 percent) in the Nets’ away games this season. Brooklyn’s last five games have all come in under Wednesday’s projected total.
The Under is 34-31-2 (52.3 percent) in the Thunder’s games this season. That includes a 20-20 mark (50.0 percent) in games following an OKC win. The Under is also 41-39-2 (51.2 percent) in the Thunder’s non-conference games since the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
The one prior meeting between the teams this season finished with a 226.0 point total.
The Final Word
While these teams can both put up points, the Nets have been a less prolific team on the road while the Thunder play their best defense at home. Add in this being OKC’s fourth game in seven nights, and we could see less spring in their step at this late stage. While I do envision a relatively high-scoring affair, I see the game finishing a bit short of the elevated total.
The Pick: Under 232.5