Welcome to the Monday, March 25 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: 49-38-1 (.563)
Moneyline: 29-9 (.763)
Over/Under: 27-15-1 (.643)
3/25/19 NBA Betting Pick:
Brooklyn Nets (38-36) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (45-27)
DraftKings Sportsbook Odds: Trail Blazers -6 (o/u: 223.5)
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: Trail Blazers -6 (o/u: 223.5)
888 Sportsbook Odds: Trail Blazers -6 (o/u: 223.5)
BetStars Sportsbook Odds: Trail Blazers -6 (o/u: 223.5)
The latest evidence the 2018-19 Nets are a vastly improved team and legitimate postseason contender came during their last pair of contests. Brooklyn was back down to .500 (36-36) after an 0-3 start to their jaunt through the Western Conference and starting to see its playoff positioning become more tenuous. However, the Nets have bounced back with two straight victories to keep a hold of the No. 6 seed in the East for the moment. Notably, they overcame a 25-point fourth-quarter deficit versus the Kings in the first of those two wins last Tuesday.
Brooklyn has typically been a much more offensively proficient team at home this season. However, they have the players to thrive in the typically fast-paced environments of many Western Conference home floors. Tonight, of course, they’ll be at Portland’s Moda Center. They’ve demonstrated as much in their last three road games. The Nets averaged 116.7 points per game against the Clippers, Kings, and Lakers during that span. Those up-and-down squads pushed the Nets to average 109.8 possessions during that stretch, a bump from their already elevated 105.5 seasonal figure.
Granted, the Trail Blazers don’t bring the same style of play as the aforementioned trio of opponents. Still, the Blazers check in about middle-of-the-pack with 103.3 possessions per contest. Combined with the Nets’ own top-10 pace, Portland could play a tad faster than usual Monday. And it’s worth noting Portland has scored well against more deliberate opponents recently. The Blazers notched 117 points against the Pistons and 126 against the Mavericks in their last two games. Both those squads currently rank in the bottom 10 in pace.
Then, they put up 122 versus the Pelicans, 125 against the Clippers, and 127 against the Suns in three other contests over the last seven. New Orleans averages just one more possession per game than Brooklyn. Meanwhile, Los Angeles and Phoenix sandwich Brooklyn in the pace rankings with 105.6 and 104.9 possessions per game, respectively. And that caliber of offense has been par for the course for the Blazers this season, especially at the Moda Center. Portland is averaging the sixth-most points (117.1) of any team on its home court.
In all, 22 of Portland’s 37 home games have gone over Monday’s projected total. That includes 11 of their last 12 Moda Center tilts. And even C.J. McCollum‘s current three-game absence, which will extend to four on Monday, hasn’t derailed the Blazers offensively. As mentioned earlier, Portland has averaged a solid 116.7 points during that span, which is actually higher than the 114.1 for the season.
On this note, Seth Curry has been an important component. He’s done an excellent job helping make up for the scoring void created by McCollum’s absence. Curry is averaging 15.7 points across 28.3 minutes during that three-game sample while shooting 48.5 percent. McCollum’s backcourt mate Damian Lillard hasn’t been too shabby, either. He’s averaging 30.3 points on 54.0 percent shooting during that three-game span.
Finally, both the Nets’ own defensive inefficiency when traveling and their potential energy level support the notion of the Over hitting in Monday’s game. Brooklyn is allowing 112.2 points per road game. They’ve seen Monday’s total exceeded in 16 of their 37 away contests this season overall, including in two of their last three. Additionally, they’ll also be playing Monday with two full days of rest after getting the weekend off following their win over the Lakers on Friday night. Despite the long road trip, Brooklyn has taken the court only three times in the past eight days.
By The Numbers
The Over is 16-15 (51.6 percent) in the Nets’ games as road underdogs this season. The Over is also 20-17 (54.0 percent) following a Brooklyn win and 16-13 (55.2 percent) in the Nets’ non-conference games.
Then, the Over is 37-34-1 (52.1 percent) in the Trail Blazers’ games this season. That includes a 20-16-1 mark (55.6 percent) in Portland’s games as a home team and 17-13-1 (56.7 percent) in games as a home favorite specifically. The Over is also 27-19-1 (58.7 percent) in games the Trail Blazers have played with one day of rest and 17-8-1 (NBA-high 68.0 percent) in Portland’s non-conference games.
The Final Word
Both teams have run hot on offense lately and are reasonably well rested for this point in the season. Moreover, each club is motivated due to playoff considerations. With plenty of talented scorers taking the floor — even factoring in McCollum’s absence — and the total not being onerous, I see the number being at least slightly eclipsed.
The Pick: Over 223.5