Welcome to the Saturday, March 30 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: 50-39-1 (.562)
Moneyline: 30-9 (.769)
Over/Under: 29-15-1 (.659)
3/30/19 NBA Betting Pick:
Miami Heat (37-38) vs. New York Knicks (14-61)
The Heat got a wake-up call earlier in the week. They now have no choice but to keep winning the rest of the way if they want to keep a grasp on the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. A stumble against the Magic temporarily booted Miami from that spot and vaulted Orlando into it. While the Heat remedied that situation with the help of a Thursday victory against the Mavericks, the Magic are breathing down their neck. Orlando is only a half-game behind Miami, and the Hornets loom two games back.
The Heat are currently challenged by injuries as well. Justise Winslow (thigh), Josh Richardson (heel), and Rodney McGruder (knee) all remain out Saturday. Luckily for the Heat, they have a very capable reinforcement for Winslow in particular in the form of Goran Dragic. The veteran slotted back into the starting five against Dallas on Thursday and provided a 23-point, 12-rebound, 11-assist triple-double. The positional matchup lines up extremely well for him again Saturday versus a New York team allowing the fifth-highest offensive efficiency rating (26.9) to the position.
It’s also worth mentioning Miami has proven capable of getting by without Winslow in the lineup for the past seven games, and without Richardson in their most recent contest. The Heat have gone a solid 5-2 over the former stretch. Moreover, their five wins during that span have come by an average margin of 8.6 points, and three came against playoff teams/contenders (Hornets, Thunder, and Spurs).
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has also found something in the frontcourt with the 1-2 punch of Bam Adebayo and Hassan Whiteside, with the latter coming off the bench. Both players are performing well in their roles at present. Adebayo has averaged 11.0 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.3 steals across 28.9 minutes over the last eight games. Then, Whiteside is offering solid production relative to playing time, averaging 10.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.0 block across just 16.4 minutes in his last five contests. Both players will be primed for success Saturday versus a Knicks squad yielding the fourth-highest offensive efficiency rating (61.9) in the paint.
Then, New York comes in yielding plenty of points at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks are surrendering the fourth-most points (114.4) of any team on its home floor on a bottom-10 figure of 46.8 percent shooting. Furthermore, they’ve posted a 7-30 home record this season and have dropped four consecutive home games by an average margin of 18.8 points. Of New York’s 30 home losses this season, 20 of them have been by more than Saturday’s seven-point spread, and another two have been by exactly that amount.
Finally, it’s important to note the Knicks are short a couple of key components Saturday. Both Allonzo Trier (calf) and Noah Vonleh (ankle) will miss the contest. Each player has provided important contributions at different points this season, and their absences further deplete the depth of a team playing with questionable motivation at this point in the season.
By The Numbers
The Heat are 40-34-1 (54.0 percent) against the spread overall this season. That includes a 24-12 mark (NBA-high 66.7 percent) as an away team and a 6-4 tally (60.0 percent) as a road favorite. Miami is also 20-16 (55.6 percent) versus the number in games following a win.
Then, the Knicks are 29-43-3 (NBA-low 40.3 percent) against the spread overall this season. That includes a 12-23-2 mark (NBA-low 34.3 percent) as a home team and a 10-18-2 tally (35.7 percent) as a home underdog. New York is also 21-37-2 (NBA-low 36.2 percent) versus the number in games following a loss, 15-22-3 (40.5 percent) against the spread in games they’ve played with one day off, and 17-26-3 (39.5 percent) versus the number in conference games.
Finally, the two prior games between the teams this season have resulted in 23- and nine-point wins for the Heat.
The Final Word
Motivations to win couldn’t be further apart here. The Heat need to keep piling up wins regardless of how short-handed they might be if they want to hang on to the No. 8 seed. The Knicks are injury-depleted in their own right and simply playing out the string. Miami has already shown they have New York’s number in two prior meetings, and the number Saturday isn’t too wide. As such, I’m looking at a Miami cover on their way to a key road victory.
The Pick: Heat -7, Heat moneyline