Welcome to the Monday, April 1 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: 51-39-1 (.567)
Moneyline: 31-9 (.775)
Over/Under: 29-15-1 (.659)
4/1/19 NBA Betting Pick:
Milwaukee Bucks (57-20) vs. Brooklyn Nets (39-38)
The Nets have found some unexpected success this season, and they’re not about to squander it. Brooklyn has exceeded expectations with 39 wins through its first 77 games. That’s currently good enough for the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference with five games left in the regular season. However, Brooklyn’s playoff position is far from safe. The Nets hold only a half-game lead over the No. 8 Miami Heat. Plus, they’re just one game ahead of the Orlando Magic, who currently slot in with the conference’s ninth-best record.
That said, the Nets essentially have to go full throttle in each remaining game to ensure their unlikely postseason candidacy. That should equate to plenty of aggressive play the rest of the way from Kenny Atkinson’s squad. Accordingly, Brooklyn has been engaged in a couple of particularly high-scoring affairs recently. The Nets dropped a wild 148-144 overtime decision to the Trail Blazers just three games ago. Brooklyn and the 76ers also put up a combined 233 points two games ago. Then, the Nets combined with the Kings for 244 points and the Clippers for 235 points within their last six contests as well.
The reality is that while Brooklyn is capable of lighting up the scoreboard, they often allow the opposition to do the same. The Nets are scoring an impressive 113.9 points per home game. However, they’re also yielding 111.1 points per Barclays Center contest. In all, 16 of Brooklyn’s 38 home games have exceeded Monday’s projected 226.5-point total. Plus, two others fell just a half-point short.
The Nets and Bucks have also hooked up for one high-scoring tilt this season. The two clubs combined for 244 points back on Dec. 29. Their second game on Feb. 4 did check in with a considerably lower total of 207. However, neither Joe Harris nor Caris LeVert played in that contest due to hip and foot injuries, respectively. Both of those absences played a part in Brooklyn’s modest scoring total. Harris is averaging 13.6 points on 50.1 percent shooting. That includes tallies of 14.3 and 52.8 percent at home. Then, LeVert is averaging 13.4 points for the season, including a solid 16.4 at home.
Milwaukee does come into Monday’s game with a pair of potentially huge absences in Giannis Antetokounmpo (ankle) and Khris Middleton (groin). Yet with both stars sitting Sunday, the Bucks racked up 135 points in an overtime loss to the Hawks. Milwaukee’s impressive depth was on full display. The likes of Sterling Brown (27 points), Tim Frazier (20 points), George Hill (18 points), Pat Connaughton (17 points), Bonzie Colson (15 points), and D.J. Wilson (12 points) made crucial offensive contributions. Even though the Hawks give up far more points than the Bucks, Brooklyn is averaging 105.8 possessions per game for the season, the seventh most per contest. Plus, they’ve been even faster over their last three, spiking up to 111.9 during that stretch (third most).
Finally, Milwaukee’s road metrics in terms of both points scored and allowed bear mentioning when gauging the possibility of the Over hitting Monday. The Bucks check in scoring the second-most points per road game (115.7). And they’re scoring the second most (123.7) over the last three contests overall. Then, while they allow a respectable 110.2 points per road tilt, that still represents an appreciable bump up from the 106.6 they surrender on their home floor.
By The Numbers
The Over is 39-38 (50.6 percent) in the Nets’ games this season. That includes a 10-8 mark (55.6 percent) in Brooklyn’s games as a home underdog. The Over is also 21-17 (55.3 percent) in games following a Nets win and 26-19 (57.8 percent) in games Brooklyn has played with one day of rest.
Then, three of the Bucks’ past four games have exceeded Monday’s projected total, and the same holds true for five of their last 10.
Finally, one of the two prior meetings between the teams this season finished with a total of 244.
The Final Word
The oddsmakers clearly see a close game here between the banged-up Bucks and playoff-minded Nets. Brooklyn has been a tough out on its home floor this season, and this has the makings of a back-and-forth affair. Whether Antetokounmpo and/or Middleton miss in this spot doesn’t overly affect my opinion on the game exceeding the total. If one or both plays, the Bucks offense is obviously better for it. However, as was demonstrated Sunday, Milwaukee has the quality depth to keep the offense humming even without some of their most important front-line pieces. As such, I see the game slightly exceeding the total.
The Pick: Over 226.5