Welcome to the Wednesday, April 3 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: 30-15-1 (.667)
4/3/19 NBA Betting Pick:
Philadelphia 76ers (49-28) vs. Atlanta Hawks (28-50)
Note: This game will be transmitted back to the Philadelphia area in a unique format. In a nod to Pennsylvania’s legalized sports betting market — and as a possible harbinger of the national sports-betting industry — the 76ers-Hawks tilt will also be the subject of a secondary, gambling-themed alternate broadcast. Viewers will still be able to see the main NBC Sports Philadelphia feed of the game. However, a separate telecast hosted by three area radio/TV personalities that will include discussions on the various betting aspects of the game and real-time updates of quarterly point totals will also be available.
For better or worse, the Hawks made their name on high-scoring games this year. Atlanta has kept scoreboards humming all season with a combination of a sieve-like defense, the fastest pace of play in the NBA, and some talented young scorers in Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and John Collins. Then, the 76ers have been no slouches when it comes to offense. With a starting five that boasts five potent offensive pieces when at full health, Philadelphia has racked up the fourth-most points per game (115.1).
These two teams have generated serious points in two of their three matchups this season. After Philadelphia forged a 113-92 victory early on, the two clubs have combined for 244 and 256 points in the next two encounters. Despite that history, there are a few factors at play Wednesday that point toward the Under.
For one, the Hawks figure to be a tired squad. Atlanta will be playing the second game of a back-to-back after traveling from San Antonio late Tuesday night. Moreover, Wednesday’s game is the third in four nights for Atlanta and their fourth in six. One of those contests, a drag-out battle against the Bucks on Sunday, went to overtime. And it’s worth noting the Hawks are averaging just 107.2 points per game in the 10 instances in which they’ve played a third game in four nights. That’s a steep drop from 112.9 for the season.
While Collins rested Tuesday, Young and Huerter have both logged their usual minutes. Additionally, Taurean Prince, who’s averaging a solid 13.4 points per game, could miss a fourth straight game tonight with a foot injury. The Hawks will also be without Vince Carter, who’s offered occasional infusions of offense off the bench this season, as he’ll sit for rest.
Then, the 76ers won’t exactly have a full arsenal either. Joel Embiid will be taking the last of three scheduled nights off for rest Wednesday. And Jimmy Butler remains highly questionable with a back injury. He missed shootaround Wednesday morning. And Butler already sat for the Sixers’ most recent game on Monday against the Mavericks. The potential absence of both players is very relevant when considering the Under hitting.
To begin with, the last nine games Embiid has sat for Philadelphia have all finished under Wednesday’s elevated total, as have 10 of the last 11 he’s missed overall. The same holds true for five of Butler’s last six missed games, two of which have coincided with Embiid sitting. Furthermore, there’s also the matter of the 76ers’ offense being notably less explosive when traveling. The Sixers have averaged a stellar 118.0 points per game on their home floor of Wells Fargo Center. However, they’re averaging almost six full points per game fewer — 112.1 — on the road.
By The Numbers
The Under is 39-38 (50.6 percent) in 76ers games this season. That includes a 20-18 mark (52.6 percent) in the 76ers’ road games and a 9-8 (52.6 percent) tally when they’re road favorites. The Under is also 15-12 (55.6 percent) in games following a Philadelphia loss.
Then, the Under is 7-4 (63.6 percent) in the second game of the Hawks’ back-to-back sets.
The Final Word
The Hawks have been one of the most consistent teams in exceeding projected totals this season. However, a few extenuating circumstances make this a different scenario. One is certainly Embiid’s absence and the potential for Butler to miss, too. Atlanta could also be without Prince. Then, the Hawks simply don’t score the same way on the second half of back-to-backs. And don’t forget Atlanta is on its fourth game in six nights overall. That has to take a toll on the legs at this stage of the season. Considering those factors and the considerably elevated total, I’m looking at the Under here.
The Pick: Under 238.5