Welcome to the Sunday, April 7 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: 31-16-1 (.660)
4/7/19 NBA Betting Pick:
Brooklyn Nets (40-40) vs. Indiana Pacers (47-33)
Sunday’s Nets-Pacers showdown offers a welcome late-season battle between two teams with actual stakes in the outcome. Granted, Brooklyn has appreciably more to lose; they’re still trying to ensure they don’t slip out of their current playoff spot. The Nets hold the No. 6 seed, but they remain just a half-game ahead of No. 8 Detroit. Then, the Pacers are likely to be locked into the No. 5 seed, but they still have a chance to move up to No. 4. Pacers coach Nate McMillan has stated he will not rest players although he’s likely to limit the minutes of some of his starters.
Despite the postseason implications tied to Sunday’s game, the chances of that equating to a high-scoring affair aren’t high. First and foremost, consider Indiana’s track record at home. The Pacers sport a 29-10 mark on their home floor of Bankers Life Fieldhouse. They’ve allowed the fewest points per game (104.3) of any team on its home floor. Furthermore, Indiana has allowed the second-lowest shooting percentage (43.0) of any home team. Of the Pacers’ 39 home games, 30 (76.9 percent) have come in under Sunday’s projected total.
The Nets aren’t necessarily an offensive juggernaut on the road, either. Brooklyn is scoring a solid 110.7 points per away game, but that’s over three points per game fewer than their average at home. The Nets’ 44.1 percent shooting on the road is also the fourth lowest of any team when traveling. Additionally, they should come into Sunday’s contest with a bit less spring in their step than usual after having battled the Bucks for a 133-128 victory on Saturday. What’s more, virtually Brooklyn’s entire roster logged significant playing time, with eight players seeing at least 23 minutes, in that contest.
Finally, the prior two 2018-19 meetings between these teams could be deceiving as we ponder the Under. Yes, they finished with combined totals of 244 and 220. However, Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, out with a knee injury since late January, was present for both of those games and played a pivotal role. Oladipo was the Pacers’ leading scorer in each contest, scoring 26 points in the first meeting and 25 in the rematch. His absence has obviously hurt Indiana’s firepower. Dating back to Oladipo’s first missed game Jan. 26, the Pacers have scored 109 points or fewer in 23 of the 33 games. Factor in that some of the Pacers’ starters’ minutes could be curtailed Sunday and you have even more of a recipe for a lower-scoring contest.
By The Numbers
The Under is 26-24 (52.0 percent) in the Nets’ conference games this season and 8-6 (57.1 percent) in the second game of Brooklyn’s back-to-back sets.
Then, the Under is 45-35 (56.2 percent) in the Pacers’ games this season. That includes a 25-15 mark (62.5 percent) in their home games and a 22-10 tally (68.8 percent) in their home games specifically. The Under is also 29-19 (60.4 percent) in games Indiana has played with one day off and 28-22 (56.0 percent) in the Pacers’ conference games.
The Final Word
This is actually an elevated total for a Pacers home game, considering how stingy they’ve been at Bankers Life all season. The Nets are also a less potent offensive team when traveling, and there’s undoubtedly an element of fatigue after Saturday’s drag-out brawl with Milwaukee. As such, I see this game finishing at least slightly below the total.
The Pick: Under 220