The 2019-20 NBA season is back from the all-star break, and we have a great slate this Wednesday.
On every big slate this season, PlayPicks is providing our top bets against the spread and against point totals for all the NBA games.
Injuries can always play a factor into the point spreads listed by US sportsbooks like DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook in the NBA. Keep an eye on the status of star players with any sort of nagging injury or “load management” concerns as well.
In this column, we will list three of our best bets against the spread with data to support our picks. Then, we will list the following games on the NBA slate in order of our confidence in analyzing the matchup.
Keep in mind that lines can often shift when players are announced out due to rest or injury.
NBA March 4 Best Bets
Minnesota Wolves (-2.5) vs Chicago Bulls
The young Wolves won a high-scoring win over New Orleans last night and have a prime opportunity tonight to carry over that momentum. The Bulls have been feisty at home in recent weeks, but abysmal on the road with a -14.6 net rating over their last 4 away games. They’re also just 6-14 ATS after a win, so can’t be trusted to build off Monday’s upset over the Mavs in Chicago. This number has actually dropped despite evidence in favor of the Wolves, so jump on it.
Minnesota has been routinely overvalued this year, but that was mostly when Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins led this listless franchise. Towns is out indefinitely with a wrist, and Naz Reid is giving Minnesota solid minutes as a smaller five with James Johnson and Juan Hernangomez playing well on the wing. D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley are shooting the lights out and both players have a defensive rating of 120 or higher since the ASB. With Zach LaVine (quad) out, Chicago’s 26th-ranked offense should flounder. The Bulls are working Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter, and Wendell Carter Jr. back into the lineup, which could create more growing pains than immediate dividends.
Utah Jazz (-8) at New York Knicks
Utah is a team of momentum and the Jazz seem to be picking things up after a disastrous 4-game stretch coming out of the all-star break. The best 3-point shooting team in the league before the break shot a rough 41-for-130 (.315%) while dropping 4 straight to quality teams, then hit a whopping 39 triples at a 50% clip during wins over the Wizards and Cavs.
The Jazz get another cupcake tonight at a Knicks team that ranks 29th in 3-point defense and is dead last in scoring efficiency on the other end of the floor. The Knicks stunned the smaller Rockets by pounding the paint, but Rudy Gobert and the Jazz are well positioned to take that away. Utah has won 3 straight over New York by an average of 25.6 PPG, and is a streaky team with a 22-14-1 record ATS following a win.
Miami Heat (-7.5) vs Orlando Magic
Bam Adebayo led a spirited defensive effort to stymy Giannis and the Bucks on Monday and he could do the same to Nikola Vucevic and the Magic tonight. Vucevic averages a modest 16.7 PPG over his last 7 meetings with the Heat and has been less efficient in Miami with a 5-for-15 showing (-21 plus/minus rating) in late January. Orlando’s defense has taken a nosedive since then and the Magic have the third-worst rating (117.7) since the all-star break.
Orlando is 11-19 with a -3.2 net rating on the road this year and it’s no secret how good Miami has been at home. Miami is 26-4 with the best offensive rating (116.6) in the NBA in home games and is a league-best 20-9-1 ATS in those contests. After a brief lull with Jimmy Butler (personal) away from the team, Miami is rocking a 12.2 net rating in fourth quarters during a 3-game win streak and Orlando is 24th in net rating (-17.7) in fourth quarters during that span.
NBA March 4 Picks Against The Spread
Memphis Grizzlies (+1.5) at Brooklyn Nets
The public is assuming the Nets will be gassed after mounting a 21-point comeback to beat the Celtics in OT last night. Spencer Dinwiddie mysteriously sat last night, so his potential return would throw a wrench into things.
Boston Celtics (-4.5) at Cleveland Cavaliers
While Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, and Gordon Hayward are all out, Jayson Tatum (illness) is back to carry the offense and Marcus Smart should lead a spirited defensive effort after last night’s collapse.
Oklahoma City Thunder (-8) at Detroit Pistons
OKC is a league-best 8-1 ATS on zero days rest and the Thunder’s starters didn’t have to do much heavy lifting in a blowout loss to the Clippers last night.
New Orleans Pelicans (+6) at Dallas Mavericks
The Mavs are a league-best 18-5-1 ATS after a loss, but the young Pelicans are 6-2 ATS on zero days rest and desperate to stay in the playoff hunt.
Washington Wizards (+7.5) at Portland Blazers
Bradley Beal is capable of carrying the Wizards against a Blazers team that is still vulnerable despite the likely return of Damian Lillard (groin) tonight.
Indiana Pacers (+11) at Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks will almost certainly bounce back with a win after Monday’s loss in Miami, but the Pacers are playing well enough since the break to keep this one close.