Sunday, February 25, 2024

NBA Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Thursday (3/23) – BettingPros

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For the season, my NBA Best Bets have gone 38-22-1 ATS. Let’s check out my favorites for today!

Thursday’s Best NBA Bets

Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook

Brooklyn Nets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

These two teams met just two nights ago, with the Cavs claiming a 115-109 victory in Brooklyn. To a degree, the final result is misleading, as Cleveland had this game in hand for the entirety of the second half…But, we don’t expect a similar result Thursday night.

This game was skewed in Cleveland’s direction via the three-point line, as the Cavs shot 14/29 from beyond the arc to the Nets’ 9/33. It’s foolish to expect a similarly stark difference in this matchup, and unwise to bet the Cavs purely on Tuesday’s result. To further underline the point: on the season Brooklyn rates fourth in the NBA in 3P%, and any regression to the mean makes them an appealing bet in the rematch.

In addition, the Cavs opened as a one-point favorite last game (closed at/ around Cleveland -3), and nothing really has changed about this matchup since. The initial line for this game (Cleveland -5) was an egregious overcorrection, and sharp bettors have bet it down to a consensus of Cleveland -4. It’s my guess that this line continues to shorten, and we end up with Cleveland as a three-point favorite once again. There are still stray +4.5’s out there, go catch Brooklyn while you still can.

Bet: Nets +4.5 (-115)

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Charlotte Hornets

This matchup is one that Under bettors dream of.

Since the All-Star break:

  • The Hornets rate 2nd in Defensive Pts/Poss
  • The Pelicans rate 10th in Defensive Pts/Poss
  • The Hornets rate 30th in Offensive Pts/Poss
  • The Pelicans rate 23rd in Offensive Pts/Poss

Want more? In the month of March, neither of the two teams play at a high pace (13th for Charlotte, 24th for New Orleans), and the two teams are a combined 15-5 to the Under over their past ten games. Neither team has any highly rated offensive players who could skew the game Over single-handedly, whereas both teams have prominent players on the defensive end.

I find myself looking for a reason not to bet this Under, but nothing stands out against my prior arguments. This is a relatively low total for these two teams, however, a low total does not mean a game is more likely to go Over, or Under. Oddsmakers are generally pretty good at what they do, and games with a total at or below 226 this season are (roughly) 201-192 to the Over– not enough of a deviation to worry.

Take the Under in a likely slow-paced matchup between two of the NBA’s worst offenses, and best defenses.

Bet: Under 225.5 (-110)

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