After a quiet Monday with no NBA games on the table, the pros returned to the Tuesday slate, which included 12 games. The slate (Lakers vs. Suns) has at least one match (Lakers vs. Suns) and two matches important to the playoff seeding (Bucks vs. Bulls vs. Grizzles vs. Jazz).
But with so many games on the slate, our experts were able to find three more games with useful bets. Below you will find their analysis and selections for those matches.
NBA contradictions and choices
Atlanta Hawks vs. Toronto Raptors
Kenny Doozy: Even in a game where technically both teams have to win, it’s so funny that we can not yet say for sure that this game means a lot to the hawks. There are four games between the Raptors and them for the sixth playoff spot, which is a guarantee that the Atlanta play-off match will end.
Regardless, based on their latest games, the Hawks seem to be a believable team at this point. The Hawks have officially been the hottest team in the NBA for the past week and a half, with five straight wins against the spread and one straight win behind Brooklyn. Their offense finally erupted once again, topping the league with a performance rating of 126.6, while their defense was average (which is good to consider what we have seen at times this season).
Toronto’s defense is at its peak at the same interval, with most of it allowing for just 33.9% shooting from three. Variations should start here, and the Hawks have taken a blister of 41.4% from deeper than their five-game ATS winning series. The skirts here are slimmer than this line says.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs Portland Trail Blazers
Brandon Anderson: Oklahoma City Thunder caught 4.5 points tonight.
Is there any speculation as to when it finally happened? It’s been a minute. Thunder was only liked three times this season, and not that much. They were only positive twice last season, but did not score 4.5 points.
No, since August 9, 2020, Chris Ball has been the OKC since October 9, 2020, despite wearing the OKC orange and blue and being the Thunder playoff team. Yes, it’s been a minute.
But should the city of Oklahoma really be the most favorite? The Thunder have won exactly three of their last 16 games. The final game of their starting line-up featured Theo Malidon, Aaron Wiggins, Wit Krezzy, Alexei Bokusevsky and Isaiah Robbie, with Jaylan Hort, Lindy Waters and Oliver Char playing big roles off the bench. Now a few years later there may be only one or two real NBA players on that list.
One of those three recent OKC hits won these Blazers, who have not played a successful line-up these days, but took 44% of Oklahoma City’s 3s shooting, winning three points in that game.
Blazers are just as bad as thunder, but are we sure the Thunder should be in favor here? The city of Oklahoma is more motivated to lose. Currently, Thunder is safe in the four draft selections below, and is guaranteed to finish 7th on any team. But win another couple of games this week and the whole season of this defeat will be bad.
Portland has full game buffer in both directions and is much less at risk. The Blazers don’t really care if they win or lose tonight – but the Thunder must lose. With three road games remaining against the Jazz and both LA teams, tonight won OKC’s tanking goal for the year based on a defeat.
Would be ugly. I probably will not watch. But at +160, the Blazers have a 38% chance of success, and it’s nonsense that the Coin Flip Scrimage game should be the best. I will use my opportunities to bet on OKC motivations.
Sacramento Kings vs New Orleans Pelicans
Anderson: Bonus betting! If you have been following this for the past two weeks, you should be familiar with this. But as the old saying goes: if it does not break, do not fix it.
Let me catch you. Kings are going to be defeated again. 37 seasons at Kings Sacramento. In those eight years, they finished over .500 and made the playoffs under Rick Adelman, but won only five playoff series during that extension, eventually eliminating Adelman for not winning enough. And for the other 29 seasons in Sacramento, the Kings have finished under the .500 each time. Oops.
This year the Kings are no better. At 29-50, the season has long been even longer with an extended postseason, which is why D’Aron Fox and Domontas Saponis have already been watching from the sidelines for several weeks. That means the Kings are back late in the season, nurturing young opportunities and looking to the future.
It brings us back to Davian Mitchell. In the last eight games, Mitchell has moved to the starting line-up and sees massive minutes and use. He played over 40 minutes in a game, averaging 19.0 points and 7.9 assists. The problem is that all the extra use and time of the ball has led to constant turnover, a common problem for a new point guard trying to do everything.
Mitchell averages 3.8 turnover per game, including 4, 4, 4, 5, and 7 games. He has gone over 2.5 sixes in six games in eight games, and the Pelicans are making strong inroads in the post-season and playing tough defenses. So they can force some mistakes again tonight. I will continue to play Mitchell’s turnover until he proves otherwise.