The NBA season continues on Wednesday, a day before the trade deadline, with six NBA games to bet on. Our Action Network NBA analysts have identified two bets – one total and one prop – that they love tonight. Continue reading for Raheem Palmer and Brandon Anderson’s best bets and analysis.
NBA Odds & Picks
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|Toronto Raptors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder||8 p.m. ET|
|Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Sacramento Kings||10 p.m. ET|
Toronto Raptors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
|Tipoff||8 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Raheem Palmer: The Oklahoma City Thunder are the worst offense in the league (103 points per 100 possessions), and things have gotten worse since losing their leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. With Gilgeous-Alexander on the floor, the Thunder were scoring 105.9 points per 100 possessions compared to 99 with him off (+6.9).
Their offense isn’t scaring anyone, and they’ll be tasked with facing a Raptors defense that has been holding teams to just 108.6 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage-time minutes the last two weeks — fifth in the NBA.
Dealing with the length of OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam is tough enough, but Fred VanVleet is also one of the better defenders as a point guard. There simply won’t be many opportunities to score for a Thunder offense that ranks last in 3-point shooting (31.8%) and field goal percentage at the rim (58.4%). In addition, the Thunder are 29th in Halfcourt Offense (87.5 points per 100 possessions) and 23rd in Transition (1.7 points per 100 possessions).
Despite how anemic the Thunder are offensively, they are solid defensively, ranking second in Defensive Rating (104.4) over the past two weeks. While the Raptors’ offense has performed well recently, they are still just 26th in Halfcourt Offense at 90.5 points per 100 possessions. The Raptors rank 26th in Pace (96.1), 25th in Offensive Length of Possession (15.1 seconds) and 28th in Defensive Length of Possession (14.9 seconds) according to DunksAndThrees.com.
Although the Thunder play a little quicker, they’re still just 26th in Pace (98.2) and likely won’t find many transition opportunities against a Raptors team which is seventh in Transition Defense.
A slow-pace game that features an outright bad offense, and one that isn’t dominant in the half court is a great recipe for an under.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Sacramento Kings
|Pick||Patrick Beverley Over 0.5 blocks +115|
|Tipoff||10 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Brandon Anderson: Patrick Beverley is an absolute pest, and who can blame him? The man has had to fight for his place on a basketball court his entire career.
After he was suspended from the team at the University of Arkansas for academic probation, Beverley was so convinced of his basketball abilities that he left the team and headed to Europe to hone his skills. He played professionally in Ukraine, then Greece, then Russia, winning titles and All-Star berths all along the way, then finally got his shot in the NBA with the Rockets. One year later, Beverley cracked his way into the starting lineup, and he’s been nagging NBA players ever since.
Beverley is that annoying guy at the YMCA who picks you up full-court and won’t shut his mouth all game. There’s a reason Pat Bev is called Mr. 94 Feet. He’s the guy you absolutely love on your team and hate on your opponent’s. Beverley is the epitome of a 3-and-D guard. He pesters opposing guards all games and hits occasional 3s when it’s his time.
That doesn’t mean much in the box score, but it does mean routine steals and blocks. And this year, it’s meant more blocks than ever. In Beverley’s first season with the Timberwolves, he’s averaging a career-high 0.9 blocks per game, and that would be a full block per game if not for two games where he left hurt and played only a few minutes.
Beverly is crafty and always finds a way to get his hand on the ball, and that leads to both steals and blocks. And he’s already been very successful against the Kings as a shot-blocker this season. His highest block total of the season, three, came against Sacramento, and he had two in his other Kings game. That one happened just last night, and three of those five blocks have been on De’Aaron Fox. Fox and small rookie guard Davion Mitchell should get even more minutes now that Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield were traded, so that means even more block opportunities for Beverley.
Beverley has recorded a block in 22 of 36 Timberwolves games, and remember, that’s really 22 of 34 since two games were essentially cameo appearances. That’s a 65% hit rate, but we’re getting plus juice on this line, and against the team Beverley has blocked most successfully this season.