Saturday’s NBA slate should be another fantastic night of basketball. There are six games on the schedule and every game features a team that still has postseason aspirations.
Our crew of betting analysts are targeting three of those matchups for their best bets today. You can find their expert picks and betting predictions for Saturday’s slate below.
NBA Odds & Picks
|Click on a game to skip ahead|
|Miami Heat vs. Brooklyn Nets||8 p.m. ET|
|Milwaukee Bucks vs. Denver Nuggets||9 p.m. ET|
|New Orleans Pelicans vs. Los Angeles Clippers||10:30 p.m. ET|
Miami Heat vs. Brooklyn Nets
|Pick||Jimmy Butler o24.5 points (-115)|
|Tipoff||8 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Bryan Fonseca: There are very … very … very few players in the NBA worth betting on more than Jimmy Butler now that we’re in the JiMVP portion of the calendar.
Now, this prop is a lofty number — but here’s why you should feel good about it. Butler is not only averaging 26.3 points since the All-Star Break, he’s netted 25 or more points in seven of his last 11 games, including each of his last two. He’s coming out in attack mode and setting the tone for a Heat team that’s been woefully inconsistent all season, but is one of six teams in the NBA who’ve won at least seven of their last ten games.
Saturday night is a virtual must-win for both the Heat and the Nets, and even the most die-hard Net fans — the ones in New Jersey, not Williamsburg — would acknowledge that they are terrified over Saturday night. The 40-34 Heat are 0.5 games ahead of the 39-34 Nets, who would be the No. 7 seed and in the play-in if the season ended today.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Denver Nuggets
|Tipoff||9 p.m. ET|
Chris Baker: This is a cheap price for a Nuggets team at home with a two-day rest advantage.
Milwaukee is certainly in better form right now, but this is a difficult situational spot for them. Expect the Nuggets to play with massive urgency as this team knows they need to get their flow back before entering the playoffs.
The Nuggets have struggled as of late but when they are clicking on offense they have looked like the best team in the NBA in my opinion. Their starting-5 has a net-rating of +12.9 on the season. Season-long these two teams are separated by 1.1 points in Net Rating as the Bucks are +4.2 versus the Nuggets +3.1. Factoring in home court, rest, and travel I have this one lined closer to -3.5/-4 so I will gladly take -2 in what I view as a get up game for Denver.
The Nuggets have heard the noise about their performance against top teams and they should be prepared to defend with urgency tonight. Back the Nuggets to defend their home court and earn a statement win in Denver tonight.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Los Angeles Clippers
|Tipoff||10:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Andrew O’Connor-Watts: The Pelicans take on the Clippers in LA in what should be a relatively low-scoring game.
The Clippers last game was against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the game either went over, under or pushed depending on the number you got. But it took a total meltdown both offensively and defensively on the Thunder’s part for the Clippers to score 73 in the second half.
I think we see some offensive regression from the Clippers performance on Thursday. If we take that game out, they’re averaging 112.7 points per game in their last 10.
The Clippers offense has been admittedly efficient in that span (119.3 per 100 possessions). That efficiency has dropped significantly to 112 in the absence of Paul George this season who will be sidelined for 2-3 weeks with a sprained knee. Without George in the lineup, the Clippers are 10-6-1 to the under.
Offense hasn’t been the Pelicans calling card this season. They rank 21st in Adjusted Offensive Rating 113.4, per NBA Advanced Stats, but on the road, their efficiency drops to just 111.5.
Despite struggling with efficiency, the Pelicans are 8-2 ATS vs. the Clippers in the last 10 games thanks to slow and defensive games with minimal free throw shooting. The Pelicans average just 19.1 free throw attempts per game in the last 10 meetings, while the Clippers attempt just 20.1.
Both teams trend to the under in their respective home/away splits and have been trending under lately. The Pelicans are 22-13-1 to the under on the road and 10-2 in their last 12, while the Clippers are 17-20 at home and 5-2 in their last seven. Six of the last seven meetings between these teams have gone under and I like it down to 222.5.