Tuesday night’s NBA slate will get pushed to the back burner a bit with college basketball taking center stage this week. However, there are a number of games on the schedule with implications to the standings in each conference. Two of those games are on NBA TV: Nuggets vs Raptors (7:30 p.m. ET) and Bucks vs Suns (10 p.m. ET).
Action Network’s NBA crew is looking at two other matchups for their best bets today and they see value in a first half and full game spread. Read on for their betting analysis and expert picks below.
NBA Odds & Picks
|Click on a game to skip ahead|
|Denver Nuggets vs. Toronto Raptors||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Brooklyn Nets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder||8 p.m. ET|
|New York Knicks vs. Portland Trail Blazers||10 p.m. ET|
Denver Nuggets vs. Toronto Raptors
|Tipoff||7:30 p.m. ET|
Jacob McKenna: I wrote about this game in greater detail in tonight’s Nuggets-Raptors betting guide. Neither Denver nor Toronto can figure things out on the defensive end of the floor, and as a result I think the over is in play for this matchup.
In five games this month Toronto ranks 30th in Opponent Field Goal Percentage (52.5%) and 29th in Opponent Three-Point Percentage (43.8%). They are allowing 116.1 points per 100 possessions in March an increase from their 113.4 rating through February.
The Nuggets also allow more points away from Ball Arena this season. As the home team the Nuggets own a Defensive Rating of 110.6, but while on the road that rating rises to 116.8.
Plenty of trends suggest to back the over here. According to TeamRankings the over is 15-8 in games in which the Nuggets play and Eastern Conference opponent, and when Toronto goes head-to-head with an opponent from the West the over is 17-10.
Additionally, these two teams met last Tuesday and combined for 231 points.
There are a few key players on the injury report, most notably Jamal Murray, but I still think there will be plenty of opportunities for both teams to pile on the points. This line has dipped sine opening but I like the over to 231.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
|Tipoff||8 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Chris Baker: I’ll bite on the Thunder at near even money at home versus a hot Nets team. The Nets are coming off two straight impressive road wins against the Nuggets and Timberwolves, but I don’t like this matchup for them.
The Nets defense has prioritized taking away the 3-point line as they rank fourth in opponent 3-point attempt rate since trading away Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. However, they rank just 24th in opponent rim rate allowed and that is a huge problem against this Thunder team. The Thunder rank second in offensive rim rate this season. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander should play as he rested their previous game against the Spurs.
Nic Claxton is an exceptional rim-protector, but he will likely be stretched out a bit as the Thunder play five shooters at all times. Furthermore, Spencer Dinwiddie isn’t a good point of attack defender so I expect him to have issues defending SGA and that will force the Nets into rotations all night.
On the flip side of the ball, the Thunder will have to do a better job of running 3-point shooters off the line as the Nets have been jacking 3s at a top-six rate since the trade. I am not in love with this matchup for the Nets offense as the Thunder can comfortably slot Luguentz Dort onto Mikal Bridges. Bridges has been remarkably impressive as a scorer, but I’m not sure he can score, create, and force rotations against this stout Thunder wing defense. This may lead the Nets to more Dinwiddie isolation offense and I think that favors the Thunder’s defense.
Between SGA, Josh Giddey and Jalen Williams, I just trust the OKC playmakers much more than this current version of the Nets. I expect the continuity of this Thunder team to show tonight and the Thunder to defend their home court. I took the Thunder at -1 and would play this up to -2.5.
New York Knicks vs. Portland Trail Blazers
|Pick||Knicks 1H -1.5|
|Tipoff||10 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Malik Smith: The Knicks close out their road trip out West with a matchup in Portland against the Trail Blazers. The ‘Bockers won’t have Jalen Brunson (doubtful) who is nursing a sore foot and the Blazers have Jerami Grant and Damian Lillard listed as questionable.
For this game, though, I’m less interested in injuries and more focused on trends. The Blazers aren’t home dogs in the first half often, but when they have been this season, they are just 2-7 against the first half spread and fail to cover by 4.6 points on average.
The Knicks are the best first half team in the NBA and their success travels: 26-8-1 ATS at home and 22-13 ATS on the road. As road favorites, the Knicks are 5-3 and while their offense sees a noticeable dip in continuity without Brunson, I think they still have a significant edge over a Trail Blazers team that has a 0.0 Net Rating in the first half this season.