The NBA season rolls past the halfway point with nine games on Wednesday. Our NBA experts have four best bets for you to tail, including a pair of bets for Hornets vs. Rockets. Find their picks and analysis below.
NBA Odds & Picks
|Click on a game to skip ahead|
|Hawks vs. Mavericks Spread||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Hornets vs. Rockets 1H ML||8 p.m. ET|
|Hornets vs. Rockets Prop||8 p.m. ET|
|Clippers vs. Jazz Spread||9 p.m. ET|
Hawks vs. Mavericks Spread
|Tipoff||7:30 p.m. ET|
Matt Moore: The Mavericks get up for big games. Dallas is 10-2 straight up this season at home vs. teams over .500. Their ATS mark is poor, but this is a great spot. Josh Green and Dorian Finney-Smith return to the lineup, enabling their defensive identity which was completely absent with them out.
The line won’t move on those two players, but with Green in particular, it should. Dallas is +8.2 with him on the floor this season in Net Rating, the best of any rotation player, and -2.3 with him on the bench.
Atlanta is coming off a big win against the Heat at home on MLK Monday, so this is a letdown spot. Luka Doncic will never forget Atlanta trading him on draft night; he’s 3-0 straight up against the Hawks at home, and this line is shorter than the usual average. I make this Mavs -7, so I’m happy to lay the points at whatever this winds up at.
Hornets vs. Rockets 1H ML
|Pick||Houston Rockets 1st Half Moneyline +108|
|Tipoff||8 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Jim Turvey: Let me start by agreeing with Matt Moore from today’s episode of BUCKETS: The Charlotte Hornets should simply NOT be favored right now in basically any game, let alone a game in which they are on the road!
The Hornets are 11-34, and granted, that means the only team behind them in the standings is the team they are facing on Wednesday night, the 10-34 Houston Rockets. However, home court does still have to count for something, and most rating systems see these teams as around even, maybe Hornets -2 on a neutral court, but not -2 *in Houston.*
So while I like the overall game moneyline play on Houston as well, I am going to get even more targeted with this best bet.
The Hornets have been basically the worst team in the Association this season, by Net Rating, in the first half of games. It’s the Hornets at -10.0, the Spurs at -10.3 and then a 3-point gap to the next team. Of course, the next team is the Rockets (this is a true bottom-feeder matchup), but if we look at the spread data, it shows just how significant the gap in these two teams’ first-half performances has been.
The Rockets are actually the seventh-best team in the NBA when it comes to first-half spreads this season. They are 24-19-1, for a 6.5% ROI in the first half. If you go just by when they are at home, that’s even a little better, as they are 13-7 against the spread, for a 23.8% ROI that ranks fifth in the entire league so far this season.
By contrast, the Hornets are dead-last in the NBA in first-half spread ROI. They are 16-28-1 against the spread in the first 24 minutes, an ROI of -30.1 percent that, as noted, ranks dead last in the NBA this season. Home or away, it doesn’t matter much; the Hornets just underperform in the first half game after game this season.
Hornets vs. Rockets Prop
|Pick||Jalen Green Over 2.5 3s Made (-130)|
|Tipoff||8 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Munaf Manji: The Rockets are facing the Hornets, who are one of the worst 3-point defending teams in the association. Over the last 10 games. the Hornets are allowing opposing teams to shoot 37.8% from beyond the arc and are allowing 14.5 makes per game, which rank 28th over that span. Furthermore, the Hornets are allowing opposing teams to attempt 38.4 3s per game.
Jalen Green has struggled shooting at an efficient percentage, but he has not been shy about attempting 3-point shots. Over the last five games, Green is averaging close to 10 3-point attempts per game and making 3.2 3s per game. However, Green has knocked at least three 3-point shots in four out of the last five games. I expect Green to thrive against the struggling Hornets 3-point defense.
Clippers vs. Jazz Spread
|Tipoff||9 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Chris Baker: This line is a bit disrespectful to the Clippers considering that Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are both currently listed as available tonight. The Clippers did play last night, so there is always the potential for rest, but as long as one of them is available, I like this spot for the Clippers.
The Clippers have been massively disappointing, but they still are a great defense that does a solid job of limiting clean looks from 3. They rank 15th in opponent 3-point Rate Allowed and sixth in opponent 3-point percentage (35.1%). That is obviously crucial when playing this Jazz team that loves to bomb away from deep, ranking fourth in the offensive 3-point Rate.
The Clippers have the wings and bodies to switch everything in this game, so expect them to do a great job of defending the three point line.
On offense, the Clippers should have their way against the Jazz. The Jazz do not have a lot of tweener wings who can switch like the Clippers do. Between Jordan Clarkson, Mike Conley, Lauri Markannen and Walker Kessler, their team is mostly just small guards and really big bigs. This is not a recipe for success against this wing-heavy Clippers offense built around Leonard, George and Marcus Morris. The Jazz do a great job of limiting 3s, but that in turn leaves them susceptible at the rim and in the midrange area of the floor. The Jazz defense ranks 26th and 27th in Midrange Rate and Midrange Accuracy, respectively.
Finally, this is just the ultimate buy-low, sell-high spot as this number has been wildly inflated from our priors heading into the season. If I told you back in October that the Jazz would ever be 6.5-point favorites against a mostly healthy Clippers team that was favored to go to the finals, you would have looked at me like I was a crazy person.
Sometimes you have to buy low in these types of spots when the matchup is right. I expect the Clippers to compete and certainly have a chance to win. Play this down to +5 and sprinkle the moneyline at prices above +200.