Saturday evening’s NBA slate features six games that tip at 7 p.m. ET or late, including two battles between contenders in the Eastern and Western Conference: Nuggets vs Grizzlies (8 p.m. ET) and Celtics vs 76ers (8:30 p.m. ET).
Our analysts are focused on two games on Saturday’s slate and have four picks for their best bets, including a first half spread and an escalator prop. Read on for their expert picks and predictions below.
NBA Odds & Picks
|Click on a game to skip ahead|
|Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Hornets||7 p.m. ET|
|Denver Nuggets vs. Memphis Grizzlies||8 p.m. ET|
Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Hornets
|Pick||Heat 1H -2.5 (-114) | Heat -5 Full Game (-108)|
|Tipoff||7 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Austin Wang: After getting blown out by the Bucks last night, the Miami Heat travel to Charlotte to face their divisional opponent. The Hornets, who have now won three in a row, are also on the second night of a back-to-back. They pulled off an upset win against the Timberwolves on the road Friday night. This sets up for a bounce-back angle for the Heat and a let-down spot for the Hornets.
In addition, the Heat will be seeking revenge after losing to the Hornets 122-117 back on Jan. 29. In yesterday’s blowout loss, the Heat starters only played 20 minutes while the Hornets got full utilization out of their top guys. Also, P.J. Washington suffered an ankle injury in last night’s game and while his status for tonight’s game is still unknown, this will have an impact a thin Hornets squad.
The Heat are motivated to break this three-game losing streak and should have a great opportunity against the lowly Hornets. I am playing them full game and in the first half. The Hornets are the league’s worst team against the first half spread at 22-38-1 for the season.
Denver Nuggets vs. Memphis Grizzlies
|Pick||Michael Porter Jr. 4+ 3s (+145) | 5+ 3s (+330)|
|Tipoff||8 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Joe Dellera: Let’s start the weekend off with some plus-money alternate prop lines.
I’m choosing to forego MPJ’s base line here as I don’t see value based on the implied odds. On the season he’s exceeded 2.5 3s in 63% of games but that gives us implied odds of -169, which is directly in line with his current prop.
MPJ’s hit rate at 3.5 differs a bit from his odds — he’s exceeded 3.5 3s in 40% of his games so there’s slight value at the current price of (+160) for 4+ 3s. However, Aaron Gordon (rib) will miss today’s showdown against the Grizzlies and this is where the value comes in.
In 11 games without Gordon this season, MPJ has averaged 3.4 3s per game, but he has never ended on three 3s. He’s hit four or more in six of those 11 games and five or more in five. Just based strictly on trends, these numbers are out of line.
Looking at the specific matchup, the Grizzlies allow the fifth-most 3-point attempts and this has spiked without Steven Adams. They are allowing 13.8 made 3s in the 12 games Adams (knee) has missed.
This is a great spot for MPJ, and a relative Pace Up spot as Memphis plays at the seventh-fastest Pace in the league. I’ll grab those plus money alts and expect a flurry from Porter Jr. (Note: I grabbed these at +160 and +380, but bet365 currently has the best lines.