We have six games on the docket for Saturday night in the NBA, and our betting analysts have targeted three for their best picks.
We’ll start out in New Orleans, which is the latest bettor’s paradise in the United States, where the Celtics will take on the Pelicans. Then, we have a player prop for the Kings’ visit to Philadelphia before moving to Memphis for the Wizards’ matchup against the Grizzlies.
Memphis was the star of our picks last night, which worked out well for those who followed. Let’s check out where the value lies one night later.
NBA Odds & Picks
|Click on a game to skip ahead|
|Celtics vs. Pelicans||7 p.m. ET|
|Kings vs. 76ers||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Wizards vs. Grizzlies||8 p.m. ET|
Celtics vs. Pelicans
|Tipoff||7 p.m. ET|
Raheem Palmer: The Celtics are coming off a disappointing 108-92 loss to the Hawks and get to take on a Pelicans team that’s in the midst of a total tailspin, losing two straight by double digits.
This is the perfect bounce-back spot for Boston, which defeated the Pelicans at home 104-92 just two weeks ago. New Orleans will come into this game shorthanded with Devonte Graham, Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas questionable, while the Celtics are at full strength.
Over the last two weeks, the Celtics are first in the NB in Defensive Rating, allowing 106.1 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage time minutes according to Cleaning the Glass. Last night, it was their offense that failed them as they were just 7-of-36 (19.4%) from 3-point range, which led to an Offensive Rating of just 96.2. I can assure you, that won’t happen tonight against a Pelicans defense which is 21st in Defensive Rating, allowing 114.3 points per 100 possessions over the last two weeks.
Also, the Pelicans are dead last in opponent 3-point shooting percentage (37.1%) and 25th in opponent field goal percentage at the rim (66.5%), an area where the Celtics thrive at shooting (67.7% at the rim, seventh in the NBA).
With the Pelicans’ half-court offense ranking 28th in points per possession (88.2) and 29th in defensive half-court points per possession (98.9), they’re overmatched in this one.
Kings vs. 76ers
|Pick||Richaun Holmes over 10.5 points (-120)|
|Tipoff||7:30 p.m. ET|
Brandon Anderson: It’s been a tough season for Richaun Holmes.
After breaking out last season, he was playing well again to start the year with 14.5 points per game in his first 20 games.
But everything went sideways on Dec. 4. Holmes picked up a nick that game and finished with only one point, then scored just four points in only 10 minutes his next game before missing a couple weeks.
Holmes returned, was poor again for a 10-day stretch, then sat out again the first half of January. Holmes returned to play on Jan. 16 but played under 15 minutes in his return.
Finally, though, it appears that the Kings big man is getting back on track. Holmes has scored double digits in three of the four games since that return, and he looks like he’s back to his regular minutes load again now too. He’s back at 12.0 points per game over the last four with at least nine points in every game, putting him within one bucket of the over each time.
I also like the matchup against Philadelphia, a team Holmes played for and always seems to relish the chance to face — he had 18 points against the Sixers earlier this season.
Wizards vs. Grizzlies
|Tipoff||8 p.m. ET|
Matthew Trebby: While Washington hasn’t played since Tuesday and the Grizzlies had to grind out a result last night in Utah, I’m not concerned for Memphis.
The Wizards have lost four straight games and have been spiraling downhill since a promising start to the season had them looking like they’d be contending for a playoff spot in the East. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies are 34-17 and thriving on both ends of the floor, powered by Ja Morant’s ascension to stardom.
This line should be much higher, and probably would if Memphis had the same rest that Washington comes in with. That’s no need to worry, though.
As our Jacob McKenna breaks down in his game preview, the Grizzlies are 6-3 against the spread (ATS) on the back ends of a back-to-back this season, and they’re 16-11 ATS at home this season.
One team ranks seventh in Net Rating on the season, and the other 23rd. I’m not going to worry about Memphis being fatigued here, as it has taken care of business all season. I’ll back the Grizz up to -7.