With March Madness in the books, the NBA returns to the fore of the basketball world. The association has a mighty 12-game slate on tap this evening. Fans will get to see the Lakers fight for their playoff lives and multiple other squads jockey for seeding. I’ve parsed through a stacked betting card for my top three plays of the evening.
Here are my top NBA betting picks for Tuesday’s action.
1. PPD: Andre Drummond Double-Double/Brooklyn to Win | +114 at FD Sportsbook
Haha, what? The Brooklyn Nets are -2200 favorites, and Drummond has odds of -115 to record a double-double. A normal, uncorrelated parlay of these lines would yield odds below even. Yet this prop sits in the plus money by a healthy margin! Unless you think the Nets are less likely to win if Drummond gets a double-double (or if Drummond is less likely to do so if the Nets win—which you could maybe argue if you think this is a blowout and Drummond gets rested), this line feels like a solid value bet.
Drummond has recorded 15 double-doubles in 69 games this season, most of which came as a reserve player for the Philadelphia 76ers. Since arriving in Brooklyn, Drummond has notched eight of those double-doubles in 20 games. Not bad.
But it’s Houston’s defensive play that make this play a slam-dunk. The Rockets, for all their late-season pluckiness, have surrendered the most points and the third-most rebounds to centers this year. Although they’ve been slightly more effective over their last seven contests, they still give up 28.2 points and 17.4 rebounds per game to opposing fives. Alperen Sengun, Jae’Sean Tate, and Usman Garuba just haven’t been able to lock down the paint—the Rockets were already giving up an NBA-high 53.3 points in the paint per game, but that has spiked to 60 for their last three games.
2. Rockets +17.5 | -115 at FD Sportsbook
Here’s a crazy stat: if you faded the Nets against the spread in every home game this year, you’d be 29-8-1. Assuming you bet $100 at -110 every time, you’d be up $1,911 without really trying. That’s nuts. While it’s a little late to make that kind of cash, I have no issue fading the Nets against one of the widest spreads this season.
Of course, the Rockets are a tough team to bet on. But that’s exactly why Vegas is giving us so many points—they know we wouldn’t do it otherwise. That creates an opportunity for sharp bettors like us to fade a popular public team. This line opened at 18.5, but the books have had to adjust due to sharp money coming in on Houston.
I feel comfortable about targeting Houston here because of the heart Stephen Silas and his players have shown down the stretch. They fought hard against the Timberwolves on Sunday, and the referees even ejected Silas for arguing about calls. Tanking teams don’t usually do things like that. Houston’s young squad wants to prove something—and Silas wants to keep his job—so look for them to keep this one within a smaller margin.
3. Parlay: PHI ML + CLE ML + NOR ML | -111 at DK Sportsbook
It’s not every day that you can cook up a three-leg moneyline parlay of teams with something to play for facing teams without. It’s even rarer for such a play to give you a play with close to even odds, but that’s exactly what we’ve got. Betting based on raw game theory is a profitable way to handle the NBA’s last-season games, and I’ll map out why each leg of this should cash.
First, the 76ers will play the Indiana Pacers tonight. Philadelphia finds itself in a three-way race for the No. 2 seed, and they are currently on the losing end of it. The Celtics are a half-game up and the Bucks own the tiebreaker. As a result, the 76ers will need to score some late-season wins to secure the seed they want. In contrast, the Indiana Pacers have long since been eliminated. They find themselves on a seven-game losing streak, too.
Second, the Cavaliers will face the Orlando Magic here. Currently the No. 7 seed, Cleveland sits 2.5 games behind the No. 6 Toronto Raptors and 1.5 games ahead of the No. 8 Atlanta Hawks. Although a secured playoff spot is probably out of reach, the Cavaliers still must work to clinch a home game for the play-in. As a result, I expect them to put their best foot forward against a Magic squad that’s on a six-game slide.
We’ll wrap up with the Pelicans over the Sacramento Kings. Unlike the Magic and Pacers, the Kings just got eliminated last night, although they had been playing like their season was over for a while longer. The losses of Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox pretty much sealed the deal on their 2021-22 campaign, and Sacramento won’t be able to top a Pelicans squad looking to secure their play-in spot.
Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our How To Bet and Sports Betting Strategy and Advice pages are for you. You can get started with our Sports Betting 101 Section — including 10 Sports Betting Tips for Beginners — or head to more advanced sports betting strategy — like Key Numbers When Betting Against the Spread — to learn more.