We’ve got a solid card of NBA games tonight, but spicing things up with a few bets can’t hurt. I’m bullish on Minnesota against New Orleans tonight, and I’ve got my eye on one player in Golden State’s battle with Memphis — and it isn’t Klay Thompson.
Here are my top NBA betting picks for Tuesday’s action.
Written Picks YTD: 71-71-0 (+11.9u)
Model ATS Picks YTD: 76-58-2 (+11.2u)*
Model ML Picks YTD: 13-21 (+6.3u)*
*Follow me @is_sirois for the model’s picks.
1. Timberwolves 1H -1.5 | -108 (.5u) at FD Sportsbook
2. Pelicans Under 112.5 | -106 (.5u) at FD Sportsbook
I expect the Timberwolves to win and cover the 3.5-point spread tonight. That said, bettors can take two other angles to get at the same result.
First, it makes sense to target the Timberwolves in the first half because the Pelicans tend to play better in the second halves of games than in the second. New Orleans ranks fourth-worst in first-half scoring with just 51.8 points per half. That gives them the seventh-worst average first-half margin (-2.4). In contrast, the Timberwolves have played solid first-half basketball, as they rank 14th in points per first half (55.4) and 13th in average first-half margin (+1.1).
Minnesota has gone 2-1 against New Orleans this year, and each of their wins stemmed from strong first-half showings. They got out to a 13-point lead and an 18-point lead in the first halves of those games.
Second, the Pelicans should struggle against Minnesota’s defense, and I expect that will keep their total under this number. Minnesota ranks seventh in defensive efficiency this year, and they allow just 104.7 baskets per 100 possessions. That number has been improving lately, as they permitted just 98.9 baskets per 100 possessions over their last three games.
New Orleans has scored 89, 107, and 96 points against Minnesota this year. They haven’t gone over this number since a January 1st blowout loss to the Bucks, and they have beaten it just four times since December 1st. The Pelicans have scored no more than 116 points through that span, so when they did beat this number, it wasn’t by much.
3. Kevon Looney o7.5 Rebounds | -105 at FD Sportsbook
It’s risky to chase Looney’s 18-rebound performance from Sunday night, but with the world’s eyes on Klay Thompson, the books haven’t sufficiently adjusted this number. Draymond Green will sit out Golden State’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, and he basically sat out Sunday’s matchup with the Cavaliers. That allowed Looney to play 29 minutes and stuff the stat sheet.
Green isn’t the best rebounder, but his rebound rate (13.8%) still ranks third on Golden State’s roster. The Warriors also may not have Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II tonight, as both as day-to-day with minor ailments. Porter ranks fifth in rebound rate (13%) and Payton sixth (11.9%), which would free up even more boards for Looney.
Also, the Memphis Grizzlies may not have their best rebounder tonight. Steven Adams is questionable because of the health and safety protocols, and without him and his 19.4% rebound rate, the Grizzlies will have to trust Brandon Clarke (15.4%) to clean the glass.
Looney averages 6.7 rebounds per game, but he has nabbed at least eight in his past two games. Look for him to keep that streak alive as the Warriors give him a bit more run with Green sidelined.
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