Betting early in the NBA season is a fun challenge. Sharp models are yet to mature, player per-game averages are yet to normalize, and sportsbooks are yet to adjust. That’s created some decent value for us so far, and I’m excited to share what I’ve found on today’s slate.
Here are my top NBA betting picks for Tuesday’s action.
Written Picks YTD: 6-4-0 (+3.96u)
Total Picks YTD: 13-11-0 (+8.120u)*
*Follow me @is_sirois for any other plays.
1. Jakob Poeltl o8.5 Rebounds | -104 at FD Sportsbook
If you read my NBA picks each day, get ready to see a lot of Jakob Poeltl. The man is a beast on the glass. Poeltl is averaging 30.2 minutes and 9.7 rebounds per game. The 26-year-old center will see a lot of minutes this season as Gregg Popovich’s Spurs no longer have as much size as they used to. Poeltl is the only seven-footer on the roster and leads the team in win shares with 0.5. He even ranks 14th overall in the metric.
Poeltl has been an elite rebounder thus far. His total rebounding percentage (18.4%) is better than every Los Angeles Laker except DeAndre Jordan (19.4%). But unlike Poeltl, Jordan usually plays less than 15 minutes per game, so we don’t have to worry too much about him. Poeltl also has a three-inch advantage on Anthony Davis (15.7%) and Dwight Howard (13.5%), if you were curious.
I’ll give you one final reason to target Poeltl here. Despite their advanced age, the Lakers are playing at the NBA’s second-fastest pace. The high number of possessions per game means they allow the 10th-most total rebounds per game (57.3) and the fourth-most to centers (19.8).
2. Derrick White o4.5 Assists | -118 at FD Sportsbook
We’re coming back to the Spurs for this one. The 27-year-old Derrick White has shifted from the one to the two through his five-year career, but there’s still lots of point guard in his game. He averaged 3.5 assists per game last year with DeMar DeRozan still on the roster. With him gone, that number has jumped to 6.7 per game. White recorded four against the Magic but eight against the Nuggets and Bucks.
Like Poeltl, the advanced stats love White through three games. His assist percentage sits at an impressive 26.2%, just below teammate (and starting point guard) Dejounte Murray’s rate of 27.2%. The Spurs have even used White at the one for 20% of his minutes.
The Lakers’ fast pace has also led to them giving up plenty of assists. They’re giving up the second-most assists per game in the association (28.7) and the most to point guards (13.8). They’ve been a bit stingier against opposing twos, but their three games have come against the Warriors, Suns, and Grizzlies — teams that don’t really need their shooting guards to chip in with passing.
3. Kevin Porter Jr. o4.5 Assists | -122 at FD Sportsbook
The Rockets continue to feature KPJ at the one spot. He has spent 59% of his minutes there, and aside from reserves Armoni Brooks and D.J. Augustin, only Eric Gordon has ever really displaced him at point guard. As such, KPJ gets plenty of chances to dish out assists.
The 21-year-old prospect is averaging 30.7 minutes and 5.3 assists per game. That said, he has only hit the over on this total once. He did so in a high-scoring blowout win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. While a similar game script probably isn’t in store for him against the Dallas Mavericks, a few numbers give us cause for optimism.
Here are the key numbers to know for KPJ. First, he recorded three assists against the Mavs last year. He did so despite John Wall operating as the primary ball-handler. Wall played 34 minutes and racked up seven dimes, but he isn’t playing anymore, so most of that production should end up in KPJ’s hands. Second, Dallas is allowing the 15th-most assists per game (24) despite playing at the NBA’s second-slowest pace, which gives them the ninth-worst ratio of assists to field goals made (60.8%). Lastly, despite splitting time at the one with Gordon, Augustin, and Brooks, KPJ leads the Rockets in assist percentage (26.4%).
4. Parlay: Poeltl 8+ RBD + KPJ 4+ AST + GSW ML | +170 (.5u) at FD Sportsbook
I love Tuesday’s lines so much that I’ve combined a few into parlays. The first of these gives us a bit of insurance on the above straights, as we’ve shaved a rebound off Poeltl’s total and an assist off KPJ’s. That alone gives us a parlay with +120 odds, so we’ll mix in Golden State’s moneyline odds to spice things up a bit. The Warriors swept the Thunder last year, including two 30-point wins. With the Thunder still struggling to, well, play basketball, I’m confident that the Warriors will grab an easy win here. This parlay has already fallen from +175 in the time it took me to write this article.
5. SGP: Poeltl 10+ RBD + White 6+ AST | +492 (.25u) at FD Sportsbook
Now that’s what I call value! Poeltl has only recorded 10 or more rebounds once this year, but the Lakers’ fast pace and poor rebounding will help him stuff the stat sheet. Poeltl went for 10 or more rebounds 21 times last year, so this outcome is well within the realm of possibilities for him. On the other side of this SGP, Derrick White has recorded six or more assists twice already. Although he only accomplished this seven times in 36 games last season, DeMar DeRozan’s departure leaves him with the ball in his hands a bit more often. Like the parlay above, this one has also already fallen in value, this time from +517.
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