NBA Picks, Predictions and Lines
Looking for today's NBA betting lines, picks and predictions? Get all the NBA point spreads, money lines and over/unders and enjoy predictions and picks for selected games.
NBA Preview and Predictions
We’re into the dog days of the NBA season. The excitement of team changes at the deadline has waned. Playoff positions are yet to be decided. While the congestion in both conferences means each game is important, we are still not at that stage where fans are watching the standings every night.
Star men are missing games. Others are slowly returning, altering the NBA betting picture on a nightly basis.
We’ve picked out four of the most exciting games in this week’s NBA schedule.
Brooklyn Nets vs Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday
Kevin Durant is back, but James Harden is out with a hamstring injury, which will likely see the former Rocket sit out this matchup. While battling for the top seed in the East, Philadelphia and Brooklyn are yet to matchup when both are at full health.
The Sixers have suffered some surprise losses recently. Ben Simmons’ inconsistencies have remained, with his offensive production dropping off after a good few weeks. There are signs of rust from Joel Embiid too, with the Cameroonian playing with a knee brace.
Winning this game without Harden would be a massive statement from Brooklyn. For Philly, this is a major opportunity to take control atop the conference.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Atlanta Hawks, Thursday
Atlanta has been surging since Nate McMillan took over. Bogdan Bogdanovic, after an injury earlier in the campaign, is playing well. This, of course, is a case of what could have been for the former King, who was almost traded to the Bucks in the offseason.
Milwaukee is one of just six teams with a better net rating than the Hawks since the All-Star break. They are just quietly going about their business, picking up wins and carefully managing the workload on their star players. While a top two spot is unlikely, the Bucks are firmly among the inner circle of title contenders.
The Hawks’ improvement is indisputable. This is an interesting matchup all over the court, and particularly with Jrue Holiday guarding Trae Young. Milwaukee’s defense could earn them the W.
Utah Jazz vs Los Angeles Lakers, Saturday
The top seed against the champions has a certain intrigue, even with LeBron James unavailable. Anthony Davis is due to return in the next few days, though, and could come back for this matchup with Rudy Gobert and the Utah Jazz.
Up at 40-13 at the start of the week, Utah keeps winning, and keeps winning big. Their net rating is comprehensively better than any other team since the break.
Frank Vogel has proven his ability as a defensive coach. Even without two All-Defense caliber players, Los Angeles has stuck as the league’s best defense. Andre Drummond’s arrival has given them another big body to prevent Gobert as a roll threat.
Utah will be favored for this even if Davis returns. It’s a brave call to bet against the Jazz this season.
Sacramento Kings vs Dallas Mavericks, Sunday
It’s been a season of streaks for Sacramento. Their postseason drought could yet come to an end, but Luke Walton once again needs to arrest a poor run. Just as they began to put the pressure on the Warriors for the final play-in berth, the Kings have dropped off.
Dallas, in contrast, has been a model of consistency after a rough start. They own an 18-11 record and sit fifth in net rating since the All-Star break. Rick Carlisle, like good coaches do, has figured things out at both ends.
This is the first of three meetings in quick succession between these two teams. Dallas will be favored, but the unpredictable Kings have the talent to keep it close and could be worth betting ATS.
How to read NBA odds
Those new to NBA betting can find the odds pages confusing. Getting to grips with the terminology is important before placing your first NBA wager – bettors need to know how much they can win and how to identify value.
Betting an NBA game usually involves the spread, moneyline and points total. The spread will often be the first thing visible on a bookies’ page. This is a way to level the betting market between two teams, effectively handicapping the favorite. Teams will be listed with a plus or a minus – for example, if the Lakers are -7.5 against the Clippers, they need to win by eight points for the bet to cash.
In this example, the Clips would cover as the ‘dogs’ if they are within seven points of the Lakers when the game ends.
Moneyline and points total bets are more intuitive. The moneyline is a straight up wager on who wins the game. Moneyline odds on NBA games can be extreme – it’s not uncommon to see teams as short as -1000. This is why betting against the spread is such a popular way to bet NBA games.
Points totals are a case of betting the over or under on a set line. These will often be paired with the moneyline for a parlay.
NBA odds movement
The availability of NBA odds varies. With games on everyday during the regular season, bettors often don’t have much time to place their wagers. Despite a small window to get bets in, NBA betting lines will still move significantly.
Keeping up with the latest NBA news is important for any NBA bettor. Lines can shift significantly if a star player’s availability changes, and teams will often leave it late to announce their starting line-ups.
Recent changes have forced teams to make their team news public earlier than previously, but bettors will often be unsure of injury news until three hours before tip-off.
As with any sports betting, major money can shift the betting lines, too. If there’s significant betting confidence in the Lakers at -7.5, the spread could grow towards -10.
NBA playoffs betting
Everything in the long NBA regular season is building towards the playoffs. Over half of the league make the postseason, and the introduction of play-in tournaments means even the nine and 10 seeds in each conference have a chance at featuring in the first round.
Bettors will place bets on the playoffs before and during the season. NBA fans are constantly weighing up who their favorite is to come out of the respective conferences, and which team they ultimately fancy to win it all.
Just like Super Bowl or World Series odds, the betting markets on NBA Finals and playoff success will vary throughout the year. Backing your Finals pick after a couple of losses can be a good way to find better value.
NBA betting strategy
The availability of key players is obviously so important in the NBA. Kawhi Leonard sitting out drastically changes the Clippers’ chances. Subscribing to reliable sources for constant NBA injury news is a must for bettors.
Recent performances are important, too, though be wary of the circumstances of those games. It’s often more useful to look at season-long trends such as how teams have fared on the road, on back-to-backs or how their defense has managed against certain types of offense.
Perhaps more so than other sports, specific matchups are key, also. If Joel Embiid has repeatedly dominated the opposition’s center in their recent encounters, that’s a factor that must be taken into account.
The more information the better when it comes to betting on the NBA.
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