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WagerLab / Predictions / NBA Picks, Predictions and Lines

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

The NBA All-Star break is nearly here. It’s the final push for the players before a few days to unwind and relax. This has been the most intense season in recent memory, with teams playing more back-to-backs than recent seasons and going through arduous testing protocols which disrupt sleep.

It’s been a season of quirky results. Good teams have inexplicably lost to bad teams. Star players have missed games, upsetting the NBA betting lines.

Players and coaches alike might be tiring, but there are still great games happening every night. Here are four headliners from this week’s schedule…

Los Angeles Lakers vs Utah Jazz – Wednesday

It’s three losses in four for the Lakers at the time of writing. Anthony Davis is out for the foreseeable future. LeBron James is carrying a yet greater offensive load. The shot-making of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Wesley Matthews and Markieff Morris has become even more important.

Keeping pace with this Utah Jazz team is no easy feat either. Utah is shooting lights out from deep, and they are pinging the ball around the court at will. The Lakers have no obvious defender for Rudy Gobert’s lob threat, and they will need to be spot on with their rotations to limit the number of open threes.

This is a blockbuster atop the Western Conference. It’s a game which could have a major impact the early stages of the MVP race – will LeBron get the better of the red-hot Jazz?

New Orleans Pelicans vs Milwaukee Bucks – Thursday

Two of the league’s best offenses, and two of its freakiest athletes, matchup on Thursday. NBA fans will not want to take their eyes off this – it’s Giannis Antetokounmpo vs Zion Williamson, and it’s a game which bettors will be hammering the over on.

The Pels are 22-8 on the over, and the Bucks are 18-12-1. These teams have disappointed defensively. It’s primarily down to effort for New Orleans, while the Bucks are tinkering with their scheme in preparation for the playoffs.

This game has the makings of highlight material which reappears in montages a decade from now. Zion and Giannis are going to be two of the faces of the NBA for the next five years at least – their matchups are must-watch TV.

Dallas Mavericks vs Brooklyn Nets – Saturday

Dallas still can’t get it right. Hopes of a breakthrough season have vanished. Luka Doncic’s MVP candidacy has faded as the Mavs have slumped into the play-in race. Their defense has been among the worst in the league, which isn’t a great sign with Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving lining up on the other team.

Even with Durant sitting out, the Nets have recorded some spectacular wins. Harden is leading the league in assists, Irving is making typically outrageous shots and their supporting cast continues to knock down open threes.

Once again, this is set to be a high-scoring game. Defense has been a weakness of both of these teams, and four of the league’s most dynamic offensive players will be on the hardwood on Saturday.

Los Angeles Clippers vs Milwaukee Bucks – Sunday

It’s too grand to call this a make or break week for the Bucks, but it’s certainly a significant one. Mike Budenholzer’s team get to test themselves against one of the best teams in the Western Conference on Sunday, and it’s a return to the Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo matchup from the 2019 Conference Finals.

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.

Read More: NFL Picks, Predictions and Lines

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