NBA betting: Best value bets for Tuesday night
Chris Sheridan finds the value in the NBA on Tuesday night with picks from almost every game on the slate.
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Nominations for dunk of the year are now closed, and it is time to consider whether it is worth wagering on the Memphis Grizzlies to win the NBA championship while their odds are still enticing at +2500.
Those odds are shorter than what is currently on the board for the Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers among others, which is a testament to how people are gravitating toward the third-place team in the Western Conference with the -1000 Most Improved Player Award shoo-in, Ja Morant, who did this last night against the San Antonio Spurs:
He did that while scoring 52 points and had social media buzzing all night, but there is a question of whether Morant and his teammates’ talents can translate into postseason success. Last season, the Grizzlies finished 36-34, won play-in games against San Antonio and Golden State and took a 1-0 lead on the Utah Jazz before dropping the next four games of their first-round series. Their victory over the Spurs gave them 11 victories in their last 14 games, and they have not lost at home since Jan. 15.
Memphis also leads the NBA with a 42-21-0 record against the spread, so there are lot of bettors out there that will keep riding them. Should you?
Well, your faithful correspondent went out in December before everyone else was enamored of them and made a bunch of exact NBA Finals matchup wagers involving the Grizzlies, the most promising of which is Memphis vs. Cleveland at odds of 10,000 to 1. It ain’t all that easy in the legalized U.S. sports gambling world to find those kind of odds, so you are reading an article written by a true believer who will be in attendance on Beale Street for the Finals if that wager hits.
Memphis is 1-1 against Phoenix with one game remaining and 2-1 against Golden State with one game remaining. Both the Warriors and Grizzlies have 43 victories, but Steph Curry’s team has two fewer losses. Memphis trails the Suns by eight games in the loss column, so winning the West is almost out of the question – which is why the odds of the Grizzlies winning the West are +1100. Do not touch that one, as enticing as it may seem. It is too unlikely, and there are better bets between now and the end of the regular season.
So let’s go out and find a few of those as we head into a TNT doubleheader night that begins with Atlanta-Boston and ends with the Dallas Mavericks visiting the train wreck Lakers.
Detroit (+3.5) at Washington: The Pistons have suddenly won three of four and get a chance to avenge a Feb. 14 loss to the Wizards that dropped them a season-high 33 games under .500. They are coming off an overtime victory against Charlotte in which Jerami Grant, Saddiq Bey and Kelly Olynyk all reached or surpassed 20 points. They are facing a Wizards team that has been getting a lot from Kyle Kuzma and not much from anyone else, and Washington is two games out of the final play-in spot. The play here is Kuzma over 1.5 3-pointers made (-200) and Grant over 3.5 rebounds (-130) as part of a parlay card.
Atlanta (+6.5) at Boston: The Celtics are coming off a 21-point loss to the Pacers after they had won 11 of 12, while the Hawks have won three of four and should not be getting this many points against a Boston team that is 11-19-0 against the spread as a home favorite. Take Atlanta and the 6.5 (-110) and go with Clint Capela over 9.5 points (-105).
Brooklyn (+8.5) at Toronto: The Raptors will have a full house once again as pandemic rules have been lifted in Ontario, and that franchise has a history of getting up for games against the Nets more than any other opponent. With Steve Nash newly entered into health and safety protocols and Ben Simmons, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving not playing, they are ripe to lose for the 15th time in 19 games. And since they lost by 38 at home last night, go ahead and give the points (-105). Player props too iffy here.
L.A. Clippers (-7) at Houston: The Clips carry a three-game winning streak into this one, and most of the attention in Houston is being paid to John Wall’s buyout talks. The Rockets have lost nine in a row and 13 of 14, but they came within a point of beating these same Clippers on Sunday night in a 99-98 decision. Why the over/under is 227.5 is beyond us. Take the under (-105) and stay away from the point spread.
Golden State (-1) at Minnesota: His is a tough one because the Wolves have been fooling us this season and are coming off a road victory at Cleveland clinched by 3-point champion Karl Anthony-Towns’ only made 3-pointer of the night. The guy on the Wolves who has been killing it is D’Angelo Russell with 37, 21 and 25 in his last three games out of the All-Star break. Minnesota is 1-2 vs. the Warriors this season, winning by 20 at home. But because they are on the second night of a back-to-back and Golden State is rested, this one says stay away.
Dallas (- 5.5) at L.A. Lakers: El Lay was booed off the court two nights ago following an abysmal 28-point loss to the Pelicans, and their defense is nonexistent. So the guy to watch would figure to be Luka Doncic, who is playing the Lakers for the first time this season but has struggled to surpass 30 points against them in the past. His over/under point total is 31.5, which is too iffy to play. Instead, we like LeBron James to come out stoked and blow past his point total over/under of 28.5 while getting little help from his colleagues. So take LeBron’s over (-105) and give the points (-115).
Good luck, backatcha Thursday.