Happy Tuesday! We are at the end of February and looking to close out strong. The competitiveness has picked up and teams are fighting for playoff spots. This is by far the best time of the NBA season. It is a huge slate today and I have identified a few investable opportunities that should be considered. Let’s end this month strong and carry the momentum over to March. Below are my Tuesday Night NBA Best Bets!
Chicago Bulls @ Toronto Raptors Under 220.5
This opened 223.5 and immediately got bet down. Rightfully so with how these two defenses have been playing. If you want to flip it and say bad offense, then that could also be the case. Both teams have been playing towards the under after the break. The Bulls have allowed under 100 points in both of their games while the Raptors have not scored 100 in two of their three games. The Raptors rank bottom five in key shooting metrics and lack a consistent second scorer after Pascal. The Bulls have two scorers who just can never get it going at the same time consistently.
The Raptors also rank bottom five in key defensive shooting metrics. This would seem like it would mean the Bulls could score on them at ease but this is not the case. In the past nine games, they have only scored over 100 four times. Their points per game scored drops by about three points when they go on the road. The Raptors are not good enough offensively to score consistently on the 6th best points possession defense in the NBA. They could not even crack 100 on the Pistons who rank 27th in points per possession allowed.
The Raptors’ best path to scoring is turning teams over. They are 1st in turnover percentage defense and 2nd in points per possession in transition. Chicago is a low turnover team, ranking 11th in turnover percentage offense so there will not be many takeaways by the Raptors. I think this is going to be a half-court rock fight with both teams struggling to make it to 100. Would not be surprised if we see a 98-95 type of game. I love this Under as an NBA Best Bet!
Indiana Pacers @ Dallas Mavericks -1.5 1Q
If you have listened to me on the SGPN NBA show then you knew this was coming. One of the most profitable bets to make in the NBA has been to fade the Pacers in the first quarter. They are 30th with an 18-43 against-the-spread record in first quarters. On the road, they are 10-19 against the spread and are being outscored by four and a half points.
The Mavericks are not the best first-quarter teams, they are actually towards the bottom. However, this spot sets up perfectly for them to come out with a vengeance after their collapse on Sunday. The Pacers are 25th in points per possession allowed while Dallas ranks in the top ten in offensive points per possession. I look for Dallas to put the Pacers in a slow pace half-court game which is where they are more effective.
Dallas has covered their last two first quarters, and I’m expecting them to start out with their hair on fire. The Pacers’ strength is the three-point line but Dallas is top ten in defending the three-ball. I will also look for an aggressive Dallas team, knowing the Pacers foul at a high rate. This could lead to early bonus opportunities and easy baskets.
Portland Trailblazers @ Golden State Warriors (-4)
This opened with the Warriors laying 3 points and quickly moved to where we sit now. Dame coming off a career and historic night and now has to go against a Warriors team who has been clicking defensively as of late. Historically, the Warriors have had extreme success against the Blazers. Since Steve Kerr has been at the helm, the Warriors are 19-10 straight up against the Blazers. In typical Warriors fashion, they have dominated at home in this series going 12-2 at home.
The warriors are 19-12 against the spread at home and 24-7 straight up. Despite the absence of Wiggins, and Draymond for a game, the defense has been really good. They have allowed under 105 points in two of the last three games so they are clicking at the right time. They will need all of that and more to slow down Dame tonight. Defensively for the Blazers is where the advantage lies for the Warriors. The blazers are 27th in points per possession allowed and 24th in three-point percentage allowed.
With the increased defensive intensity and the good matchup for the offense, I think the Warriors roll. Jordan Poole has struggled as of late, failing to score twenty points in three straight. Luckily for him, this is a matchup he dominates. In the two games this season he has scored 79 combined points on better 55 percent from the field and 50 percent from deep. Dame might get him but the lack of depth I think catches up with the Blazers here and they get beat soundly. I love the Warriors as an NBA Best Bet!
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