NBA Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Thursday (3/23)

Mar 23, 2023 - 1:38 PM

For the season, my NBA Best Bets have gone 38-22-1 ATS. Let’s check out my favorites for today!

Also, take a look at our other best bets for Thursday:

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Thursday’s Best NBA Bets

Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook

Brooklyn Nets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

These two teams met just two nights ago, with the Cavs claiming a 115-109 victory in Brooklyn. To a degree, the final result is misleading, as Cleveland had this game in hand for the entirety of the second half…But, we don’t expect a similar result Thursday night.

This game was skewed in Cleveland’s direction via the three-point line, as the Cavs shot 14/29 from beyond the arc to the Nets’ 9/33. It’s foolish to expect a similarly stark difference in this matchup, and unwise to bet the Cavs purely on Tuesday’s result. To further underline the point: on the season Brooklyn rates fourth in the NBA in 3P%, and any regression to the mean makes them an appealing bet in the rematch.

In addition, the Cavs opened as a one-point favorite last game (closed at/ around Cleveland -3), and nothing really has changed about this matchup since. The initial line for this game (Cleveland -5) was an egregious overcorrection, and sharp bettors have bet it down to a consensus of Cleveland -4. It’s my guess that this line continues to shorten, and we end up with Cleveland as a three-point favorite once again. There are still stray +4.5’s out there, go catch Brooklyn while you still can.

Bet: Nets +4.5 (-115)

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Charlotte Hornets

This matchup is one that Under bettors dream of.

Since the All-Star break:

  • The Hornets rate 2nd in Defensive Pts/Poss
  • The Pelicans rate 10th in Defensive Pts/Poss
  • The Hornets rate 30th in Offensive Pts/Poss
  • The Pelicans rate 23rd in Offensive Pts/Poss

Want more? In the month of March, neither of the two teams play at a high pace (13th for Charlotte, 24th for New Orleans), and the two teams are a combined 15-5 to the Under over their past ten games. Neither team has any highly rated offensive players who could skew the game Over single-handedly, whereas both teams have prominent players on the defensive end.

I find myself looking for a reason not to bet this Under, but nothing stands out against my prior arguments. This is a relatively low total for these two teams, however, a low total does not mean a game is more likely to go Over, or Under. Oddsmakers are generally pretty good at what they do, and games with a total at or below 226 this season are (roughly) 201-192 to the Over– not enough of a deviation to worry.

Take the Under in a likely slow-paced matchup between two of the NBA’s worst offenses, and best defenses.

Bet: Under 225.5 (-110)

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