Sunday, February 25, 2024

NBA Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Wednesday, March 8th

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Welcome to the daily NBA best bets page, your source for analysis on the betting lines for the day in professional hoops. For updates throughout the day follow me on Twitter, and make sure to subscribe to the Hardwood Handicappers podcast!

All game lines via the VSiN NBA odds page

Stay up to date on injury news with our injury report page as well.

*Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back

**Lines are opening numbers

Best Bets

Record: 54-61 | Units: -9.56 | ROI: -8.52%

*Oklahoma City Thunder at Phoenix Suns (-13.5, 234)

It has been three games with Kevin Durant as a member of the Phoenix Suns, and it is hard to find a weakness in this team’s game. With Durant on the floor with Devin Booker the Suns have a +37.8 net rating, and their starting lineup has outscored opponents by 38.9 points per 100 possessions. Players like Booker have benefitted from Durant’s presence as well. In these three games Booker is averaging 36.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game on 56.8% shooting from the floor. The market is starting to adjust on his assist totals, with this morning’s number at 6.5 shaded to the under, so that is not where I’m looking tonight. Instead, we will look at Deandre Ayton.

Ayton has averaged only 10.7 points in the three games with Durant, but he’s put up two monster rebounding games, grabbing 16 boards against both Charlotte and Dallas. The common thread between those two teams is that both lack a true center that can clash with Ayton down low, and we get another one of those instances tonight. Oklahoma City has been starting Jaylin Williams at center, and these smaller lineups have had trouble keeping true bigs off the glass. Ayton should thrive against the smaller Williams when battling for rebounds, and the chances of offensive boards increase with Ayton consistently getting one-on-one matchups against a smaller defender down low. 

Bet: Deandre Ayton OV 11.5 Rebounds (-113)

Toronto Raptors at Los Angeles Clippers (-4, 229)

Since the All-Star break the Los Angeles Clippers are 1-5 SU and ATS and they have the second worst defensive rating in the NBA over that stretch (121.9). We have seen the betting mark slowly turn on this team, but the opportunity to take advantage of that weakened market rating has not come until today.

The first move this morning was on Toronto, dropping this to as low as 2.5 at multiple shops. That number would indicate that the Raptors rate as the better team on a neutral court, but that is not what the market has been telling us all season. Take their most recent common opponent for example: Denver. The Clippers went to Denver just 10 days ago and closed as 3.5-point underdogs, whereas the Raptors just played there on Monday as a 6-point underdog. That would indicate that Los Angeles is the better team, but we see what the market is doing this morning.

Los Angeles has obviously been disappointing in the six games after the All-Star break, but this is still an offense that is capable of some incredibly efficient outings. This is strictly a play on the number, as 2.5 seems to be the floor for this one. Give me the Clippers in a buy-low spot at home.

Bet: Clippers (-2.5)

Best Bet Recap

Deandre Ayton OV 11.5 Rebounds (-113)

Clippers (-2.5)

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