NBA Best Bets and Props October 30: The Magic Are Committed on Defense

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Paolo Banchero #5 of the Orlando Magic in action during the fourth quarter of the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center on October 27. Alika Jenner/Getty Images/AFP

NBA Pick: Under 218 (-105) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Under 218 (-105)
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The top sportsbooks have released their betting odds for today’s NBA action and three games interest me: Pistons vs. Thunder, Magic vs. Lakers, and Trail Blazers vs. Raptors.

For your best bets, I will recommend that you invest in Pistons ATS, Magic-Lakers “under,” and Shaedon Sharpe three-pointers made “over.”

Detroit Pistons vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Monday, October 30, 2023  08:00 PM EDT at Paycom Center

Detroit’s Offense 

The Pistons love attacking the basket. They attempt the fourth-most field goals within five feet of the basket. In the frontcourt, Cade Cunningham is relatively strong and well-sized for a guard, which helps him be a strong finisher inside. And then the backcourt is occupied by imposing figures.

Isaiah Stewart, at 6-8 and 250 pounds, has improved his efficiency relative to last year. Jalen Duren, at 6-10 and 250 pounds, utilizes his explosiveness inside to be Detroit’s second-leading scorer after Cunningham.

Besides scoring predominantly at the basket, Detroit benefits from its size and ability around the basket to command the glass. The Pistons rank number one in total rebounding percentage.

Matchup Details 

Oklahoma City is an ideal opponent for Detroit because, against this team, the Pistons can maximize their strengths. The Thunder allow the fifth-highest field goal percentage within five feet of the basket and are significantly worse rebounders than the Pistons.

From a look at the Thunder’s roster, it is easy to see why this disparity in ability inside exists between them and Detroit.

The Thunder are physically weak and woefully undersized inside. Center Chet Holmgren remains very skinny. Power forward Jalen Williams is about 40 pounds and three inches smaller than his Pistons counterpart.

With their personnel, the Pistons will have their way inside. To compensate for their lack of size, the Thunder will want to collapse inside defensively. When they do this, they will leave themselves vulnerable behind the arc.

Detroit can take advantage with efficient shooting — the Pistons rank tenth in three-point percentage thanks to guys like Cunningham and fellow guard Alec Burks.

Detroit’s Perimeter Defense 

It is important to know how effective Detroit’s perimeter defense is because the Thunder are rather one-dimensional offensively in terms of what their strengths and weaknesses are. Rather than scoring inside, they want to thrive on offense by making threes.

While their offense has been strongest from behind the arc, Detroit’s perimeter defense has been top-caliber. The Pistons allow the fewest three-pointers attempted per game.

Moreover, they rank second-best at limiting opposing wide-open three-point attempts and sixth-best at limiting opposing open three-point attempts.

These statistics indicate that Detroit excels at running opponents off the three-point line and at contesting their shots when they do attempt three-pointers.

The Pick

They will force the Thunder to score inside where they have already been inefficient this year and where they will confront athletic monsters like Stewart and Duren.

NBA Pick: Pistons +6 (-110) at BetOnline

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Pistons +6 (-110)
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Orlando Magic vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Monday, October 30, 2023  10:30 PM EDT at Arena


The under is 2-0 in Magic games so far, and neither game was close. Oddsmakers are posting totals for Orlando’s games that are too high because they are not accounting for pace.

Orlando is playing slower this year. This is important because it means fewer shot attempts and, therefore, most likely fewer points. In fact, Orlando is playing at a slower pace than every other team.

The Lakers themselves are not going to want to speed things up. While they are not quite as slow, they are also playing slower than they did last year.

Struggling From Deep

Of course, three-pointers are worth more than two-pointers. Neither team’s offense, though, will reliably contribute three-pointers. Both teams rank bottom-five in three-point percentage and in the bottom half in three-pointers attempted.

Orlando’s inefficiency from deep is nothing new. Three-point shooting has never been a strength of their starting guards — in their shooting guard Jalen Suggs’ career, for example, he is shooting 27.1 percent from deep.

Lakers guards are likewise struggling from deep: D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves are both failing to make more than a quarter of their three-point attempts.

Battle Inside 

This will be a battle inside, where both teams deal with the opponent’s strong center play.

As evident in the paucity of points per possession on post-ups that center Wendell Carter Jr. has allowed, he is an excellent defender inside. Even if he doesn’t block many shots, it is still hard for opponents to score on him around the basket.

As for the Lakers, center Anthony Davis is annually a Defensive Player of the Year candidate with his shot-blocking.

Strong Defenses 

After starting 5-20 last year, the Magic became one of the top defenses, as measured by defensive rating. They have so far held Houston to 86 points and Portland to 97 points.

The Lakers’ defense is especially strong at home. Last year, they had one of the NBA’s biggest home-away disparities in terms of points allowed. So far this season, they held Phoenix to 95 points at home.

The Pick

Tonight’s game will be one in which both teams struggle to reach 100 points.

NBA Pick: Under 218 (-105) at BetOnline

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Toronto Raptors

Monday, October 30, 2023  07:30 PM EDT at Scotiabank Arena

Shaedon Sharpe, Sharp-Shooter

Oddsmakers are asking Portland shooting guard Shaedon Sharpe to make more than 2.5 three-pointers. This is a modest ask in view of Sharpe’s involvement in the offense. His offense needs his scoring badly.

Starting shooting guard Anfernee Simons is injured. Point guard Scoot Henderson has made one three-pointer so far. Small forward Matisse Thybulle is relied upon primarily for his defense. Sharpe is clearly the most important scorer in his team’s backcourt. He is strongest when he has facilitators around him.

Both Henderson and fellow point guard Malcolm Brogdon play the role of facilitator, allowing Sharpe just to be a scorer.

Sharpe will score a lot tonight, which means that he will thrive from deep, where he is efficient, and where he attempts a lot of shots. After a rusty season opener, he is 6-for-15 from deep in his past two games. This number is deflated by the lack of minutes that he contributed in his team’s blowout loss to Philadelphia in his last game.

In a more competitive game — the Raptors have yet to win by more than three this season — Sharpe will be more active especially from deep, as evident in his team’s close loss to Orlando.

The Pick

Toronto is a team that one can thrive from deep against, only the stats don’t show it because opposing teams have underachieved in the rate at which they convert wide-open three-point attempts.

Sharpe will make the most of his strong shooting form and his general efficiency from deep.

NBA Pick: Shaedon Sharpe 2.5 Total Made 3 Points Shots Over (-105) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.