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  • Best bets for Wednesday's NBA games ⛹️

    Best bets for Wednesday's NBA games


    ESPN PLUS ($ MATERIAL)


    On Wednesday nights, typically the busiest night of the week, our NBA experts -- Andre Snellings, Jordan Schultz and Doug Kezirian -- give their best bets for the slate of games.


    Lines displayed are from Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook as of Wednesday morning. As always, shop around for the best price.


    Portland Trail Blazers (-7) at Chicago Bulls

    Total: 215.5
    Snellings: Injuries are a major factor for both teams, but Portland is better equipped to play through them. The Trail Blazers have been without CJ McCollum for more than a week and unfortunately lost Jusuf Nurkic to a broken leg on Monday, but they still have Damian Lillard playing at a near MVP level with a team of veterans focused on playoff seeding. The Bulls, on the other hand, will potentially be down four starters on Wednesday, including their top-three scorers and their point guard. In addition, the Bulls are deep in the lottery, playing on the second half of a back-to-back after having lost their past two games by a combined 40 points.


    Pick: Trail Blazers -7


    Washington Wizards (-2) at Phoenix Suns

    Snellings: The 231 point total is too high, despite the fact that the Wizards (111.1 points allowed per 100 possessions) and Suns (111.5 per 100 possessions) are both bottom-four defenses in the NBA. Part of the reason is that neither are great offenses, with the Suns ranking third from the bottom with an offensive efficiency of only 102.9 points per 100 possessions and the Wizards only average at 108.7 points per 100. Neither play that fast of a pace; the Wizards average 101.4 possessions per game and the Suns average 100.5. But even at the Wizards' pace and assuming both defenses give up their averages, the team total would be a bit less than 226 points. Finally, these are two lottery teams at the end of the season, with the Wizards on the second half of a back-to-back. The point totals for the Suns and their opponents have been under 231 in 10 of their last 12 games, and the Wizards and their opponents have been under in six of their last eight.


    Pick: Under 231


    Kezirian: Both these teams rank in the top 11 in pace and in the bottom four of defensive efficiency. Both are a lost cause for the playoffs, so I expect a track meet with plenty of scoring. I prefer to bet the first half over because sometimes the fourth quarter can lead to more measured possessions in a tight game or more playing time from reserves who are worse shooters in a one-sided outcome. The first-half total is shaded accordingly, but I still believe that is the right angle in this game, especially given the Wizards also played Tuesday.


    Pick: Over 118.5 (first half)


    Golden State Warriors (-11) at Memphis Grizzlies

    Total: 219.5
    Snellings: The Warriors have only won by more than 11 points twice in their past eight games and four times in their past 16 games. They tend to win, but as the season winds down and they focus more on health, there have been fewer blowouts on their ledger. Similarly, the Grizzlies still grind things out, having lost by more than 11 points only twice in their past 10 games. Mike Conley is questionable to play with a thigh injury, but even without him the Grizzlies were able to win their previous game against the Oklahoma City Thunder by double-figures. The Grizzlies are also at home, where they've won five of their past six games, including wins over playoff-caliber opponents in the Rockets, Jazz, Trail Blazers, Thunder and Magic.


    Pick: Grizzlies +11


    Indiana Pacers at Oklahoma City Thunder (-6.5)

    Total: 217
    Kezirian: In a sport with such a long regular season, the NBA requires bettors to handicap situations as much as the matchups. I feel this is a good spot to back the Thunder. They have been reeling lately and just suffered a disappointing loss in Memphis. I expect them to respond with a sense of urgency, given their playoff aspirations. Plus, they blew a big lead when they faced the Pacers two weeks ago, so that's a little extra bonus. I like OKC to focus from the start.


    Pick: Thunder -2 (first quarter)


    Schultz: My best bet of the night! Indiana continues to overachieve without All-NBA guard Victor Oladipo, most notably in Sunday's 36-point blowout win over Denver. Consider the scorching play of Bojan Bogdanovic, who is averaging over 21 PPG since Olapido's injury -- and showcasing a well-rounded offensive game to boot. OKC, meanwhile, is too fragile to stake any modicum of confidence in. The Thunder offense has sputtered, reverting back to the lack of ball movement and heavy isolation which plagued them much of last season. In Monday's loss to Memphis, OKC managed a putrid 17 assists, a problem magnified given the Pacers rank third in the league in defensive efficiency. In fact, over its past six games -- in which the Thunder went just 1-5 -- Oklahoma City ranks 24th in committing turnovers (15.5 per game) and just 26th in assists (22 per game). Shooting has been a serious issue as well. While compiling a 4-6 record over its last ten games, OKC is making a lowly 42 percent of its shots from the floor -- the worst clip in basketball. Additionally, Billy Donovan's club is 1-7 ATS in its previous eight home games.


    Pick: Pacers +6.5

  • good post!! keep em coming

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