NBA Parlay (+273) for March 14: Cavs Cover and Trail Blazers Achieve Upset

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Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Cleveland Cavaliers speaks with teammates after defeating the Miami Heat on March 08, 2023. Megan Briggs/Getty Images/AFP.

NBA Pick: Two-Legged Parlay (+273) at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review)

  • Cavaliers -7.5 (-110)
  • Trail Blazers +2 (-105)

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Two-Legged Parlay (+273)
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The best sportsbooks have released their NBA odds for tonight’s NBA action.

Two games, in particular, interest me as worth investing in:

  • Cavaliers vs. Hornets
  • Knicks vs. Trail Blazers

For reasons that I will explain, you should play the spread for both games.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Charlotte Hornets

Tuesday, March 14, 2023 – 07:00 PM EDT at Spectrum Center

Hornets Won’t Beat You From Deep

On offense, Charlotte is rather disinclined to shoot the three. To give the Hornets credit in a sense, this is an intelligent disinclination.

They lack overly efficient three-point shooters. Besides missing a player who can use the three-point shooting to make the Hornets a threat, Charlotte misses a collective group of good three-point shooters.

Guys like forwards PJ Washington and Gordon Hayward and guards Terry Rozier and Kelly Oubre Jr (who is listed as ‘probable’ tonight with a back injury) all shoot below 36%.

Hornets’ Offense

Instead of shooting threes, the Hornets primarily want to attack the basket.

This inclination is evident in, for example, the common intention of point guard Terry Rozier to drive the ball, although he has garnered a reputation for failing comically to draw the fouls that he tries to draw.

Partly because of Rozier, the Hornets attempt the fourth-most field goals within five feet of the basket.

They will thrive against a defense that lacks sufficient rim protection while they will struggle against a defense that boasts strong interior defenders.

Cavaliers’ Defensive Strength

I chose Cleveland as one of my plays for this parlay because it is clear which sort of defense the Cavaliers are: they thrive at protecting the rim.

Overall, within five feet of the basket, they rank 10th at limiting opposing field goal attempts, fourth at limiting opposing field goal percentage, and fifth at limiting opposing field goals made. For their interior defense, they boast the shot-blocking talent of mobile rim protector Evan Mobley.

The Cavaliers’ big man established himself as a solid rim protector and overall defender early in his career since being a first-round draft pick. His mobility is evident in his unique ability to switch onto defenders on ball screens and still remain stout as a rim protector.

With the likes of Mobley to deal with, Charlotte will fail to get much going at the basket, which is problematic because the Hornets rely on scoring at the basket.

Cavaliers’ Offense

The Cavaliers’ offense is predicated primarily on a pick-and-roll attack that features most especially two different guards who are eminently comfortable with using screens and with ball handling. These two guards are Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland. They are also the team’s two leading scorers, so much of the team’s success emanates from their ability to score a lot.

Both promise to thrive in the ball-screen game against a Hornet defense that allows the third-most points against the pick-and-roll for the ball-handler play type.

NBA Pick: Cavaliers -7.5 (-110)

New York Knicks vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Tuesday, March 14, 2023 – 10:00 PM EDT at Moda Center

Trail Blazers Love to Shoot the Three

It is true that star Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard might not play – he is listed as ‘questionable’ for tonight’s game with right calf tightness.

Lillard’s absence would surely move the line in the Knicks’ direction, although matchup considerations move me already to like the fact that Portland is catching points. The Trail Blazers, with or without Lillard, match up well against the Knicks because they love shooting three-pointers.

Shooting guard Anfernee Simons, forward Jerami Grant (also listed as ‘questionable’ – he has a bruise on his left quad), forward Cam Reddish, and others all count among their team’s at least fairly high-volume group of shooters who would take more shots in Lillard’s absence.

These three players shoot 36.1% or more from deep, and Portland has more efficient options, too.

Knicks’ Perimeter Defense

Portland’s desire to shoot threes – overall, this team attempts the ninth-most threes per game – is valuable against a Knicks’ perimeter defense that has been porous throughout the season.

New York allows wide-open three-point attempts with the sixth-highest frequency and open three-point attempts also with the sixth-highest frequency. Moreover, the Knicks are one of the worst teams at limiting opposing three-point attempts. These stats indicate that they do a poor job of contesting three-point attempts and struggle likewise to run teams off the three-point line.

New York has the sort of defense against which Portland’s offense will be eminently comfortable.

Trail Blazers’ Improved Ball-Screen Defense

Conversely, the Knicks’ offense will be uncomfortable against Portland’s defense. This might be unusual to read because in recent years the Trail Blazers have garnered a reputation for defending poorly, but through tactical adjustments, they have improved.

Most meaningfully, they allow one of the fewest points now against the pick-and-roll for the ball-handler play type. They abandoned the hard hedge and other ineffective tactics and instead have their center touch the screener before sagging off the driving ball-handler, or they’ll ice to keep the ball away from the middle.

A Knicks’ team that relies heavily on this play type will struggle to score against Portland’s improved defense.

The Verdict

For your NBA picks, expect the Cavaliers and Trail Blazers to cover the spread. Remember that BMR offers betting guides in Ohio, where you can find the best betting sites for all your needs.

Be sure to use our trusty parlay calculator for your parlay betting needs.

  • Cavaliers -7.5 (-110)
  • Trail Blazers +2 (-105)

NBA Pick: Two-Legged Parlay (+273) at Bookmaker

*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.