Smart Money NBA Picks For Friday 3/19/2021 Action
Mike’s Twitter: @MOConnor_NBA
No matter which way you slice it, last week was an impressive performance for me. It’s not often that you can get a clean sweep, even if mine was in the wrong direction. At this point, based on the law of averages, I pretty much have to bounce back with a 6-0 week. It’s simple math.
Tonight, we’ve got ten NBA games with plenty of intriguing lines. Let’s get into some picks.
Smart Money NBA Betting Picks for Tonight’s Action
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. San Antonio Spurs: Cavs +4 (+115)
Larry Nance Jr. is back, and the Cavs are starting to look more like they did at the beginning of the season. Coming off of a quality win against Boston on Wednesday, I’m betting that Cleveland can continue their strong play against a Spurs team that will likely be missing DeMar DeRozan once again.
Nance is a key piece for Cleveland, especially defensively. On the season, Cleveland’s defense is 8.8 points per 100 possessions better with Nance on the floor, per CleaningtheGlass.com. For context, 8.8 points is about the difference between the first-ranked defense in the league and the 25th-ranked defense in the league.
With their defense looking improved, all they’ll need is a big night from Collin Sexton to knock off the Spurs.
Golden State Warriors @ Memphis Grizzlies: Grizzlies -8 (+110)
The Warriors are an absolutely horrendous team without Stephen Curry, who is listed as doubtful with a tailbone contusion. Assuming Curry doesn’t play, I’m expecting Memphis to cover this line with ease. The Warriors have nowhere to go to create offense. And Ja Morant and the rest of the Grizzlies should have no problem scoring on the Warriors’ defense.
You may want to wait to bet this line until it’s confirmed that Curry is out – if he plays, DO NOT bet this line. But given that Curry did not practice yesterday and is still considered doubtful, I’m comfortable betting this one now.
Dallas Mavericks @ Portland Trail Blazers: Mavericks -3.5 (+100)
The Mavericks are starting to look a bit more like themselves. Josh Richardson and Kristaps Porziņģis are playing better. Their defense is starting to click. And Luka Dončić continues to be Luka Dončić. With wins over the Clippers, Nuggets, and Spurs since the All-Star break, my thinking is that they’ll continue their quality play here.
The Blazers are no easy matchup, but this will be the second end of a back-to-back, and it’s unclear if CJ McCollum will play. If Portland is either wounded, tired, or both, that’s enough for me to be sold on Dallas covering 3.5 here.
Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat: Heat -4 (-105)
Speaking of teams that have been playing inspired ball as of late, the Heat are starting to look more and more like the team we saw in the Bubble. Jimmy Butler is playing at an MVP level, and the Heat are locking up defensively on a nightly basis. They’re coming off a disappointing loss against Orlando on Wednesday. So my thinking here is that they’ll be extra excited to get a win against Indiana tonight.
Throw in the fact that the Heat have Bam Adebayo to match up with Domantas Sabonis, and I feel good about them covering this spread. Indiana, losers of 4 out of 5, have looked sluggish on both ends lately. The Pacers’ offense will have trouble scoring against Miami, and the Heat will coast to a win.
Top Player Props for Tonight’s NBA Action
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. San Antonio Spurs: Collin Sexton Over 24.5 Points (+100)
Sexton is averaging 23.7 on the season, but my thinking here is that the Spurs and Cavs will get into a tight game that requires the Cavs to play heavily through Sexton in the fourth. He’s been excellent in late-game situations this year. And any time the Cavs have been in a close game, their offense has essentially devolved into “get Sexton the ball and get out of the way.” If you have PointsBet or BetMGM, then maybe set up a single-game parlay for the Sexton over prop and the Cavs to win.
Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler Over 39.5 Points/Rebounds/Assists (-105)
As I mentioned earlier, Butler has been playing incredible ball of late, and I love this matchup with Indiana. Butler gets a ton of his offense at the rim, and Indiana allows more shot attempts at the rim than any other team in the league. My thinking here is that Butler will be able to find ways to get to the rim and finish or make plays with consistency. In addition, the Pacers’ insistence of defending the three-point line will allow Butler plenty of space to operate, and he’ll have a big night to lead Miami to the W.