Best Bets for 76ers vs. Knicks, Warriors vs. Thunder, and More from Tonight’s NBA Action
Mike’s Year to Date Record: 3-3
After a 3-3 start last week, I’m ready to get my record over the .500 mark and keep it there. We’ve had a week to observe, analyze, and prognosticate on which teams are over or under-valued. This is truly a great time of year to be betting on the NBA – I’ve always noticed that Vegas is a bit slow to adjust their preseason expectations on teams who are over or underperforming. With that in mind, let’s get into some picks.
Smart Money NBA Betting Picks for Tonight’s Action
I’ve liked how the Philadelphia 76ers have looked up to this point in the season, but one thing that they most certainly have not faced is a team that defends at anywhere near the level of the New York Knicks. They’ve played the lowly Pelicans, a sleepwalking version of the Nets, and the Thunder – not exactly who you’d want to use to prepare for the physical and frenzied defense that the Knicks play. Having not been properly warmed up for the intensity and the physicality, I’m expecting the Knicks to win comfortably in this one. There is also some degree of concern around Joel Embiid’s knee – he is currently listed as questionable.
Lastly, the Sixers’ lack of ball handlers has to catch up with them at some point. Tyrese Maxey and Furkan Korkmaz have done a fine job to this point. But their lack of experience and general point guard skills will start to show against the Knicks’ defense.
The Thunder are truly atrocious. Despite Shai Gilgeous-Alexander having played well over the first few games, they are still 0-3 and have not lost by fewer than 12 points. Contrast that to the 3-0 Warriors, who have won despite not playing their best ball, and you’ll see why I’m so confident in this line.
Another thing that makes me feel confident about the Warriors is that, compared to their teams 3-4 years ago, they’ve also rid themselves of the habit of sleepwalking against poor teams. They have enough young and hungry players on the roster to the point where you can count on them showing up on a Tuesday night in Oklahoma City. Assuming that holds true, they should cover this line with ease.
The Lakers’ start to the season has been atrocious, and I still have major concerns about them long-term. But Vegas is not properly budgeting for how mediocre the Spurs are. Their team is as uninspiring as ever, and their lone win of the season has come against the Orlando Magic.
It is possible that this line only sits this close because of LeBron James’ vague health status. I’m betting that he will play because he not only finished the game on Sunday against Memphis but also specifically mentioned that he hoped to play tonight.
From a matchup perspective, the Spurs are light on players with the athleticism to keep up with James and Anthony Davis. As much as I respect Keldon Johnson and Jakob Pöltl, they wouldn’t exactly go first in a draft of players you’d want to defend James and Davis. Perhaps the Spurs can “Beautiful Game” their way into a win, but for now, my gut says the talent differential is too big for them to cover 2.5 points.
If their playoff matchup in the Bubble two seasons ago taught us anything, it’s that matchups between these two teams are impossible to predict, but I’m liking the look of the Jazz so far this season. They’re healthy, locked in, and ready to recapture the vibe that they had last season.
Contrast that with the Nuggets, who are light on guard play and trot out some bizarre lineups, and I have to think that this line is favorable for Utah. Any bet against the Nuggets is dependent upon Nikola Jokić not going scorched earth. But I have to lean towards the law of averages here.
Top Player Props for Tonight’s NBA Action
These types of meaningless Tuesday night games against bad teams are exactly where young players like Jordan Poole shine. Whereas Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins might be putting things in cruise control tonight, Poole will be hungry as ever to prove himself and impact that game. Throw in the fact that the Thunder’s best perimeter defender (Luguentz Dort) will be busy with Curry, and you’ll see why this bet makes so much sense. Personally, I’ll be dialing up a same-game parlay of Warriors -8.5 and Poole over 17.5 points.
Fournier has had a mixed start to the season, but I like his chances against Philly. He’s extremely active off the ball, and Danny Green has looked a step slow on defense to start the season. Fournier should have opportunities to get loose around screens and knock down shots. Additionally, the Sixers like to be somewhat aggressive helping off of these types of shooters in the pick and roll. So Fournier should have some standstill catch and shoot opportunities, as well.