NBA Betting Thoughts For Wednesday
Betting Lines & NBA Advice
By Dan Favale
Minnesota Timberwolves (-4) vs. New York Knicks (+4)
The Minnesota Timberwolves have been the most confusing team in the NBA this season. They have the league’s best offense in the first half, then the Associations’ worse offense in the second half. They start games on fire, but don’t know how to close out wins. And they cannot seem to find their footing on either end of the floor in the third quarter; they have been the absolulte worst team during the third frame, and it’s not even kind of close.
Playing the New York Knicks is always a good cure for such woes. They are artificially good—tantalizing on paper, but not in practice. Their defense is among the worst in the league, and the offense is maddeningly inconsistent if both Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis aren’t on the floor at the same time.
This feels like a gut-reaction blowout that will fall in favor of the Timberwolves. At the same time, we cannot discount how bad they’ve been. Then again, the Knicks have also been terrible on the road.
Feelings of support for the Timberwolves win out here.
The Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves (-4)
Toronto Raptors (-13.5) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (+13.5)
Mike Conley suffered a fracture in his back and will miss an undisclosed amount of time. This changes everything for the Memphis Grizzlies.
And we mean everything.
Look at the on-off splits, and you will find that the Grizzlies just can’t function without Conley on the floor. Their shooting percentages plummet across the board, and they score like the NBA’s worst offense. Memphis isn’t built to withstand his indefinite absence, and that won’t change.
But it’s doubly true entering Wednesday night’s matchup with the Toronto Raptors. Chandler Parsons remains on the shelf as well, so the Grizzlies will challenge the NBA’s second-best offense without two of their best offensive weapons.
Ergo, assuming the Raptors don’t bench everyone just because, this is not going to end well for the Grizzlies.
The Pick: Toronto Raptors (-13.5)
Denver Nuggets (-6.5) vs. Miami Heat (+6.5)
It is weird that the Denver Nuggets are favored so heavily in this one.
Yes, they are playing at home. But they have not been juggernauts at home. The offense is also nowhere near good enough to contend with a top-notch defense—which is exactly what the Miami Heat have.
Even with Justise Winslow watching from the sidelines, the Heat’s points-prevention system is dangerous. Hassan Whiteside swallows shots at the rim, and the team has a handful of deceptively scrappy perimeter pests who know where to funnel their defensive assignments.
Granted, the Heat’s offense has been bad. They don’t need to face a great opponent to be blown out. But unless head coach Erik Spoelstra decides to rest some of his key peeps, there is little evidence that a mediocre Nuggets offense can beat Miami into a seven-point submission.
The Pick: Miami Heat (+6.5)
Dallas Mavericks vs. San Antonio Spurs (-9.5)
Speaking of surprise spreads: How in the heck are the San Antonio Spurs not favored by double double digits in this one?
Sure, they lost at home to a crappy Orlando Magic team on Tuesday night, but they have been absolute money on the road this year. They are a perfect 10-0 in hostile territories, smothering teams on both the offensive and defensive side of things.
Plus, the Mavericks are the worst team in basketball right now. Dirk Nowitzki is getting kind of healthy, but he doesn’t make much of a difference for them anymore. The bench is too shallow, and the defense, which hasn’t been great, is Dallas’ brightest silver lining.
Pick the Spurs, who will likely still be pissed that they lost to the Magic, and feel really good about it. Just make sure head coach Gregg Popovich doesn’t decide to rest everyone before you submit your wager. As of now, he doesn’t. But you never know with him.
The Pick: San Antonio Spurs (-9.5)
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