Best Value NBA Bets On Saturday
Who To Back In The NBA
By Eric Uribe
San Antonio Spurs (-3.5) at Memphis Grizzlies
With Kevin Durant out for Golden State and LaMarcus Aldridge finally back for the Spurs (52-15), this is the time for San Antonio to make a run for the Western Conference’s first seed. They are currently 1.5 games behind the Warriors, but a road trip to Memphis (39-30) won’t do them any favors.
The Grizzlies are fighting for playoff positioning themselves. They are currently in the seventh seed, but are a half-game behind Oklahoma City and one game behind the Clippers. However, a three-game win streak, plus beating San Antonio earlier this season, should have Memphis optimistic.
Expect Gregg Popovich to ease Aldridge into the lineup. A minor heart arrhythmia is nothing to play with, so Aldridge will likely hover around 32 minutes akin to his first game back. The man he’ll be tasked with guarding, Marc Gasol, will take advantage and lead the Grizzlies to an upset victory at home.
Pick: Memphis (+3.5)
Over/under 216 points: Sacramento Kings at Oklahoma City Thunder
While tinkering with their lineup for the future, Sacramento’s (27-41) defense has been especially vulnerable. They’ve allowed opponents to score at least 100 points in nine straight games and the Thunder’s offense is red-hot. Here’s how much points Oklahoma City (39-29) has scored in the past five games — 121, 102, 112, 122, and 123. Do you really expect the Kings to go on the road and find a way to slow them down?
It doesn’t help that James Harden appears to have overtaken Russell Westbrook in the MVP race, either. As much as Westbrook likes to downplay it, he’s playing with a mission. He’s primed for a big game against a team he’s already lit up for 36 and 31 points this year.
Moreover, the Thunder seem to find an extra offensive gear while at home. On the road, they have gone over only 11 times in 30 games. But at Chesapeake Energy Arena, they are 19-14 on totals. The home-court advantage will fuel Westbrook and company to a monster game to push past the total.
Portland Trail Blazers at Atlanta Hawks (-3)
The Trail Blazers (30-37) might be playing on tired legs. This is their fourth game in a five-game road trip. They used a lot of energy beating San Antonio by four points in their previous game, so a letdown might be on the horizon.
The same can’t be said about the Hawks (37-31), who have played seven of their last nine at home. Above all, you have to look at the two’s previous matchup, though. Back in February, Atlanta went into Portland and pulled out a 109-104 overtime victory. Four different Hawks starters torched the Blazers with at least 19 points each in the road win.
The Hawks will benefit from an energy-deprived Blazers squad to cover the spread at home. Portland, who is 14-22 against the spread on the road, will continue their woes away from home.
Pick: Atlanta (-3)