The NBA season is speeding towards its conclusion and each team has approximately ten regular season games remaining. Teams are jockeying for position in two key areas: half of the league is trying to either make the playoffs or improve their seeding and the other half are trying to lose to increase their lottery odds.
When playoff hopefuls play the tanking teams, betting opportunities are available to be exploited. Additionally, when two playoff teams face each other the defensive effort increases, which can give a betting edge. Let’s look at this weekend’s NBA action to see where bettors can take advantage of mismatches.
The first way to bet Friday’s NBA action is to create a moneyline parlay featuring the playoff teams against the tanking teams. Take the Cleveland Cavaliers to beat the Phoenix Suns, the Toronto Raptors over the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks to defeat the Chicago Bulls and Golden State to take care of the Atlanta Hawks all in the same parlay without the spread.
When two playoff hopefuls face one another, there tends to be an increase in effort on the defensive end and a slower pace in the 4th quarter. The result of which is a lessening of scoring.
The Pacers and Clippers have been two of the higher scoring teams this season, which will likely result in an over/under approaching 220. Likewise, the Nuggets and Wizards will also be projected in the same range. Take the under in both games.
Saturday’s action will require a different approach than Friday because there are not the same opportunities due to the schedule. Instead, we will look to take advantage of other situations.
The Minnesota Timberwolves play for the second night in a row against a Sixers team looking to move up in the standings. Minnesota is in the bottom 5 when defending opponents in the paint, so look for Simmons and Embiid to get to the rim at will and cover.
The Orlando Magic hosts an awful Phoenix Suns team in a battle of tanking teams, but the Magic are clearly better, at home, and the Suns are also playing for the second night in a row. It is scary to back the Magic in any situation, but they should beat the Suns.
For Lakers’ fans it has been a rough ride the last few seasons, but Los Angeles has been playing significantly better of late than they did earlier in the season. Memphis has been abysmal, so take the road team to win an ugly game in the Grindhouse on Saturday.
Sunday features more games than a normal Sunday with more than half of the teams in action. There are a few places where we can try to beat the books.
Just like on Friday, we can enter another moneyline parlay when the good teams take on the tanking ones. Grab Cleveland to edge Brooklyn, Boston to handle Sacramento, Washington to beat New York, and Houston to defeat Atlanta all in the same parlay.
In Milwaukee, the Spurs and Bucks figure to have a fairly ugly game early on a Sunday. The under is absolutely in play both in the 1st half and for the entire game.
All season long the Portland Trail Blazers have been undervalued by the oddsmakers and Oklahoma City overrated. When OKC is a favorite, grab Portland and the points because they are quietly one of the four best teams in the NBA this season.
Golden State is getting close to being locked into the 2 seed and the Jazz need to get every win that they can. As long as some of the big four remain sidelined on Sunday, look to grab the points if a highly motivated Jazz team is an underdog.
One of the final weekends of the NBA regular season provides opportunities to bet against the teams who are actively trying to lose. Also, when two playoff bound teams fight it out, the scores tend to be lower than normal allowing for under bets.