NBA Expert Tips and Best Bets | March 02

NBA Tips & Best Bets
Best Bets 2023 / 2024

There is a solid slate of NBA games on Saturday Australia time, with 18 of the league’s 30 teams taking to the court across the course of the day. It’s not exactly the most enthralling bunch of matchups and there are likely to be a few snooze fests in amongst them, but a couple, not least the Mavericks @ Celtics and Kings @ Timberwolves, should be worth watching. Fortunately, whether or not a matchup looks interesting doesn’t dictate whether there is any value across the day, and we might have found a way to make a couple of them even more uninteresting than the might have already been by betting on the under! Take a look at our three best bets for the day below.   

Portland Trail Blazers @ Memphis Grizzlies

Under 209.5 total match points | $1.98 with GetSetBet 

This is one of those aforementioned games which won’t exactly make for the most thrilling of viewing, and betting on the under won’t help a whole lot in that regard. But there is good reason to believe that there won’t be a huge number of points in this one – less even than the low over/under points total set by betting agencies. Both of these sides’ offences are, to put it nicely, subpar. The Blazers have failed to crack the ton in four of their last six games, often easily and not always against good defences – they managed just 80 points against the Hornets (!!!) of all teams, just a couple of games ago. The Grizzlies aren’t all that much better; they managed just 101 points in their last outing – though admittedly that was against the best defensive team in the league in the Timberwolves – and prior to that had scored 95 points or less in three of their last five, including a measly 86 points against the Nets. It’s worth noting the teams against which those low scoring performances came against, because obviously neither of these teams is leading the league in defence either, but given that they have each struggled against everything from dominant defences to some very average ones, it’s a reasonable assumption to make that they won’t score with a great deal of ease against one another either. They also both play at one of the lowest paces in the league, the Trail Blazers in particular, and over the past few games have each slowed even further than their season average. This looms as a slow game with lots of half-court possessions, plenty of which will not have a whole lot of rhyme or reason, and the result should be a nice and low scoring game.

getsetbet logo-betting-site
Trail Blazers @ Grizzlies under 209.5 total match points @ $1.89

Sacramento Kings @ Minnesota Timberwolves

Kings under 108.5 total match points | $1.90 with BlueBet 

The Timberwolves have been the best defensive team in the league all season, and in recent games they have locked down even harder at that end of the floor. Boasting a defensive rating of 107.7 over the course of the season – meaning they concede on average that many points per 100 possessions – which is nearly three points better than their nearest competitor, over the last ten games that number is down to a hugely impressive 103.5. And at home, they are even better. Over their last ten home games, they have a defensive rating of just 98.8, which is impressive bordering on ridiculous. Rarely are they letting teams get past the over/under total set for the Kings in this game. Their opponents have scored 109 points or more just twice in their last eight games (and one of those occasions was exactly 109), and just three times in their last 15. That is a pretty damn good strike rate. Of course, which team they are playing is obviously relevant, and were this the Celtics, for example, it might not be such a good bet. But the Kings, while a good offensive team, are far from league leading. They’re right around league average over the course of the season, and play at a pretty average pace, too. The Fox/Sabonis pick and roll which yields them so many points will have their work cut out against the one-man defence that is Rudy Gobert, and won’t likely be able to score as freely as they often do. Don’t expect the Kings to completely grind to a halt, but 109 is a big total against the Timberwolves, particularly in Minnesota, and based on results over an extended period of time now the visitors will likely struggle to get to that number. 

bluebet Betting Site
Sacramento Kings to score under 108.5 total match points @ Timberwolves @ $1.90

Milwaukee Bucks @ Chicago Bulls

Bucks -2.5  | $1.90 with PlayUp 

Despite boasting a solid record, the Bucks haven’t been firing on all cylinders throughout the course of their first season with Damian Lillard having joined Giannis Antetokounmpo, and it’s safe to say that life under new coach Doc Rivers didn’t exactly get off to the smoothest of starts either. But unsurprisingly, one of the more talented teams in the league – at least at the top end – is beginning to find some form under one of the most experienced coaches going around. Since returning from the All-Star break, the Bucks have looked like a new team entirely. They kicked things off with an impressive win over the Timberwolves in Minnesota before easily accounting for the Sixers in Philadelphia, before absolutely demolishing the Hornets in a game which they led 96-49 after three quarters. Despite that, they have only been given a handicap of 2.5 points by NBA betting sites against a run of the mill Bulls outfit. One of the main reasons for that is the fact that this will be the second leg of a travelling back to back for the Bucks, who are playing in Charlotte as I type. But as they showed in their previous matchup, they are a fair bit better than the Hornets and won’t likely have to extend themselves too much to get the chocolates, with a nice fourth quarter rest for Giannis and Dame very much on the cards. The Bulls have been the definition of an average team for an extended period of time now; they have won one of their last two, two of their last four, three of their last six, and you get the picture – that trend extends all the way through to ten of their last 20. They’re no pushover but they’re also not good, and their home court isn’t exactly a fortress – they’re 16-14 there over the course of the year. It’s certainly not irrelevant that the Bucks will be playing their second game in as many nights, but they have entered the post All-Star period of the season with a renewed vigour, and should be able to easily account for the Bulls in this game.

Bucks -2.5 @ Bulls @ $1.90

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James is a sports writer from Melbourne, and has contributed to a variety of publications covering a range of sports including basketball, cricket, Australian Rules, golf and surfing to name a few. An avid fan of all of the above and more, James’ downtime is spent falling ungracefully off his surfboard, turning over footies and playing an out of tune guitar.