NBA Expert Tips and Best Bets | April 4

By: James Salmon
02/04/2024
NBA Tips, Predictions & News
NBA Tips & Best Bets
Best Bets 2023 / 2024

The race to the NBA playoffs is well and truly on, and every day there are multiple games which will have significant implications for the postseason. Thursday is no different. A slate of nine games includes each of the Lakers, Pelicans and Suns, all of whom are vying for similar spots in the West, while the game of the day is a huge clash between the Thunder and Celtics, each of whom sits atop of their respective conferences. But those won’t be the games we’re focusing on for our bets of the day. Instead, we’ll look at three player props from a few of the less interesting games on the day’s slate, kicking off with a game which will pique the interest of about three people between the Trail Blazers and the Hornets. 

Portland Trail Blazers @ Charlotte Hornets

Dalano Banton over 20.5 points  | $1.90 with PlayUp 

Let’s be honest – nobody cares about this game. The Trail Blazers and Hornets are sitting 14th and 13th in their respective conferences, the Hornets with no chance of moving in either direction. The Blazers, meanwhile, are just a game clear of the Spurs in last in the West, and they would no doubt be more than happy to fall another spot and increase their odds in the lottery. With nothing to play for but draft picks the Blazers are plugging in a few relatively unknown players and asking them to do a whole lot, a process which generally results in plenty of losses and which can on occasion unlock a players’ potential. Dalano Banton is currently trying hard to be one such example. He’s taken over as one of the Blazers’ primary options over the past few games, coming off the bench to play well over 30 minutes over the past few games. He’s been taking a whole lot of shots in those minutes, and the result has been at least 26 points in three of his last four games. The sole exception was an inefficient 12-point performance on 19 shots against the Heat, but he won’t face nearly that level of defence when his Blazers take on the Hornets on Thursday morning. Over that four game stretch, Banton has averaged 20 shots per game and scored 28, 31, 12 and 26, so while the 20.5-point line set for him by betting sites is well above his season average (not surprising – that average is 2.3 points) it still looks likely to be too low. If Banton once again takes around 20 shots, which recent evidence suggests that he will, he appears far more likely than not to surpass this line.   

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Dalano Banton over 20.5 points @ Hornets @ $1.90
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Detroit Pistons @ Atlanta Hawks

Bogdan Bogdanovic over 18.5 points | $1.89 with GetSetBet 

The Hawks have hit a solid patch of form over the past week or so, winning four games in a row to give themselves a shot at snatching ninth spot in the East from the Bulls, and with it home court advantage in their first Play-In Tournament game. They’ve done that without Trae Young, and while Dejounte Murray has been the most talked about reason for that, the strong form of Bogdan Bogdanovic has been equally as important. The talented Serbian has responded extremely well to the increased responsibility which has been placed on his shoulders, taking a lot more shots and scoring a lot more points over his past few games. Harking back to the Hawks’ incredible come-from-behind win over the Celtics, he has scored at least 20 points in four of his last five games, a period which included a 38-point effort against the Bucks a couple of games ago. In that time he 24 points per game, well over the 18.5-point line set for him by NBA betting sites, and he has passed that number in all but one game. In most of those games he has taken more than enough shots to get past this number more often than not, the solitary exception coming in the Hawks’ latest game when he took just seven shots – but hitting seven of them and getting to the line a lot, he still put up 20 points per game. Without Young he needs to do a lot more on offence than he normally would, and the 31-year-old is the kind of player who is more than capable of stepping up his role without losing out too much on efficiency. Up against the Pistons, there is no reason to think that he won’t continue his strong form and once again put up in excess of 20 points.  

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Bogdan Bogdanovic over 18.5 points vs Pistons @ $1.89
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Indiana Pacers @ Brooklyn Nets

Tyrese Haliburton over 19.5 points | $1.90 with BlueBet

For the first half of this season, Tyrese Haliburton emerged as one of the best players in the game, leading an historically good offence in a way that put him in the mix as a genuine MVP contender for a period of time (well, semi-genuine at least). An injury put a stop to that form and he hasn’t been nearly as good in recent months since his return, with his numbers gradually dropping to the point where they are no longer all that much better than what he put up last season. Recently, however, he appears to be feeling his way out of a slump which was led in no small part by some uncharacteristically shooting. In his past seven games, the Pacers point guard has scored at least 20 points five times, including 27 in his latest outing – that game coming against the Nets, who he will again play in this one. But those numbers alone aren’t all that point to him going over in this one. That streak of five out of seven games with 20+ points has come with a whole lot of those being blowouts, which have seen Haliburton sit out the latter stages of the game. Twice he has played 27 minutes or less, including last game when he scored those 27 points in as many minutes. He’s shooting a hell of a lot better in that time and that outside shooting has been a major reason for his improved scoring numbers, but he certainly hasn’t been knocking them down at an unsustainable clip, nor has he been reliant on the three-ball for shooting. Haliburton is not back to his best, but he’s playing a lot better recently than he has been for a number of months prior, and he can continue that trend with another 20+ game against the Nets on Thursday. 

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Tyrese Haliburton over 19.5 points @ Nets @ $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.