NBA Expert Tips and Best Bets | March 5

James Salmon
NBA Tips, Predictions & News
NBA Tips & Best Bets
Best Bets 2023 / 2024

There will be only six NBA games on Tuesday, Australia time, but among those are a couple of belters. The Clippers take on the Bucks at midday AEDT in a clash between two of the best teams in the business, while later on the day will conclude with the Thunder visiting the Lakers. The Clippers will have their work cut out following a gruelling game the day prior, and that makes up one of our three best bets of the game, alongside a tip for the Timberwolves’ elite defence to lock down one of the league’s worst offences, and another for Collin Sexton to have a big game in Lauri Markkanen’s absence. Check out all the details about those bets below. 

Portland Trail Blazers @ Minnesota Timberwolves

Blazers under 99.5 total match points | $1.90 with GetSetBet 

The logic here is pretty simple. The Timberwolves have the best defence in the league by some margin, while the Trail Blazers sit second last over the course of the season in offensive rating. What’s more, in recent times those facts have been particularly prominent. The Wolves, whose defensive rating (how many points they concede per 100 possessions) of 107.8 is more than two points better than any other team, have sliced that rating even further to 104.3 over their past ten games. The Trail Blazers, meanwhile, have an offensive rating of just 108.3 this season, worse than every other team bar the Grizzlies, and in their last ten games that number is down to 105.7. Both these teams also play pretty slow – 24th and 25th in pace for the season – so there won’t be a huge number of possessions in this game, and in those that there are, the Blazers will likely struggle to score. The line of 99.5 points for them set by NBA betting sites is pretty low, but even cracking double figures should be tough for the Blazers. They’ve got there just twice in regular time in their past six games (they got there in overtime last game against the Grizzles) opposed to teams of varying quality, but the Timberwolves are the very best of the best when it comes to defending. Last time they met was just before the All-Star break and, on that occasion, the Blazers scored just 91 points. Expect a similar outcome this time around.

Trail Blazers to score less than 99.5 points @ Timberwolves @ $1.90

Los Angeles Clippers @ Milwaukee Bucks

Bucks -4.5 | $1.90 with BlueBet 

This one could be a thrilling game, with two teams with lofty aspirations going head to head in what could theoretically be a preview of this year’s NBA Finals – though the likes of the Celtics and Nuggets will no doubt have plenty to say about. Regardless of how far they both end up going, they are no doubt each in the mix, with the Clippers having been as good as anyone in the league since a few games after acquiring James Harden, and the Bucks really starting to hit their straps since the All-Star break. In fact, after taking a few games to adjust to life under new coach Doc Rivers, they have flown out of the blocks since that break with five consecutive wins by an average of a huge 18 points. Defensively they have been fantastic, while the much-vaunted offence led by Antetokounmpo and Lillard is also humming on all cylinders. The Clippers, meanwhile, have had a couple of down games since the break, losing to both the Kings and the Lakers over the past week or so, but the primary reason the Bucks’ line of 4.5 set by betting sites looks so enticing here is that it will be the second leg of a travelling back to back for the Clips. They played just the day prior, and while they secured an impressive win, it was a gruelling, defensive-minded game against the Timberwolves – the Clippers won 89-88. Following that they had to jump on a plan to fly from Minnesota to Milwaukee, and with that factor combined with the nature of their game the day prior, they might struggle against a very in-form Milwaukee team. 

Bucks -4.5 vs Clippers @ $1.90

Washington Wizards @ Utah Jazz

Collin Sexton over 22.5 total match points  | $1.90 with PlayUp 

There was a time this season when Sexton was hitting this number the vast majority of nights, though recently he has settled back into a slightly smaller offensive role with Keyonte George having moved into the starting lineup and Lauri Markkanen continuing to be the Jazz’s go to man on offence. In fact, Sexton hasn’t hit this total for his last five games, which might not appear to bode particularly well for this bet, but importantly Markkanen will miss this matchup through injury, opening the door for a much bigger offensive output from the former first round pick. He and Keyonte George will both be doing a lot of shooting, and against a pretty flimsy Wizards defence they should each be able to put up reasonable numbers. Sexton has reminded everyone this season that he is a really capable scorer when given the opportunity, and he will have exactly that in this game. Over the past five games when he has not passed this total, he has taken an average of less than 12 shots, though that has been a little higher in the last three of those – he had just nine each game in the first two matches of this five-game period. With Markkanen’s roughly 15 shots per game needing to go elsewhere, however, expect Sexton to take closer to 20 shots in this game, which should be enough to see him skate past the 23 points needed to make the over here a winner. 

Collin Sexton over 22.5 total match points vs Wizards @ $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.