NBA Expert Tips and Best Bets | April 11

By: James Salmon
10/04/2024
NBA Tips, Predictions & News
NBA Tips & Best Bets
NBA Expert Tips and Best Bets | April 11

After all but two teams took to the court on Wednesday, there will be a comparatively thin slate of seven games on Thursday, with the majority of those teams obviously playing the second leg of a back to back. The first few games on the board aren’t particularly inspiring but things ramp up as the day goes on, with the Mavericks taking on the Heat, the Magic facing the Bucks in a potential preview of a matchup that will take place in the postseason, before the Timberwolves face the Nuggets in what will likely determine who finishes on top of the Western Conference. Take a look at our three best bets for the day’s action below.  

Orlando Magic @ Milwaukee Bucks

Bucks +1.5 | $1.90 with BlueBet

The Bucks should really have established themselves as the number two seed by now. Led by Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard, and with a capable support cast and experienced coach, they are better on paper than every other team in the East with the exception of Boston pretty comfortably – though the Sixers will be a different story now that Joel Embiid is back on the floor. Despite that, however, they have hit a terrible patch of form just on the eve of the playoffs, putting the second seed in jeopardy with losses to the Wizards, Grizzlies and Raptors, before the Knicks made it four losses in a row. None of that would bode particularly well for them coming up against a Magic team which is currently sitting in fourth in the East, but the Bucks appeared to finally find something against the Celtics on Wednesday. Coming up against easily the best team in the league throughout the course of the season, they led throughout the course of the game and ultimately ended the game with a really important 13-point win. They did that with Antetokounmpo scoring just 15 points and Lillard just 20, with their defence really locking in and their offence a little more well-rounded than it has been in the past. Even if recent results haven’t always shown it, the Bucks are a better team than the Magic and on their home floor shouldn’t be the underdogs that they are with most betting sites. With a 1.5 point advantage, they get a little extra buffer, though hopefully they won’t need it.  

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Bucks +1.5 vs Magic @ $1.90
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San Antonio Spurs @ Oklahoma City Thunder

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander over 27.5 points | $1.90 with PlayUp 

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been one of the most lethal scorers in the NBA this season, averaging 30.4 points per game and putting himself right in the conversation for the MVP as the best player on one of the league’s best teams. What’s more, he has been remarkably consistent, having shown an incredible tendency to score right around that average more often than not rather than fluctuating significantly around it like some other major scorers. He has passed 27.5 points a lot more often than not this season – 55 times out of 72, to be exact – giving him a very solid strike rate of 76.39% of hitting this over. At even money, that means this looks like a very good bet. The reason for the lower number is likely that he has missed six of the Thunder’s last eight games, but in his return from a four-game absence in their latest outing he played 38 minutes and scored 40 points, so it’s safe to say that a) he’s not on a minutes restriction, and b) he doesn’t need much time to get back to his best. Gilgeous-Alexander has passed this number in all three games against the Spurs with 28, 32 and 31 points – two of which came in under 30 minutes in blowout games. The line for his points total set by betting agencies for this game simply looks too low, making this one of the best bets on the board for the day. 

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander over 27.5 points vs Spurs @ $1.90
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Minnesota Timberwolves @ Denver Nuggets

Nuggets -5.5 | $1.89 with GetSetBet 

The Timberwolves are a legitimately very good team; by this point in the season, that much has been established. But while they find themselves locked in a two-horse race at the top of the Western Conference for the number one seed, the Nuggets have the experience and the cream that will likely rise to the top when it matters most. This is not, obviously, a playoff game, but it’s about as close as it gets to one in the regular season, with the number one seed likely to go to whichever team wins this game. Given they don’t know who will be the number seven and eight seeds, it doesn’t necessarily matter all that much where each of these two teams finish in terms of the First Round of the playoffs, but they will no doubt each be keen to snare the top spot and with it home court advantage for the entirety of the Western Conference playoffs. The Nuggets in particular would benefit from that given how dominant they are at home, and with this game in Denver they should be able to get the job done. Over the course of the season they are 32-8 at home and were similarly dominant there last season, and though the Timberwolves have travelled well this season they will have their work cut out against the best team in the West, and potentially the best in the league, on their home court with the number one seed up for grabs. NBA betting sites have set this line at 5.5 points which is a little higher than I would have liked, but nonetheless the Nuggets should be able to get past it and record a pivotal win in the context of the season.  

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Nuggets -5.5 vs Timberwolves @ $1.89
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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.