NBA Expert Tips and Best Bets | March 20

By: James Salmon
19/03/2024
NBA Tips, Predictions & News
NBA Tips & Best Bets
Best Bets 2023 / 2024

Wednesday will be a quiet day on the NBA front, with only five games scheduled over the course of the day. The first four of those aren’t exactly the most enthralling of matchups, but there is nonetheless value to be found within them, before the slate ends with easily the best game of the day when the Nuggets take on the Timberwolves in what may very well be a preview of a playoff series in a couple of months’ time. Take a look at our best bets for the day’s action below. 

Houston Rockets @ Washington Wizards

Rockets -6.5 | $1.89 with GetSetBet 

When Alperen Sengun went down late in the Rockets’ win over the Kings last week with an injury that it has since been confirmed will likely keep him out for the remainder of the regular season, there would have been plenty of concern within the Houston camp about the impact his absence would have on the team. But despite the notable gap Sengun has left at centre, the Rockets have not skipped a beat, winning their three games since his injury, the last couple in impressive fashion. After just edging out the Spurs in the first, they knocked off the Wizards with ease before comfortably beating the Cavaliers in their latest outing. Sengun’s absence is undoubtedly a major blow, but the likes of Jalen Green, Fred VanVleet and Jabari Smith Jr haven’t had any problems picking up the slack. Meanwhile, the Wizards are in a poor patch of form in what is already a terrible season. They have lost their last four games, but it’s not just the losing which is concerning – it’s the manner in which they’ve been beaten. They started this streak by losing to the injury-decimated Grizzlies before 12 points, before going down to the Rockets by 16, the Bulls by 29 and finally the Celtics by 26. They have been uncompetitive over the past week or so and haven’t got near the relatively small handicap of 6.5 set for this game by betting sites. This line would look low for them in their current form against just about any team in the league, so with the Rockets humming along nicely even without Sengun, they should be able to comfortably surpass this line. 

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Rockets -6.5 @ Wizards @ $1.89
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New Orleans Pelicans @ Brooklyn Nets

Pelicans -7.5 | $1.90 with BlueBet

There are a lot of similarities between this game and the Rockets vs Wizards clash, with a similar line set by betting agencies and the visitors looking good to surpass it against a home side in some very poor form. The Nets are not a particularly good team but are in particularly poor form of late, having lost five of their last six games in what could theoretically have been a great opportunity for them to put themselves into contention for a spot in the Play-In Tournament. During that six-game period they have lost to the Hornets, Pistons and most recently the Nets, while they also picked up a 21-point loss to the Pacers a couple of games ago – surprisingly, their solitary victory in that time came against the Cavaliers in probably their toughest matchup of the six-game stretch. The Pelicans, meanwhile, are humming along nicely and putting themselves right in the mix for the fourth seed in the Western Conference. They have won six of their last seven games, many of them by big margins. During that period they have knocked off the Pacers by 27 points, the Raptors by a huge 41 points, while their last two games have seen them beat the Clippers by eight points and the Trail Blazers by 19 points. They’ve been winning on the road and at home, with their talented trio of Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum all firing, Trey Murphy III playing well and Herb Jones continuing to prove that he is one of the best defenders in the league. They’re knocking off most teams with ease at the moment, so against a Nets team that is really struggling they should be able to notch up yet another double figure victory.

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Pelicans -7.5 @ Nets @ $1.90
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Denver Nuggets @ Minnesota Timberwolves

Over 212.5 total match points | $1.90 with PlayUp 

It’s easy to see why the total match points line for this game is set low. Both teams rank in the top ten in defensive rating for the season, with the Timberwolves sitting right up the top, while both also play pretty methodical half-court basketball. But scoring for both sides has been up of late, and neither have played many recent games that have gone under this total. The Nuggets have passed it in six of their last eight games (and one of those in which they didn’t was on exactly 212), and harking back even further, in ten of their last 13. The Timberwolves, meanwhile, well known for their defensive prowess throughout the course of the season, have continued to defend strongly but have nonetheless played in five consecutive games which have gone over this number of points. With both sides set to finish in the top three in the Western Conference and potentially headed for a postseason matchup, this should be a high quality encounter, but don’t expect either side to lock down the same way as they will come playoffs time. If these two sides do play in the postseason there will likely be a number of games in which this points total isn’t surpassed and plenty of quality lockdown defence, but this is just another regular season game. With neither of these sides having gone below this total very often for an extended period, the line set for this game by NBA betting sites looks a little low. 

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Nuggets @ Timberwolves over 212.5 total match points @ $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.