Top Game to Bet: Nets (-4) at Warriors
The long-awaited return of Kevin Durant is here and if you say the league planned it to be versus Golden State for ratings - I will not argue with you.
Everybody, and I mean everybody, will be watching this game. Kyrie Irving and James Harden both have their history with Steph Curry and the Warriors, so expect fireworks with a total set at 245.5.
The Nets are 4-1 ATS in the last five trips to Golden State's former home. Overall, Brooklyn is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings with Golden State. Brooklyn has struggled as a road favorite, but this game will have all the factors to back Brooklyn.
The Nets are 8-1 SU against teams over .500 this season and a disappointing 7-11 versus squads with losing records. The Warriors are 5-10 SU against teams with a winning record and 9-2 against squads under .500.
Brooklyn is rolling out a new lineup, featuring Jeff Green at the center position, rather than DeAndre Jordan. With that lineup, the offensive rating is 126.9 in 75.3 possessions per FantasyLabs. Irving, Durant and Harden all average above 60% true shooting and effective field goal percentage with this lineup. On the defensive end, that unit posts a 107.2 defensive rating - a difference of 19.7.
Both teams rank top seven in pace and points per game over the last 10 games. Brooklyn is hitting 50.4% of their field goals (1st) and Golden State 42.1% from deep (1st) over the previous 10 games. The total is a little too high for my liking, even though it should most likely hit. All the factors with both Jeff and Draymond Green as the starting centers point to fast-paced and loose run-and-gun basketball. Although, the Under has gone 7-1 in the last eight meetings and 6-0 when Golden State is home.
Steph Curry is averaging 37.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists in February (six games). Andrew Wiggins is averaging 16.8 points in that span and Kelly Oubre 19.8 per game in February. Curry's prop total is 32.5 and that may be worth a look tonight as he will likely light up it. Durant Is averaging 29.5 points per game on the season and scored 30 or more in six of his last eight games overall. Get ready for a battle to remember.
I will back Brooklyn, who should be pumped up and have all the personal motivation to win this game behind the Nets' three-headed monster. Brooklyn has proved they beat good teams and lose to the bad, while Golden State is vice-versa. This should be an entertaining game and fourth quarter when it comes down to the last few possessions.
Bet Locked In: Nets -4 (1u)
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Top Team to Fade: Atlanta Hawks
This matchup can be a head-scratcher at first glance, but history points to the Under in this matchup. In the last 16 meetings, the Under has hit 12 times and over the previous 17 in Atlanta, the Under has gone 12-5.
Atlanta lost last night to San Antonio, 125-114. In the previous three games, Atlanta's defense has fallen apart, allowing 118, 121 and 125 points. Before that, only four teams scored 115 points or more in the last 10 games against the Hawks (two OT).
Indiana has struggled mightily since the Victor Oladipo trade. The Pacers are 5-9 SU and average 110.5 points per game (19th) since Jan. 17. The Pacers allow 113.4 points per game (18th) in that same span, the Hawks right behind at 113.5 (19th).
Over the last five games, the Pacers averaged 104.6 points per game (27th) and 105.0 in the previous five road games (T-22nd) and 102.5 in the last three (T-22nd). The Pacers are 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings in Atlanta, but I find it hard to back this offense. Indiana has held their opponents to 45.7% from the field (9th) in the last five games and 35.1% from deep (9th). Both teams rank 15th and 16th pace factor, so they should balance each other, specifically the Pacers, if they are struggling to score.
The Hawks are 1-5 SU in the previous six games and the Pacers are 2-5 over the last seven outings. Back two teams that just need a win right now to play tough defensive basketball. I would play this total down to 223.5.
Bet Locked In: Under 226 (1u)
Saturday Betting Notes:
76ers at Suns: Over/Under 227
The 76ers get Seth Curry back and when they have their regular starting five, they are a team to be reckoned with. However, the 76ers are 2-5 ATS in the last seven meetings with the Suns. Phoenix has won the previous two games after Philly won three straight. The Over has cashed in the last five meetings in Phoenix and is 12-3-1 in the previous 16 games overall.
The 76ers have averaged 116.0 points per game over the last five games (10th) and the Suns 110.8 (18th). Last season's meetings total ended at 223 and 247 between the two. The Suns are hot at home, covering in the last five games, winning all five. Phoenix has beaten Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee and Golden State over the previous five home games. They have two more home games on this stand versus Orlando (Sunday) and Brooklyn (Tuesday). A loss or two is coming within the next three games and there's a chance it could be this one.
Rockets at Knicks: Over/Under 212.5
This is another case for an Under, while sharp bettors are pushing the total up. The total opened at 209.5 and sits at 212.5, understandable when looking at this matchup's trends. The Over is 5-2 in the last seven trips to New York and 5-1-1 in the last seven overall.
Both teams are hanging in this season with their defense. The Knicks allow 100.0 points per game (2nd) over the last five outings and scoring 105.0 (26th) in that span. Houston is at 102.0 points per game (29th) in the last five and their game-high is 106 during that span. Mitchell Robinson is out 4-6 weeks with hand surgery, so expect Julius Randle and company to fill in on the boards. RJ Barrett could be in for more time as Randle and he will be the definitive 1-2 punch.
Heat at Jazz: Jazz -6
Utah has won 17 of the last 18 games. They are truly on fire. The Miami Heat are winners of their last four games and Jimmy Butler has carried them. Over those four games, Butler has averaged 21.0 points, 9.5 assists and 9.0 rebounds per game.
Miami is 1-4 ATS in the last five meetings with Utah and 3-7 in the last 10 games this season. It is hard to fade this Utah team right now against a Heat team that is 4-6 SU in the last 10 road games. Without Goran Dragic, Miami is not quite ready to contend with Utah at home. Kendrick Nunn will again start at point guard and the battle between Rudy Gobert and Bam Adebayo, then Butler and Donovan Mitchell make this a must-watch. I would grab some live ML value on Utah If Miami gets a lead early.
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