The NBA has been treating us to some excellent games lately. The conference races have drawn closer, and most teams are still jockeying for either a playoff spot or a play-in bid. I’m enjoying all of this consequential basketball, but with that said, all of tonight’s bets come in games featuring at least one eliminated squad.
Here are my top NBA betting picks for Tuesday’s action.
1. Pistons +14 | -110 at DK Sportsbook
The Detroit Pistons have been a sneaky good play against the spread lately. Since the All-Star Break, Detroit has gone 13-2-2 ATS. They have only failed to cover or push when favored, which is a problem they don’t face tonight. Detroit hasn’t failed to cover a double-digit spread since their matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies on Feb. 10.
Cade Cunningham’s progression and Detroit’s improved roster accounts for these developments. Getting Kelly Olynyk and Jerami Grant back from injuries proved significant, although Grant is back on the injury report. So did the team’s decision to buy Marvin Bagley III at the deadline. The Pistons have steadily improved this year, and we’ve seen them flash serious talent defensively. Through the last three games, Detroit ranks second in defensive efficiency and seventh in three-point percentage allowed.
It’s easy to get behind Detroit when they’re playing a team like Brooklyn. The Nets have flagrantly underperformed this season, especially against the spread. At 30-43-2 ATS, Brooklyn ranks 29th, ahead of only the Portland Trail Blazers. In contrast, the Pistons rank a solid ninth at 40-33-2 ATS. Brooklyn fares even worse at home, where they have gone an atrocious 8-27-1 ATS. Detroit is only 19-17-1 ATS on the road, but the Nets have played so poorly in Brooklyn that the trends still point to screaming value on the Pistons.
2. Ish Smith Over 7.5 Points | -108 at FD Sportsbook
Bets like this one are fun. Targeting late-career journeymen on bad teams isn’t the most appealing strategy, but it should work here. The Chicago Bulls have struggled to defend opposing backcourts lately, especially point guards. They have allowed 29.5 points per game to the position over their last 15 outings, an NBA-worst mark. That number sits at 28.1 for the full year, too, which also leads the association.
The Bulls are seriously missing Lonzo Ball at the moment. Ball’s length and motor make him a solid defender at point guard, but without him, the Bulls are stuck with Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu. Both players boast terrible defensive RAPTOR ratings. White even ranks 242nd of 256 players with 1,000-plus minutes, and Dosunmu isn’t far behind in 226th.
As a result, we’ll target one of the Wizards’ point guards tonight. Smith has been averaging 8.2 points per game since he arrived in Washington, and we’ve seen him score at least eight points in half of his 20 games for them. His production has fallen off lately, but the shots have still been there, and he should manage to get a couple extras to fall against Chicago’s defense. As a member of Washington’s second unit, Smith will even draw coverage from Chicago’s worst defender, Coby White.
You’ll find the juice for this prop at -120 on DraftKings Sportsbook, so we’re even getting a bit of value here, too.
3. SGP: Smith 10+ PTS + Vucevic 15+ PTS + CHI ML | +508 (.25u) at FD Sportsbook
This parlay is a little wild, but I’ll explain. First, we’ll tease up Ish Smith’s number to 10 because he’s reached double digits in eight of his games for Washington; he usually finishes with fewer than eight (10 times) or more than 10 (8 times). At +200 odds, this line will anchor our parlay.
Next, we’ll tease down Vucevic’s point total to 15 because he hit twice against the Wizards already. Vucevic has scored at least 15 in each of his last five games and in 11 of his 12 games this month. Washington makes for a strategy target because they have allowed the third-most points to centers over the last 30 games.
Lastly, we’ll bet on the only team with any reason to care about winning tonight on the moneyline. Washington doesn’t have a realistic shot at the play-in anymore, so Chicago’s motivation should be enough to carry them over the hump.
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