If you’ve never bet on sports before, maybe I can help you out a bit. If you’re into sports betting like I am, we’ll probably get along just fine. I’m going to give my picks for each game today and give one player prop bet that I absolutely love. If you’re smart, unlike me, you should take these picks straight up. Or, if you parlay like I love to do, all I can say is parlay and pray.
Nets/Magic U222.5 -115
Both the Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic have locked up the 7th and 8th seeds, respectively. Both teams already have their matchups set for the playoffs, so this game virtually means nothing. There are a ton of players who are listed out for Orlando, including Aaron Gordon, Terrence Ross, Evan Fournier, Mo Bamba, and Michael Carter-Williams. For Brooklyn, Jarrett Allen, Joe Harris, Caris LeVert, Garrett Temple, and Jamal Crawford are all out as well.
With almost every key player out for both teams, we’ll be seeing a lot of play from the second unit and players deep into each team’s bench. Guys that haven’t gotten the chance to play that much all season will definitely get their opportunity today. Due to so many players sitting out, I’m predicting that both teams will not score over 222.5 points today.
Rockets ML (+155) over San Antonio
Today’s game against Houston is a must-win for San Antonio. If the Spurs lose and the Suns or Blazers win, San Antonio will be eliminated from playoff contention. With a 4-2 record in the bubble, the Spurs have made a lot of noise in their quest to make the playoffs for a 23rd straight year. I believe that streak will come to an end today.
Houston will be without James Harden and Eric Gordon, which is pretty significant, but will have Russell Westbrook (quadriceps) back in the lineup. The Spurs will be without Bryn Forbes and Tyler Zeller, while Derrick White is questionable with a knee injury. The Spurs are 1-4 in their last 5 games against Houston. As long as Westbrook plays, I expect the Rockets to take this one.
Suns ML (-450) over Philadelphia
The Suns are in the same spot as San Antonio, where each game is a must-win. They have a great matchup against the 76ers today without both Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Tobias Harris, Al Horford, and Josh Richardson may not play today either. I expect the Suns to stay undefeated in the bubble and take care of business against Philly.
Celtics -3 -110 over Memphis
Let’s be real here, the Grizzlies have been awful since entering the bubble. The Boston Celtics have won 4 of their last 5 games by an average of 15 points. The Grizzlies have lost 4 of their last 5 games by an average of 7 points. Only Daniel Theis (day-to-day) is listed on the injury report for Boston, and if Brad Stevens decides to play his guys today, this should be an easy game for Boston. Stevens could limit their minutes and let the bench get some run, but I still don’t think the Grizzlies would be able to cover their spread today.
Trail Blazers/Mavericks O238 -115
Just like the Spurs and Suns, the Trail Blazers are fighting for the last playoff spot in the West. The Blazers would clinch a spot in the play-in tournament with a win and losses from both Phoenix and San Antonio. Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis are expected to be back in the lineup today, so this will be a tough matchup for Portland. But, with both of Dallas’ best players back in the starting lineup, I expect a lot of points to be scored. Both teams have scored over 120 points and have allowed over 110 points in their last three games. Take the over.
Kings ML (-145) over New Orleans
If you watch this game tonight, you definitely have money on it. In a game where both teams are eliminated from playoff contention, a good amount of players will be sitting out. For the Pelicans, Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and Jrue Holiday will all be out, while De’Aaron Fox, Richaun Holmes, and Kent Bazemore will be out for the Kings. I would say bet the under for this one, but both sides still have players that can go off, like Buddy Hield or JJ Redick. I’d take the Kings straight up today since New Orleans is sitting their three best players, and Sacramento is still playing some of their top guys.
Bucks ML (-335) over Washington
In yet another meaningless game, the Bucks should take the win over the Wizards tonight. The Bucks may come out and announce some of their top guys are sitting out, which is why I don’t want to take the spread. Giannis Antetokounmpo did sit out in yesterday’s loss versus Toronto, so he should be active tonight. Washington is eliminated from playoff contention, so this game means nothing to them. Expect Milwaukee to come out of this game with a win.
Bonus Player Prop: Devin Booker O27.5 points -115
For my player prop pick of the day, I’m going with Devin Booker scoring over 27.5 points against the Philadephia 76ers. Who’s going to stop DBook today? If Richardson doesn’t suit up, Booker should have himself a field day. This is a must-win game for the Suns, so expect to see a big performance from Booker this afternoon.
Take these picks with caution. If you bet, good luck and be smart. If you decide to parlay a few of these games, all I can say is parlay and pray.
Photo: David Dow / National Basketball Association / Getty