Tuesday’s slate is light on games but big on postseason implications. There are just five total games on the schedule, every game has a team playing for play-in or playoff positioning.
The Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers are battling for a tiebreaker at the top of the East, while the Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz have matchups against two play-in bound teams (well … we’ll see about the Lakers) in Los Angeles.
Our NBA analysts are eyeing one of those games plus another East matchup for the best bets. Check out their analysis below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Detroit Pistons vs. Brooklyn Nets
Brandon Anderson: Kyrie Irving can finally play home games in Brooklyn, but his home debut was a dud on Sunday night.
Irving had been scorching hot since the All-Star Break but cooled off in a big way with a disappointing 16 points in his season debut at Brooklyn. It was a disheartening loss to the Charlotte Hornets, one of the teams the Nets are battling in the play-in race.
Tonight looks like an excellent bounce-back spot, both for the Nets and for Kyrie, against a bad Detroit Pistons team already in offseason mode.
The truth is that Sunday was little more than an off shooting night for Irving. It’s not that he got shut down — he just missed shots. Irving took 22 shots but made only six of them. That includes 1-of-9 on 3-pointers, his single worst 3-point performance of the season, and it also included only four free throws, below his season average.
Really, Irving’s volume has been nuts lately. Since the All-Star break — that is, since the James Harden trade — Irving is averaging 36.7 minutes per game and taking 21.4 field goal attempts.
He’s also averaging over 1.51 points per shot during that stretch and scoring 32.4 PPG with games of 38, 43, 50, and 60 points. That’s half his games with at least 38 points since the Harden trade, and if Irving had kept up his 1.51 points per shot last game, he’d have scored 33 there too instead of 16.
Today’s bet is also a good reminder to shop around and use our Props Tool to find the best odds on the board, because I’m playing a whole cocktail of Irving props from three different books. We project Irving at 28.2 points, so I’ll play the standard over 24.5 points at -110 on DraftKings.
But it’s clear we should also play some alternate overs here, so I’ll grab the best lines available with 35-plus at +550 on PointsBet and 40-plus points for +1100 at FanDuel.
Remember, he’s gone over 35 points in 50% of his games since the Harden trade, which would imply +100 instead of the +550 we’re getting. Even in a potential blowout situation, I’m banking Kyrie Irving bouncing back with a big night in front of the home crowd.
Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Raheem Palmer: The Jazz are coming off a brutal East Coast road trip, having lost four straight games against the Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets and Dallas Mavericks and now fly back to the West Coast to take on the Los Angeles Clippers, a team they defeated by nearly 30 points on March 18th.
A big part of Utah’s struggles has been the absence of Bojan Bogdanovic who is the team’s second leading scorer at 18.1 pints per game. As one of the teams best three point shooters at 39.2% on 6.7 attempts per game, Bogdanovic was a tremendous loss for a Jazz team which is shooting a league leading 43.6% of their attempts from behind the arc.
They should have him back tonight which should be huge for their offense as they’re scoring nearly three points per 100 possessions more with him in the lineup. Nevertheless, Rudy Gobert is questionable for this matchup as well so be use to monitor his status.
Still, with or without Gobert, I believe this line is short against a Clippers team which is just 27th in Offensive Rating (108.4) and 26th In Defensive Rating (121.2) over the past two weeks.
While Paul George could return to the lineup tonight, I like to fade high usage players coming back from major injuries in their first game back as they tend to be rusty with market overvaluing their presence as they get their legs under them. I’ll take the Jazz at -1.
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