NBA Best Bets of the Day (3/5)


Welcome to Hoops with Noops! We have a jam-packed TNT Tuesday night full of NBA basketball, but sometimes quantity does not mean quality. Teams do tend to play their best this late in the season. so they can finish in the best spot possible for the postseason, but this is also the time of the year when we see more injuries.


Fatigue and the physical toll of 60 NBA games leaves players prone to getting hurt. We have several star players who won’t be able to play Tuesday, which makes watching games tough and handicapping them even tougher. It’s difficult to project how backups will perform and what teams will look like without their best players.

Betting the NBA this time of year requires a careful eye and a discerning control over your wallet. Let’s keep that in mind as we go through each game and see where value may lie.

NBA Best Bets for Tuesday

Indiana Pacers at Dallas Mavericks 

Current Line – Mavericks -5, 246.5
My Projection – Mavericks 127, Pacers 119
Key InjuriesLuka Doncic, Maxi Kleber, Aaron Nesmith and Benedict Mathurin are questionable.

The Pacers have been a much different team since acquiring Pascal Siakam. Their pace has slowed, they are shooting fewer three pointers, and their defense is better. Overall, they are slightly better than they were before the trade, but the market has rated them a few points higher than me for weeks now. They are being priced like one of better teams in the NBA, but I don’t see that. They caught the league by surprise early with their lightning speed and barrage of three pointers. Teams adjusted and in response, Indiana acquired Siakam to be a physical force defensively and a small ball center that improves the defense, but without hurting the offense too much. That’s what has happened, but it hasn’t gotten them back to the level of success we saw to start the season.

The Mavericks are one of the best teams in the league. Daniel Gafford and P.J. Washington have fit in well and given the Mavericks more flexibility while covering up some of their biggest problems. Their last two games were not good, but they were tough spots. They lost to the Celtics in Boston which was their third game in four nights and the last game of four game road trip. Returning home after a road trip is always a down spot for teams. Going home means going back to all the responsibilities you had to shirk while on the road. The Mavericks played poorly and lost to the 76ers who were double-digit underdogs. I think that downturn and Doncic’s status are giving us a chance to back Dallas at a nice price. If Doncic can play, this spread should close to 12 points and if he doesn’t play, I still make the Mavericks eight-point favorites. This is a great matchup for them and a good spot for us to make a bet. Let’s lay the points with Dallas.


Dallas Mavericks -5 (-110, DraftKings Sportsbook)

Not For Noops

Games I’m not betting and why I’m not betting them.

Orlando Magic at Charlotte Hornets +8.5, 207.5

Orlando is the much better team and deserving of being favorites this big, but the books hung a good number. I make this game Magic -9 with a total of 209. Charlotte has been playing better with Tre Mann at the point guard spot to initiate the offense. It’s had a great impact on Brandon Miller and Miles Bridges, but the Hornets are still a bad team. They’ve played good defense and if they can make the game ugly, they can cover this spread. This is a lot of points given how low the total is and the Magic have to play again tomorrow on the road in Washington. Orlando is a young team and they’ve pushed hard in back-to-backs. They also know tomorrow night’s opponent is one they can beat without their best effort. This will be a fun game to watch for fans of physical, defensive basketball, but I don’t see any value in the betting markets.

Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers +8, 215.5

The Celtics were 8.5-point favorites in Cleveland in December with a healthy roster and the Cavaliers missing Evan Mobley. Boston won by nine points thanks to better shooting and more possessions. Tuesday, Donovan Mitchell is out and Kristaps Porzingis and Jaylen Brown are questionable. The current spread suggests at least one of the Celtics starters rests if not both. If Brown and Porzingis can play, this spread should be double digits, but we don’t know if that’s going to happen or not right now. If both are out, I make this Boston -6 which is a small edge on Cleveland. It could be a playoff series preview and should be a competitive game, but there’s too much unknown about who is going to play to make a wager at this time. Any bets I do make will be posted in the FTN Bets Discord.

New Orleans Pelicans at Toronto Raptors +9, 228

A healthy Pelicans team is a scary matchup for any team and especially for the Raptors without Scottie Barnes. New Orleans should be able to attack the rim on offense, which is their strength, and control the boards on defense keeping the Raptors from getting extra possessions. Everything adds up to a big win for the Pelicans, but the books knew that and hung a big spread. I make this game New Orleans -10.5 which is too small of an edge to back the Pelicans. The total looks a little high, I make it 226, but this game is a likely blowout and blowouts are bad news for under bettors. I’ll pass on this game.

Philadelphia 76ers at Brooklyn Nets -1, 212.5

So, do you want to bet on the Philadelphia 76ers to win without Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, De’Anthony Melton and Robert Covington and with another game Wednesday? Or do you want to bet on the Brooklyn Nets? Brooklyn is mostly healthy, Cam Thomas is out, but they are still the Nets and they played last night losing to the Memphis Grizzlies who were 9.5-point underdogs. I’m not saying this game should be cancelled, but I am saying you shouldn’t watch it. As for betting it, I’m not sure how to handicap this version of the 76ers. They have a good defensive core and maybe Tobias Harris and Buddy Hield can score enough points to win, but I felt really silly even typing that. I’m not sure what to make of this matchup and can’t bet it.

Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks -2.5, 215.5

If Jalen Brunson can play, I like the Knicks in this spot, but we have to wait until status is official. He has a left knee contusion that he got two days ago in a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Brunson played only one minute, but the Knicks don’t think it is a serious problem although he could miss tonight’s game and a few more. I make this game Knicks -6 if Brunson is able to play. Atlanta has been without Trae Young for just over a week and are 2-3 in their five games without their All-Star guard. The Hawks are still a talented team, but they need to have an elite offense to compete. Whether it be the players or the scheme, it’s been made clear that Atlanta is not a good defensive team and win games by finding a way to score a lot of points. They average 127 points in their wins and just 115 points in their losses. Keep an eye on the Discord. I’ll post any bets I make there once the status of Brunson is clear.

Detroit Pistons at Miami Heat -11.5, 217

The Pistons have been playing a little better the last week or so, but they are still one of the worst teams in the league. The Heat have been known for occasionally overlooking games like this, but now that we are at the end of the season I expect Miami to play their best. They are half a game behind the 6 seed, which guarantees a playoff spot and keeps them out of the Play-In Tournament. We see the Heat start the season slow every year, but when we get into March and April they start to play their best basketball and ramp up for the postseason. If it were November, I’d find myself wanting to back the Pistons, but it’s March and I make the Heat 12-point favorites, which is in line with the current odds. That means I have no bets for this game.

San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets -7.5, 228

This is another game that offers two bad options for bettors. You can bet the San Antonio Spurs, who might be without Victory Wembanyama, getting less than 10 points. Your other choice is to lay almost eight points with a Houston Rockets team that has been bad for a few months now. They are better at home, but not good enough to justify this large of a spread. This game is a mess. If Wembanyama plays, I make this game Rockets -4.5 and if he is out, I make it Rockets -10.5. Those are big enough edges to play if the line stays the same, but that’s not the case. Once we know the official status of Wembanyama this line will likely move into an unbettable range. That means we can’t bet it now and likely won’t bet it later. If I do bet it, I’ll post it in the Discord in the #nba-plays channel.

Phoenix Suns at Denver Nuggets -9.5, 223.5

Devin Booker is out and Jusuf Nurkic is questionable, which is why this spread is so big. The Suns have been playing good basketball and are one of the highest-rated team, but that’s only when all three of their stars are healthy. Without Booker, Kevin Durant, or Bradley Beal they can’t be the elite offense required for them to win games. I think the Nuggets can cover this number, but Denver has played games like this with less than their best effort. They know the importance of saving their best basketball for the playoffs and rarely win games by double digits. Only 19 of their 42 wins this season have been by 10 or more points. My projections are close to these numbers and I’m not sure what to make of either team. I’m not making any wagers on this game.

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