After a long day away, the NBA is back on Tuesday night, and yours truly is back hoping to continue on the hot stretch in the NBA Best Bets column.
We’ve got plenty of games with playoff implications on Tuesday, as our own Reed Wallach outlined the scenarios for the Eastern Conference and Western Conference teams in the lay-in tournament conversation today.
Let’s jump into today’s picks!
NBA Best Bets Record to Date
- NBA Best Bets Record: 178-162-5 (+1.1325 units)
Find Peter Dewey’s full betting record in the NBA this season here.
NBA Best Bets Today
- Memphis Grizzlies +5.5 vs. Utah Jazz (-110)
- Houston Rockets +17.5 vs. Brooklyn Nets (-110)
- Brandon Ingram OVER 22.5 Points (-120)
- Devin Booker OVER 25.5 Points (-115)
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Utah Jazz: Grizzlies +5.5 (-110)
The Memphis Grizzlies are still down Ja Morant, but they have a chance to pick up their eighth straight win on Tuesday when they take on the reeling Utah Jazz.
I think there’s a major trend that favors the Grizzlies in this game, who will be coming into the matchup fresh off of three rest days.
This season, Memphis is the best team in the NBA against the spread when it has a rest advantage, going 16-8 on the season. Meanwhile, Utah is the worst team in the NBA with a rest disadvantage this season, going just 6-12-1 against the spread.
Utah has really struggled lately, blowing leads against the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors, and they’ve been about league average over their last 10 games.
The Jazz are 15th in net rating, 19th in defensive rating and 10th in offensive rating over that stretch while the Grizzlies are second, first and third in those categories over the same stretch.
I keep waiting for the Grizzlies to fall off without Morant, but they refuse to do it, so I love getting the points against a struggling roster. I bet this game at 5.5 last night, but it has moved down to five, but I would still bet it at that number as well.
The Grizzlies are the best team in the NBA against the spread for a reason, so don’t be afraid to back them in this game.
Houston Rockets vs. Brooklyn Nets: Rockets +17.5 (-110)
The Brooklyn Nets have fallen all the way to the No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference, but they have a “get right” spot against the lowly Houston Rockets who have lost four straight games entering this matchup.
Houston does have one positive to look at, as rookie guard Jalen Green is averaging over 30 points per game in his last five matchups.
I actually bet this game on Monday night, taking Houston to cover the massive 17.5-point spread.
While I don’t particularly love backing the Rockets in any spot this season, this is more about fading the Nets as home favorites than anything else.
Brooklyn is just 4-24-1 against the spread when favored at home this season, and the Nets haven’t exactly been playing great basketball coming into this game, losing to the Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Hornets in three of their last four.
Brooklyn also allowed the Detroit Pistons to cover a 14-point spread in a win at home last week. The Pistons have much less offensive firepower than the Rockets, who at least love to push the pace.
I think Houston may struggle to keep this game within double-digits, but 17.5 points is just way too much to lay with Brooklyn given its struggles at home this season.
Brandon Ingram OVER 22.5 Points (-120)
Brandon Ingram is averaging 22.8 points per game for the New Orleans Pelicans this season, and he gets an easy matchup against a Sacramento Kings team that he dropped 33 points against in their last meeting on Tuesday.
Ingram has cleared 22.5 points in two of his last four games since returning from injury, but the volume hasn’t been there since he played fewer minutes in the first two games back.
If Ingram can get back closer to 18-20 shots on Tuesday, he should torch the Kings who rank 27th in the league in defensive rating this season. The Pelicans need this game for the play-in conversation in the West, so I expect Ingram and company to make a statement against a lesser team.
Devin Booker OVER 25.5 Points (-115)
I know the Phoenix Suns should blow out the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, but I’m going to take a shot on Devin Booker to play enough to clear this line since he’s been red hot as of late.
Booker has cleared 25.5 points in nine of his last 12 games and is averaging 31.0 points per game on 52.5 percent shooting from the field over that stretch.
He missed Phoenix’s last game, but Booker dropped 41 on the Memphis Grizzlies his last time out. The Lakers stink on defense, ranking 28th in defensive rating over their last 10 games, so I love Booker to hit around his season average of 26.6 points per game.
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