NBA Picks

NBA Best Bets Today: Predictions for Ja Morant, Timberwolves-Pelicans and More

Peter Dewey
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant.
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant. / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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For those of you who have been following the NBA Best Bets column this season, you know that I let you know when I’m hot, and when I’m cold. 

Well, in our last 11 picks in the column, we’ve gone a scorching 10-1, including a 4-0 showing on Monday night. 

As my friend and colleague Ben Heisler said, why don’t we stay hot?

Tonight, I’m looking at a couple of road teams to cover the spread as well as a player prop for Ja Morant that may not be a fun play, but I think it is the right one. 

Let’s get into the picks!

All odds courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook.

NBA Best Bets Record to Date

  • NBA Best Bets Record: 87-89-2

NBA Best Bets Today

  • Minnesota Timberwolves -3.5 vs. New Orleans Pelicans (-110)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +9 vs. Washington Wizards (-110)
  • Ja Morant UNDER 25.5 Points (-125)

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. New Orleans Pelicans: Wolves -3.5 (-110)

The Timberwolves are 22-18 against the spread this season, but they are even better on the road, going 13-6 ATS. They also have covered 75 percent of the time as a road favorite this season, going 3-1 ATS. 

Despite that, the Pelicans aren’t going to be a pushover on Tuesday. New Orleans is 11-8 against the spread at home and has actually been playing better as of late, winning five of its last 10 games. 

However, when you look at the advanced numbers, the Wolves are the much better team this season. Minnesota is 19th in offensive rating, eighth in defensive rating and 23rd in effective field goal percentage while the Pelicans rank 25th, 24th and 27th in those respective categories. 

This is the fourth time these teams will face off this season, with Minnesota holding a 2-1 series lead and coming off a 14-point win its last time in New Orleans. 

I’ve been backing this Wolves team all season, and I’m not going to stop now at such a small spread against one of the worst teams in the NBA. 

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Washington Wizards: Thunder +9 (-110)

Washington sits at .500 this season, but it nearly lost to the Orlando Magic in its last game. Oklahoma City, on the other hand, has covered in 10 of its last 13 games and will look to ride that momentum into Tuesday’s game. 

While the Wizards started the 2021-22 season as one of the best teams in the East, they’ve cooled off significantly, and I think they’re overvalued in this spot

The Thunder are one of the best teams in the NBA against the spread this season, going 25-14 ATS, and they already covered as six-point dogs against the Wizards earlier this season. 

Washington has failed to cover in three straight games, and even with Spencer Dinwiddie and Montrezl Harrell back, I don’t think I can lay this many points with the Wiz. 

Washington has fallen to 20th in offensive rating and 23rd in defensive rating this season, while the Thunder are 30th and 14th in those respective categories. OKC isn’t going to score a ton of points, but it is going to defend and make things hard on the Wizards’ offense.

I’ll gladly take the points with the Thunder who have covered in 11 of 18 road games this season. 

Ja Morant UNDER 25.5 Points (-125)

Ja Morant has been unreal as of late, but I am going to sell high on him in this spot against the Golden State Warriors’ No. 1 defense. 

The Warriors have held three straight opponents under 100 points, and they held Morant to 21 on 6-of-15 shooting in their last matchup.

Morant has cleared this line in five straight games at one point, but he has gone under it in back-to-back contests. Since returning from injury, he has cleared 25.5 points in five of 10 games, averaging 25.9 points per game over that stretch. 

I think we see a little regression against Golden State especially considering Morant has missed the over this prop in all but one of those 10 games that he didn’t take 20-plus shots. 

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