A busy night in the NBA looms with nine-games on the schedule from across the Association, including a pair of nationally televised affairs on ESPN when Trae Young and the Hawks visit Luka and Mavs (7:30 PM ET), followed by Giannis and the Bucks tangling with Devin Booker and the Suns in the nightcap (10:30 PM ET).
We’ve combed through the entire Wednesday evening schedule to find our three favorite bets of the night.
Raptors vs. Wizards
Have you checked out our handy dandy NBA 1st Quarter/1st Half Betting Report yet? If you haven’t, you should take a quick gander at it as a lot of betting gems can be found.
One such betting gem comes tonight with the NBA’s best team at covering the spread in the 1st Quarter – the Tampa.. er.. Toronto Raptors.
Toronto has had the pleasure of being relocated to the city of Tampa Bay for this NBA season thanks to the pesky COVID-19 pandemic, but they have made themselves at home in the new ‘City of Champions’ this season, particularly in the 1st quarter where they have covered the 1st quarter spread in eight of the Raptors’ 11 “home” games on the season.
Tonight, the Raptors (11-13) hit the road to face the reeling Wizards (6-15), who have been terrible throughout the course of any given basketball game, but particularly in the first quarter where they boast the East’s second-worst ATS record in the opening stanza at 8-13, and in recent play they have only covered the 1st Quarter line in three of their last 10 games.
The Raptors on the other hand have a tantalizing 15-6-2 ATS mark in the opening quarter this season, including a 7-3-2 ATS record away from Tampa.
These are two teams heading in very opposite directions with the Raptors clawing back into the playoff picture after a slow start out of the gates – probably in large part from being uprooted from Canada to Florida.
We like the Raptors to cover the game line, but we really like them to cover the 1st Quarter Spread.
Best Bet: Raptors 1Q (-1.5)
Hawks – Mavericks
At first glance, your first instinct when looking at a matchup involving Trae Young and Luka Doncic would be that this would be a high-scoring affair with each explosive guard doing their part to light up the scoreboard.
However, the Hawks have quietly been the NBA’s top team at going under the total, covering the under in nearly 70 percent of their games.
Admittedly if you look at recent trends involving the Mavericks, you may get a little gun shy on taking the under in a game involving them of late, as the over has hit in nine of Dallas’s last 12 games including a recent 122-116 win last Wednesday against this same Hawks team.
That contest came with a total that was nearly 10 points smaller than it is tonight, and in games where the total has been 227 or greater for the Hawks, the under is 11-2 with each instance the game went over the total coming against the Brooklyn Nets.
We’re going to continue to ride that trend and back the under.
Best Bet: Hawks/Mavs UNDER 232.5
Pelicans – Bulls
The Pelicans head to the Windy City this evening playing their best basketball of the season as they have won four straight and six of their last eight overall, including a 130-101 blowout victory over the Rockets last night.
This will be only the second time this season that Stan Van Gundy’s Pelicans play in back-to-back nights, the last occurrence resulting in a win over the Bucks followed up by a 126-112 loss to Houston the following night.
However, the Pelicans are finally fully healthy for the first time this season, and the Bulls are not as they will be down three starters tonight when Wendell Carter Jr., Lauri Markkanen, and Otto Porter sit tonight with injuries.
While the Pels are surging, the Bulls are doing the opposite, dropping six of their last eight games including a home loss on Monday to the woeful Washington Wizards.
The Bulls are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games as underdogs, so there is a bit of potential here for a trap, and while we do love the -2.5 number, this still is the second leg of a B2B so we will just remove any need for points by riding the Pelicans on the moneyline in our best bet of the evening.
Best Bet: Pelicans ML (-136)
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