Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:56 AM
Wednesday's Best Bets
Milwaukee at Atlanta (7:35 p.m. ET)
Best Bet #1: Hawks (+11)
We've got 11 games across the board in the Association tonight, and if the point spreads are any indication, it might be a card where we've got studs and duds in terms of games. Four of the 11 games currently have a favorite laying double digits, while six of the other games all come in with a line of -3.5 or less. Only the Celtics/Clippers game (LA Clippers -6) is outside both of those parameters this evening, as some of these small underdogs are probably worth a SU money line look as well.
You won't get any of those plays here – although Orlando and Charlotte may be worth a look as small underdogs – as it's two games with bigger spreads that a bit more attractive betting options from my view. We've got one side and one total, so let's get right to them:
This game features two teams with very different goals this year, as the Bucks are legitimate title contenders, while Atlanta simply wants to work it's way to being a legitimate winning team. At 4-9 SU and losers of six of their last eight and eight of their last 10, the Hawks are still finding how tough it is to turn into a consistent winner in this league right now.
But this is the first game back after a rough road trip that saw Atlanta go 1-4 SU and ATS. The final three games of that trip were rough with a 16-point loss to Phoenix, a 49-point loss to the Clippers, and a 21-point defeat to the Lakers.
That recent form will have the majority of the market not wanting to touch this Hawks team right now, as current betting percentages up at VegasInsider.com show upwards of 80% support on Milwaukee already. And on the surface, that looks like the easy play. You've got one of the league's best teams going up against this Atlanta side that hasn't lost by less then 16 points in any of their past three games.
However, a return home after that kind of trip on the road is always going to help a young team like the Hawks regain some composure, and having the last two days off has surely helped as well. Defensively, this team isn't going to become a great unit overnight – Atlanta's allowed 120 or more in six straight – but they do only allow 107.3 points per game at home on the season, which is a marked improvement from the 115.5/game they now give up overall.
At the same time, all the travel that Milwaukee's done this month is bound to catch up with them sooner rather then later. The Bucks have played nine games in the month of November so far, and seven of them have been out on the road. Tonight's game is the end of a three-game trip that has had convincing double digit wins over the Pacers and Bulls, as those results, combined with Atlanta's blowout losses of late, have forced this number to come out a bit higher then it probably should of.
This is the 5th different city the Bucks are playing a game in during the last 10 days, and after being on the road for nearly this entire month, I'm sure the Bucks are anxious to get home again. They've got a big home game vs Portland coming up tomorrow night too, so it's probably not going to be that hard for Milwaukee to look a bit past Atlanta tonight.
Milwaukee's that team this year that is probably going to get caught going through the motions a bit more then they have during the regular season, simply because they learned from a year ago that home court advantage is always nice in the playoffs, but it's not the be all end all. This Bucks team knows it's all about playoff success for them, and while going out on the road and winning big is always nice, that's not a consistent reality for any NBA team.
With the Hawks having their necks bowed up a bit after humiliating losses, the young shooters Atlanta has should be able to fill up the bucket enough to give Milwaukee all they can handle tonight.
Boston at L.A. Clippers (10:05 p.m. ET)
Best Bet #2: Over (218)
It's a rare occurrence in today's NBA to have two teams meet up with one another when both of them are coming off wins where they each failed to score 100 points. But that's precisely what we've got with the Celtics/Clippers tonight, and I do believe the offenses put a much better effort out there.
For the Celtics, an offensive jolt is needed , as they've been held under the century mark for two straight games actually, shooting sub-42% from the field in both contests. Only one player – Jayson Tatum with 26 vs Phoenix – managed to score 20 or more points in either of those games, and if they expect to go into LA and knock off a Clippers team that may or may not be at full strength, they'll need much more production from their starters.
Boston's depth does help an 'over' play in the sense that there will be less of a drop off from them scoring-wise when it's all 2nd teamers out there, and their best path to success is getting out and running on LA when they can to avoid executing consistently in the half-court. They do that, they'll be able to get Boston's point total into the 110's, which is where it realistically needs to be if you want to knock off the Clippers.
LA is not opposed to running up and down the floor with teams – they hung 150 on Atlanta just two games ago – and even though Boston is a better team, this is a situation where running does make sense. It's near the end of a road trip for Boston, the Clippers are at home, and playing too many defensive wars where they need to get stops on every late possession is too grinding for a team with the goals the Clippers have for an 82-game season.
With a huge game against Houston on deck, I'd venture a guess we see a more defensive-minded game plan from LA there. Conference games always tend to mean more, which means non-conference games can get a little loosey-goosey at times, and tonight's game feels like one of those times. After all, LA is on a 11-3 O/U run in their last 14 games against Eastern Conference foes.