Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:53 AM

NBA Bubble Bets - Tuesday

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Editor's Note: NBA Money (+3680) and Totals (+4850) leader Antony Dinero is on a 19-13 run in this restart despite an ugly Monday. Don't miss out on more winners from him this basketball season on Click to win!

Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks

  • Time/Venue: 1:35 p.m, Visa Athletic Center
  • Records/Bubble Records (SU/ATS): Nets 31-35/1-1 (32-34, 1-1); 54-13/1-1 (37-30, 1-1)
  • Line:  NL

Line Analysis: This is a preview of the likely Eastern Conference first round series considering that the Wizards have opened with three straight losses and aren’t likely to finish within four games of the Nets to force a play-in series after falling to them on Sunday. Unfortunately, Brooklyn isn’t going to play its top three guys on the Orlando roster, sitting Caris LeVert (thigh contusion), Jarrett Allen (load maintenance) and Joe Harris (hamstring/back). This spread would approach 20 points if we could count on the Bucks showing up with something to prove after a loss to Houston but the early buzz is that they’re resting players too. My original line if everyone was playing had Milwaukee laying 13 with a total of 237. We’ll see what they come up with when lines are released in a few hours but FanDuel has the Bucks laying 17.5 points which would be a bargain if we knew their regulars were suiting up.

Injuries/Rotational Adjustments to Watch: Without LeVert and Harris on the wing, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will look to continue a strong showing and we’ll see more of Tyler Johnson off the ball. Rodions Kurucs, Lance Thomas and rookie Donta Hall will be tasked with replacing Allen, who had 22 points and 15 boards against the Wizards and does an irreplaceable job of protecting the paint.

Chirs Chiozza will get the bulk of the minutes running point and veteran Garrett Temple should also get plenty of minutes. If the Bucks opt to rest Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, you’ll want Donte DiVincenzo, Marvin Williams, Sterling Brown and DJ Wilson on your DFS squad. Eric Bledsoe and Pat Connaughton may return from their coronavirus-related absences but guard Wes Matthews will sit out with calf soreness.

Handicapping Notes: The Bucks clinch the top seed in the East with their next win or Toronto loss, so they’re in no danger of falling out of the top spot even if resting players blows up in their face and they suffer a second straight loss. A setback would be the fifth in six games, but wouldn’t be cause for alarm just yet since the bulk of those came months ago and Saturday’s result against the Rockets came thanks to blowing a late lead.

Nothin’ But Bet: A first basket/winner double is the way to bet this one and DiVincenzo scoring in a Milwaukee win is the most likely scenario given the uncertainty surrounding this one. It pays +1100 at FanDuel.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Sacramento Kings

  • Time/Venue: 2:35 p.m. ET, HP Field House
  • Records/Bubble Records (SU/ATS): Mavs 40-29/0-2 (35-31-3, 0-2); Kings 28-38/0-2 (33-31, 0-2)
  • Line: DAL -6/237, DAL -260 ML, SAC +215

Line Analysis: The Kings have lost as both a favorite (Spurs) and underdog (Magic) in the bubble and haven’t looked good doing it. They’ve been outscored by an average of 12.5 points despite the solid efforts of point guard De’Aaron Fox, so it’s no surprise to see them in an underdog role even with the Mavs coming off an upset loss to Phoenix on Sunday night.
Dallas blew a late lead and fell in OT against Houston last Friday in a game that bookmakers essentially saw as a pick’em and also faltered in the second half against the Suns, falling as a six-point ‘dog. Their next two games will be against the Clippers and Bucks, so the Mavs would be best-served winning this one to avoid a potential freefall. Dallas was favored by 8.5 and 9 points at home when it welcomed the Kings in this season and was a four-point road ‘dog in Sacramento on Jan. 15. The Mavs have won two of three straight up but pushed in their road win, so both teams are 1-1-1 ATS against one another in 2019-20.

Injuries/Rotational Adjustments to Watch: Dallas is probably going to be without shooter Seth Curry, who landed on the latest injury report with right leg soreness. He’s played a significant role off the bench that now figures to be played by Trey Burke. Delon Wright is probably in for a minutes increase and pressure will be ramped up on Tim Hardaway Jr. to produce after he shot 1-for-12 in the loss to Phoenix, missing all eight of his 3-point attempts.

The Kings got a career-high scoring effort from Fox in the opener but he wasn’t as effective against the Magic. He’ll need to be aggressive since no one on Dallas can stay with him defensively, although you can count on Wright to give it a try. Harry Giles scored 23 points off the bench and will need to join Richaun Holmes in being active and making Kristaps Porzingis work on the defensive end.

Handicapping Notes: Sacramento gave up 43 first-quarter points against the Spurs to immediately lose control of a game they were favored in and surrendered 44 in the loss to Orlando, barely showing up. The Kings are still just three games back of eighth-place Memphis so they’re not out of it yet but Portland, San Antonio and New Orleans are all ahead of them in the standings, making this one a must-win. If they can’t defend with some intensity early, Luke Walton deserves to come under significant fire.

Nothin’ But Bet: The team total for the Mavs at FanDuel has been set at 121.5 (-110) and I think they’ll surpass that considering the Kings have allowed an average of 130.5 through their first two losses.

Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers

  • Time/Venue: 4:05 p.m. ET, ESPN Wide World of Sports Arena
  • Records/Bubble Records (SU/ATS): Suns 28-39/2-0 (31-35-1, 2-0); Clippers 45-21/1-1 (36-30, 2-0)
  • Line: LAC -9/230, LAC -390 ML, PHX +310

Line Analysis: The Clips are favored by one point more than I expected they would be given the players they’re missing and Phoenix’s upset of the Mavs. This total is a basket shy of my initial figure, so I’ll explore whether there’s value on the ‘over’ when contemplating my action. L.A. destroyed New Orleans 126-103 in a game that went ‘under’ unless you got in before the massive line shift that saw the total move from 226 to 232.5. Phoenix’s game against Dallas also stayed ‘under’ 235 when the Mavs missed their game-winning 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

Totals in this series were set at 225 for the first two meetings and climbed to 232.5 for the most recent meeting on Feb. 26. Phoenix was a 7.5-point home underdog and lost by 10, but it won the first matchup between the teams at home on Oct. 26 as a 10-point underdog in a game Paul George missed. L.A. won the middle meeting 120-99 on Dec. 17 at Staples.

Injuries/Rotational Adjustments to Watch: Lou Williams is listed as questionable to play in this game as he comes out quarantine after being outed following his trip to Atlanta’s Magic City Gentleman’s Club to dine on chicken wings. He hasn’t practiced and therefore may require a few more days since L.A. squares off with Dallas on Thursday. Power forward Montrezl Harrell remains away from the team. The Suns will again be missing small forward Kelly Oubre (knee), giving Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson more run. Center Aron Baynes may also be available considering he’s gotten in some practice time.

Handicapping Notes: Phoenix center Deandre Ayton should be fresh since he was on the bench for most of Sunday’s upset of Dallas, playing just 21 minutes due to foul trouble. He usually bounces back well after disappointing efforts and had 24 points and 12 rebounds in the bubble opener against the Wizards, so count on him being assertive early. Devin Booker has Ricky Rubio to help him facilitate offense but they’ll have to deal with the defense of Patrick Beverley and Paul George, which will certainly complicate matters. Booker has averaged 22 points and nine assists in two games against the Clips this season but has shot just 38.5 percent.

Nothin’ But Bet: Kawhi Leonard (+160), Booker (+185) and Paul George (+250) have much better odds at FanDuel to finish as this game’s high-scorer, but I’d back Ayton based on the potential payoff alone. The second-year Suns center is +1000 to emerge with the most points out of this one and I’m of the belief he’ll bounce back from Sunday’s foul-plagued effort. He’s averaged 21.5 points in two games against the Clippers this season.

Orlando Magic vs. Indiana Pacers

  • Time/Venue: 6:05 p.m. ET, Visa Athletic Center
  • Records/Bubble Records (SU/ATS): Magic 32-35/2-0 (33-32-2, 2-0); Pacers 41-26/2-0 (36-28-3, 2-0)
  • Line: IND -1.5/223.5, IND ML -130, ORL +110

Line Analysis: The Pacers are favored by only a bucket since they played yesterday, picking up a double-digit win over the Wizards. Victor Oladipo didn’t play to rest up for the second of this back-to-back so he’ll be ready for this one against his former team. The total is slightly higher than I’d expected it would be but the books may have finally wised up to the Magic’s offensive improvement in terms of efficiency that has led to the ‘over’ connecting in 14 consecutive games involving Orlando. The high side is on a 4-1 run in Pacers games. Indiana won both regular-season meetings played in November and the ‘over’ connected each time but those totals were much lower, hovering just above 200.

Injuries/Rotational Adjustments to Watch: Indiana point guard Malcolm Brogdon returned from a neck issue that kept him out of Indiana’s upset of Philadelphia over the weekend and finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and six assists. There have been no reports of him sitting out the second of a back-to-back but you should monitor the situation considering he was scratched roughly 90 minutes before tip-off on Saturday. Oladipo’s availability and the emergence of T.J. Warren and Aaron Holiday over the past few games gives head coach Nate McMillan a glut of scoring options and playmakers along the perimeter.

Jonathan Isaac tore his ACL in the fourth quarter of a game the Magic had in hand, which is extremely unfortunate. He was going to be the x-factor in Orlando’s run at whoever winds up playing the East’s No. 2 seed, as is expected. Guard Markelle Fultz is similarly on a minutes restriction but is also ramping up to playing his typical complement of minutes despite what happened to Isaac, who hurt himself planting awkwardly on a drive to the basket. Isaac’s absence means there’s more pressure on Aaron Gordon to continue producing after he torched Sacramento for 22 points on 8-for-12 shooting. Terrence Ross added 25 points off the bench and made five 3-pointers, so he’s also in line for minutes with Isaac out.

Handicapping Notes: This is a much different Magic squad that Indiana will be getting a look at since they’ve picked up where they left off in March in clicking offensively. Oladipo being part of Indiana’s equation while power forward Domantas Sabonis remains out means the Pacers are much different too, so it will be interesting to see who adjusts best, McMillan or Orlando head coach Steve Clifford. With a nine game cushion on the Magic, Indiana is in no danger of slipping to seventh but it remains locked in a race with the 76ers for the No. 5 seed, leading by a single game. The Pacers are one game back of Miami for No. 4, so they have a ton to play for. Isaac would’ve surely drawn the sizzling Warren, who has averaged 43.5 points through two games to date, so Clifford will have to rely on Gordon and Wes Iwundu, which likely won’t be as effective.

Nothin’ But Bet: My favorite prop of the day is found in this game, where FanDuel has set the number on Orlando sixth man Terrence Ross’ 3-point makes at just 2.5. He’ll definitely fire off at least six attempts and seems to be in a good rhythm so we might empty the bank account on him making at least three 3’s.(-118).

Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat

  • Time/Venue: 6:35 p.m. ET ESPN, HP Field House
  • Records/Bubble Records (SU/ATS): Celtics 44-22/1-1 (38-24-4, 0-1-1); Heat 42-25/1-1 (34-31-2, 1-1)
  • Line: BOS -3.5/222, BOS ML -158, MIA +134

Line Analysis: This total appears spot on, as I had 223 and 222.5 when putting my numbers together, but the Heat are getting a little more respect from oddsmakers than I anticipated since they’re playing the second of a back-to-back. Boston has looked sharp in holding off Portland after going toe-to-toe with Milwaukee to open bubble play, so they could’ve been favored by another point or two.

The Celtics were a two-point underdog in Miami in the most recent showdown between these Eastern Conference contenders and won 109-101. The total was set at 218.5, nine points higher than it was placed for the only matchup the teams have played in Boston this season, a 112-93 Celtics’ rout on Dec. 4.

Injuries/Rotational Adjustments to Watch: The Heat played a physically taxing game against Toronto on Monday afternoon but should have all their players available a little over 24 hours later. Jimmy Butler, whose status for that Raptors game was in doubt until the morning, appears to be a go.

The Celtics are the healthiest they’ve been all season and should therefore have all hands on deck. Although Boston will play Brooklyn on Wednesday, expect them to empty the clip here and rest whoever needs to sit against the Nets. Brad Stevens’ squad is 2.5 games up on Miami for the No. 3 seed and is now four games behind Toronto, who is unlikely to be caught for No. 2 and the Atlantic Division title. That makes this contest the most important one Boston is scheduled to play among these seeding games.

Handicapping Notes: Kelly Olynyk has been fantastic thus far for Miami, but the play of many of its other x-factors has been inconsistent. Duncan Robinson wasn’t allowed to breathe by the Raptors along the perimeter and All-Star forward Bam Adebayo really struggled to set his usual tone against Pascal Siakam and the long Toronto frontcourt. Rookie guard Kendrick Nunn really struggled on both sides of the ball, which could lead to veteran Goran Dragic ultimately reclaiming his hold on a position they’ve shared for most of the season.

Boston’s Jayson Tatum rebounded from his awful performance against the Bucks where he managed just five points by torching the Blazers for 34 points. Defensively, Butler is the opposite extreme from Carmelo Anthony, so it will be really interesting to see how he fares here. The Celtics have won five consecutive matchups against Miami, which takes those types of streaks personally.

Nothin’ But Bet: Robinson was smothered along the perimeter on Monday, which really affected the flow of Miami’s offense. Count on him being prodded to be more aggressive in this one, which means he’ll fire up at least six or seven 3-pointers. Ride the over on 12.5 points (-114) for the young marksman.

Houston Rockets vs. Portland Trail Blazers

  • Time/Venue: 9:05 p.m. ET, ESPN Wide World of Sports Arena
  • Records/Bubble Records (SU/ATS): Rockets 42-24/2-0 (31-35, 2-0); Blazers 30-38/1-1 (28-37-3, 1-0-1)
  • Line: HOU -4.5/242.5, HOU ML -194, POR +162

Line Analysis: This line goes to show you how much respect the Blazers are rightfully getting with Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins now on board since no other team vying for the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference would be an underdog of under seven points against Houston. This will be the first game where the Rockets are conclusively favored in the bubble and they’ll face the Lakers next on Thursday, so it will be fun to see how they handle a target on their backs.

The Rockets were a 5-point road favorite in Portland for their most recent meeting on Jan. 29 but were routed 125-112. The Blazers split their visits to Houston, losing 132-108 on Nov. 18 as a 7.5-point underdog before posting a 117-107 upset as an 8.5-point ‘dog on Jan. 15. The totals have been set at 231, 237 and 242, with the ‘under’ prevailing on two occasions.

Injuries/Rotational Adjustments to Watch: Eric Gordon will be out a few weeks with his ankle injury, but Mike D’Antoni has committed to a shortened rotation and has elevated Austin Rivers into Gordon’s role. Despite getting into the bubble late, James Harden and Russell Westbrook have looked healthy and been extremely productive.

The same can be said about Damian Lillard, who was nursing foot pain and not really practicing in the lead-up to these seeding games but delivered 30 points and 16 assists in the near-upset of Boston. Nurkic also scored 30 points and looks extremely healthy, having banished former starter Hassan Whiteside to a bench role. The extra few months of rest have really benefited him and make him this game’s x-factor since the Rockets have no one to match up with him.

Handicapping Notes: Because Nurkic wasn’t a part of any of the regular-season matchups and they all came prior to the Rockets really committing to microball by trading Clint Capela away for Robert Covington, you can’t take much away from what transpired in Portland taking two of three from the Rockets. This one will really be about who shoots it best from the perimeter, how effective Harden and Westbrook are in attacking the paint to help land Portland’s bigs in foul trouble and how P.J. Tucker fares protecting the paint and rebounding against multiple 7-footers. You can count on the Blazers winning the rebounding battle, but that hasn’t slowed the Rockets down yet.

Nothin’ But Bet: Westbrook has to rebound even more effectively than he normally tasks himself on the to-do list, so expect that to lead to a very productive night on the glass for him. Ride the over on 7.5 boards (-124).

NBA Daily
Free Pick

The Magic have really mastered this transition from a team focused on executing at the defensive end to one executing at a high level on offense, and that emphasis will be even greater with Isaac no longer part of the equation. Without Sabonis to play through, the Pacers offense has more of a rhythm and they’re less likely to get bogged down setting up in the halfcourt. Ride the over in Magic/Pacers. Check out more free picks in multiple sports on the YouTube channel

NBA Betting Results
Reseeding Action

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under - O/U

Take Note

  • Favorites posted a 5-1 SU & ATS mark on Monday
  • The 'under' has prevailed more often than the high side in three of the five days of action and went 3-3 yesterday but remains down for the duration due to an 0-6 Saturday
  • Nuggets (+5.5, ML +200) were the lone underdogs to win outright on Monday
  • The point-spread has only mattered in three games so far (Clippers-Lakers, Celtics-Blazers, Spurs-76ers)
2020 NBA Reseeding - Betting Results
Span Favorites-Dogs (SU) Favorites-Dogs (ATS) Over-Under (O/U)
Yesterday 5-1 4-2 3-3
Overall 15-8-2 13-10-2 13-12

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