NBA Best Bets of the Night: Tuesday, April 5
No NBA games were played last night as a result of the NCAA Championship thriller where Kansas overcame a disastrous first half to capture the title against UNC.
Tonight there are 12 NBA games on the schedule, and we will only be taking a look at games where there will be at least some competition. Many in the last few weeks of the regular season are between losing teams. For the most part, we will be staying away from those and looking at more serious matchups between playoff-bound NBA teams. The only exception to that is a Nets-Rockets game with some exploitable betting lines. Let’s dive in.
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Best Bets of the Night
Game 1: Memphis Grizzlies at Utah Jazz
The Grizzlies remain the best team against the spread this season. Tonight, they visit the Utah Jazz and have to keep it to a five-point loss at a maximum. The Grizzlies have won more than 20 games this season without Ja Morant, which is absolutely phenomenal as it means the Grizzlies have only lost a handful of games without him in the rotation. The Grizzlies went ahead and defeated the Phoenix Suns last night, on the road. This team continues to impress, and honestly has a great chance of winning this game outright tonight. Let’s play it safe and take the Grizzlies to cover the spread, which for them, is synonymous with taking care of business.
The Pick: Memphis Grizzlies +5.5
Game 2: Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls +5
The Chicago Bulls have rallied in the east this season to a respectable 45-23 record. They lost their last game in a blowout on homecourt to the Miami Heat. Now they will be hosting the roaring Milwaukee Bucks, but the Bulls have defeated the Bucks earlier this season and can beat them again. I expect them to defend their home floor after a bad 127-109 defeat to the Miami Heat on Saturday. The Bulls will also be hosting the Celtics Wednesday and the Hornets Friday night, all winnable for them. If things go according to plan, Chicago can capture the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. Both the Bucks and the 76ers are 3.0 games ahead of the Bulls with a record of 48-30. Finally, the Bulls are the team in the Eastern Conference with the best home record with 27 wins and 11 losses at home this season. The East is highly contested this season, and the battle between the Bucks, the 76ers, the Bulls, and the Raptors (who also share a record of 45-33) will perhaps make for some of the most exciting basketball as we wind down the regular season.
The Pick: Chicago Bulls ML +180
Game 3: Houston Rockets at Brooklyn Nets
There are a few reasons for which the Rockets and the Nets will not be totaling 245 points this evening. The first half will likely be a disaster for the Rockets at the Barclays Center. I think we’ll see the Nets with ferocious offense from the get-go, and a destabilized Rockets team by the end of the first quarter. If a blowout scenario takes place, the Nets could score up to 130 points tonight while the Rockets score 100. The Nets will be without Seth Curry tonight, but Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Bruce Brown Jr. are ready to suit up. Meanwhile, the Houston Rockets have shut down Eric Gordon and Christian Wood for the season. It is improbable that they score more than 110 points tonight. The Brooklyn Nets are the ninth-highest scoring team in the league (averaging 112.5 PPG) while Houston ranks 17th (109.7 PPG). The Over/Under for tonight’s game is more than 20 points more than what these two teams have combined scoring per game through the 2021 season. To me, this pick seems like a no-brainer, but so did the over at 152.5 last night for the championship game.
The Pick: Total Under 244.5 Points
Same Game Parlay of the Night
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Game: Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls
Leg 1: Brook Lopez, Over 10.5 Points
Lopez has averaged 10.3 PPG over the last nine games he's played. It's important to recognize that through this stretch (being nine of his first ten games of the season), Lopez has only averaged 21.8 minutes per contest. In his last game, Lopez scored 14 points (6-13 FG) knocking down two three-pointers in only 22 minutes. I think there is a good chance we see Brook play 25-30 minutes tonight since he played well against the Mavericks on Sunday, and scores at least 11 points.
Leg 2: Jrue Holiday, Over 18.5 Points
Jrue Holiday knocked down five ultimately scoring 20 points (7-12 FG) against the Mavericks on Sunday. He's averaging 18.7 PPG this season for his second NBA season shooting over 50% from the field. Holiday seems to be heating up right now when it matters most. Solely based on how hot he shot the ball Sunday, I like him tonight to score at least 19 points.
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Booms, Busts, Battlestar Galactica: NBA Week 17
Congratulations! You made it to the end of a fantasy basketball season full of injuries, health and safety protocols, and postponed games. Now what?
Spoiler alert: It isn't less stress. You can't enjoy the new Shang Chi in peace like a normal nerd. Playoff participants still need to set lineups, and consolation participants need to avoid punishments.
So here are some players on the waiver you need (or need to avoid) to help you in the final stages of the fantasy year.
Luguentz Dort Guard/Forward Oklahoma City Thunder
Dort hasn't taken the massive leap many hoped after his 30-point performance in the playoffs, but he is still improving and showed what he is capable of this past week. In his last three games, the former Arizona State Sun Devil is averaging 32.3 points on 51.5 percent shooting, 5.0 made threes, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 steals a game.
Luguentz Dort tonight: 42 points 7 rebounds 3 assists 4 steals 16/31 FG 7/11 3PT https://t.co/57wxR8help— NBA Central (@NBA Central) 1618370599.0
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is already the future of the Thunder, but if Dort continues to perform at this level, he can be another building block for the team as well.
Nerlens Noel Forward/Center New York Knicks
For all of the conversation around Ben Simmons and Rudy Gobert being Defensive Player of Year, it's Nerlens Noel who holds the best individual defensive rating in the NBA. Normally, that hasn't translated into fantasy relevance this season, but he gave fantasy managers some help this past week.
Noel put up 8.0 points on 80 percent shooting, 9.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 2.3 blocks per game in his last three contests. If you need a boost in field goal percentage and defensive stats, there are few better specialists than him.
Kevin Huerter Guard/Forward Atlanta Hawks
It's been tough for Huerter to shine with so much competition in Atlanta, but he showed what he can do with decent minutes. Red Velvet showed that smooth shooting stroke, averaging 18.7 points on 59.5 percent shooting, 3.3 made threes, 5.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals in three games.
DIMEEEE🔥 https://t.co/TNBFCt3ADx— Kevin Huerter (@Kevin Huerter) 1618369324.0
With Danilo Gallinari still fighting a foot injury, Cam Reddish still weeks away from reevaluation and De'Andre Hunter out, Huerter will continue to have plenty of chances to put up big numbers.
Jae'Sean Tate Guard/Forward Houston Rockets
Tate's journey to the NBA has taken him from the NBA Summer League to Belgium to Australia and back. Now, he is putting up some numbers in the Association and showing he belongs in the league.
In his last four games, Tate averaged 14 points on 66.7 percent shooting, 5.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 block. He is stuffing the stat sheet for Houston and he can stuff it for you if you pick him up right now.
R.J. Barrett Guard/Forward New York Knicks
The Knicks have been a roll lately, but Barrett has had a rough time finding the same consistent success. He's still been able to score (13.8 points this past week), but he's only shooting 37 percent from the field, 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists in the last four games.
On March 31st, Anthony Edwards called out RJ Barrett's (in)ability to close games. Here's what happened this week… https://t.co/aRSx3qnTNe— Rob Perez (@Rob Perez) 1618197497.0
Barrett still averaged nearly 36 minutes in that same stretch so he is still getting plenty of runway to take off. But with such minimal contributions in anything other than scoring, it may be time to cut him in favor of a more versatile option.
Eric Bledsoe Guard New Orleans Pelicans
Bledsoe has been a fantasy roller coaster this season, but the valleys have been more consistent than the peaks. In his last four games, the Kentucky Wildcat alum averaged 12.3 points on 36.4 percent shooting, one made three-pointer, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists, a far cry from what he has produced his last few seasons in the NBA.
Despite averaging over 30 minutes a game, there are plenty of streaming options that will be better for your mental health in the playoffs. Any remaining Bledsoe managers should feel free to drop him.
Lauri Markkanen Forward/Center Chicago Bulls
Many fantasy managers were hoping that Markkanen's season would get back on track after the trade deadline, only to be greeted with even worse stat lines as his minutes continue to evaporate. In his last four games, he's only scored 6.3 points on 32.1 percent shooting, 1.5 made threes, 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists.
If Lauri Markkanen is done for night, this will be back-to-back games with just 4 FGAs. Very limited role for him a… https://t.co/EJiCce1X91— K.C. Johnson (@K.C. Johnson) 1618193161.0
It seems the Bulls are hellbent on limiting Markkanen as much as possible with restricted free agency on the horizon in the offseason. This means his value as a fantasy asset is pretty over. Feel free to drop him without regret
Coby White Guard Chicago Bulls
Markkanen isn't the only Bull struggling in this critical time for fantasy managers. Coby White has been a victim of lineup volatility, finding himself playing 12 minutes one game and 33 minutes another. This week, he has averaged 10.8 points on 33.3 percent shooting, 2.3 made threes, 3.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game as a result.
White's outlook is slightly better than Markkanen's as the former has filled in as a starter since Zach LaVine has entered the health and safety protocol. For this week at least, White has a better shot at producing decent playoff numbers if you're desperate.
Booms, Busts, and Battlestar Galactica: NBA Week 15
For college basketball, the madness is over. For the NBA fantasy managers, the madness is just beginning.
We are two weeks away from playoffs, and people are scrambling for solutions to their team's problems. Take a look at these waiver wire picks and see who will give you that final push you need to get into the postseason and avoid the humiliation of whatever fantasy punishment you may face.
Bogdan Bogdanovic Guard/Forward Atlanta Hawks
While one Bogdanovic struggles through a subpar season in Utah, another is thriving in Georgia. Bogdan, the younger of the unrelated pair, missed 25 straight games this season due to a knee injury and had trouble finding consistent minutes on this Hawks team. This past week, he caught fire with John Collins and De'Andre Hunter out with injuries.
The @ATLHawks set a new NBA record for threes made in a quarter without a miss, knocking down 11 of 11 in the 3rd q… https://t.co/Vsemb5lOV6— NBA (@NBA) 1617760124.0
He is averaging 37.1 minutes, 21.5 points on 51.6 percent shooting from the field, 4.3 made threes, 4.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.3 turnovers the last four games. He is only rostered in 74 percent of Yahoo leagues but should be rostered in 100 percent.
Robert Williams Center Boston Celtics
The Time Lord continues to impress, proving that Danny Ainge made the right choice at the trade deadline to deal Daniel Theis to the Chicago Bulls. In three games last week, Williams averaged 14.3 points on 82.6 percent shooting, nine rebounds, five assists, 0.7 turnovers, one steal and two blocks.
All eyes might be on Tatum and Brown as fantasy studs, but Williams is establishing himself as a legitimate seven-category contributor in 9-cat formats.
Gary Trent Jr. Guard/Forward Toronto Raptors
Trent might not have walked into a playoff-contending team in Toronto this season, but the opportunity for production has benefitted fantasy managers. After a rocky two games, he hit his stride, averaging 23.3 points on 51 percent shooting, five made threes, and 1.7 steals.
GARY TRENT JR. WINS IT AT THE BUZZER 🔥 https://t.co/L5GiM7SdeU— NBA on TNT (@NBA on TNT) 1617672392.0
Despite having a bad season, the Toronto Raptors are still within striking distance of a play-in spot. If they want to make it, they're going to look to Trent's shooting to help them get there.
Kelly Olynyk Forward/Center Houston Rockets
Gonzaga could've used the former Spokane stud in the National Championship Game on Monday. In the last four games, Olynyk is averaging 18.8 points on 57.4 percent shooting, 1.8 made threes, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.3 blocks.
The Rockets may be playing for the future, but Olynyk has proven to be a dependable fantasy option for the present.
Moses Brown Center Oklahoma City Thunder
After spending last week rebounding like he was Dennis Rodman, he spent this past week looking a bit more human. After averaging 16.8 rebounds last week, Brown dropped down to 10.5 and the rest of his numbers slipped as well. He averaged 9.3 points on 42.3 percent shooting and only shot 60 percent from the foul line.
Moses Brown has been HOOPING recently... and the Thunder have awarded him with a multi-year contract. Love it. https://t.co/z0jFDmcbPR— Legion Hoops (@Legion Hoops) 1616970263.0
He is averaging about five fewer minutes a game than he did in the previous week, which could be contributing to his drop in production. With Al Horford completely shut down and Mike Muscala hurt, he will have plenty of chances to increase his numbers
Seth Curry Guard Philadelphia 76ers
Slumping shooters are the most at risk to be on this "bust" list and this week it's the younger Curry brother. He still contributed 2.5 made threes, but he only shot 38.1 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from the free-throw line.
If shooters aren't hitting, they're basically an empty slot in a fantasy lineup. Still, Curry isn't worth dropping because of his potential to get hot, but these are the rough patches managers are going to have to deal with.
Kyle Kuzma Forward Los Angeles Lakers
With LeBron James and Anthony Davis out, now would be the time for Kyle Kuzma to shine. His star is looking more like a lantern fantasy-wise.
He did average 17.3 points last week, but he only shot 44.4 percent and 63.6 percent from the free-throw line. He's also only making 1.7 threes, grabbing 5.3 rebounds and turning the ball over three times in that same time span.
Lebron watching Kyle Kuzma air ball free throws like https://t.co/jy0HzCWdu3— Rich (@Rich) 1617567541.0
If Kuzma wanted to prove himself a star, this period of time was not that moment.
R.J. Barrett Guard/Forward New York Knicks
The former Duke player's career season hit a speedbump this past week. In the last four games, Barrett has averaged 13.3 points on 41.7 percent shooting, 1.5 made threes, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists. The Knicks have unsurprisingly lost three of those games.
Fantasy managers in a position to make the playoffs can be patient with Barrett, but those who are fighting for a playoff spot may need to look for other options.
Booms, Busts, and Battlestar Galactica: NBA Week 10
Your struggling NBA fantasy team may have you looking as out of place as Emily in Paris at the Golden Globes, but we have what you need to shine.
Last week, some NBA stars came out like "Ted Lasso" and stole the show for their respective teams while others tanked like the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's credibility over their questionable nominations (re-read the lede).
Here are the NBAs booms and busts of Week 10.
P.J. Washington Forward/Center Charlotte Hornets
Washington's fit with the Hornets has been like fitting a round peg through a square hole at times, but this week, he set the hole on fire and ran through it. He ended the week with a 42-point effort and finished the last seven-day period averaging 21 points on 57.4 shooting from the field, 2.8 made threes, 5.8 rebounds and 2.5 steals.
Bleacher Report NBA on Twitter
Bleacher Report NBA on Twittertwitter.com
“PJ Washington balled out in the Hornets comeback win: - 42 PTS - 9 REB - 42 min Big time performance 🔥"
The bad news for the former 12th pick is that Cody Zeller is most likely coming back soon from his hip injury and will cut into his minutes. While he may look like a good pick-up now, a dip in production is sure to come.
Richaun Holmes Forward/Center Sacramento Kings
Holmes couldn't have come back from injury at a better time for the Sacramento Kings. With Hassan Whiteside out due to the health and safety protocols, Holmes has been balling out, averaging 14.8 points while shooting 70.6 percent from the field, 10.5 rebounds, one steal and one block the last week. He even hit 91.7 percent from his free throws.
Whiteside won't be out forever, but Holmes will still have value, especially if you're looking for a field-goal-percentage boosting, rebounding-eating big man who won't hurt you at the charity stripe.
Bobby Portis Forward/Center Milwaukee Bucks
Bobby Buckets hasn't been living up to his perfect moniker, but he is filling up the stat sheet and providing so much more for his fantasy managers. He's only averaging 11.7 points in the last three contests, but he has been very efficient, shooting 56 percent from the field and making 1.7 three-pointers. He's also grabbing seven rebounds, swiping 1.7 balls and rejecting 1.3 attempts in that same stretch.
Bobby Portis does his best Zion impression 😂 https://t.co/HsS6YiT4iN— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) 1614310908.0
Portis will have better scoring numbers while still keeping the same efficiency, so pick him up if he's available (like he is in 58 percent of Yahoo leagues).
Bruce Brown Shooting Guard Brooklyn Nets
With Kevin Durant out for the week and Kyrie Irving taking a break on Sunday, the Nets were looking for options not named James Harden to carry the load. Bruce Brown was that guy.
In three games, Brown averaged 18.3 points on 71 percent shooting from the field at the shooting guard position. SHOOTING. GUARD. He also threw in 5.7 rebounds and one steal per game while turning the ball over 0.3 in that same stretch.
Unfortunately for him (and fantasy waiver watchers), there are a lot of mouths to feed in Brooklyn, so picking him up now, might not yield the same production in the future. Pick up with caution.
Eric Gordon Guard/Forward Houston Rockets
Gordon has had a bit of a resurgence this year, but last week was a bit of a disaster. The usually accurate shooter only hit 29.6 percent of his shots from the field, resulting in a four-game average of 13 points, 1.5 made threes and 2.5 assists.
He will have plenty of chances to get back on track with the Rockets struggling, so ride out this rough patch for a little while longer if you are holding onto him.
John Wall Point Guard Houston Rockets
There's plenty of blame to go around when your team is on an 11-game losing streak. Ergo, having two players in the "Busts" section is justified.
John Wall tonight: 14 PTS 0 REB 0 AST 0 STL 0 BLK 0 3PM 4-16 FG He is the first player with a 10/0/0/0/0/0 statli… https://t.co/3rk0X8xMuQ— StatMuse (@StatMuse) 1614569254.0
John Wall has been less Optimus Dime and more an Optimus Crime on the court, only contributing 5.5 assists, shooting 34.8 percent from the field, making 1.5 threes, grabbing 1.5 rebounds and stealing the ball 0.5 times the last four games.
The Rockets season is looking increasingly lost and the All-Star break can't come soon enough.
Andrew Wiggins Guard/Forward Golden State Warriors
After a while, intriguing prospects become frustrating ones and watching Andrew Wiggins is always a hair-pulling affair. In one moment, he'll look unstoppable and in another, he'll leave even the most patient fan scratching their heads. There was a lot of the latter this past week.
Momma, there goes that man! Andrew Wiggins tonight 3 points in 22 minutes 😮😮😮😮😮 2 rebounds 💪💪💪💪💪 1/5 from the fiel… https://t.co/X9HezNXOFV— NBA Memes (@NBA Memes) 1614583393.0
Wiggins averaged only 12.8 points shooting 39.6 percent from the field and only making 0.8 per game the last four contents. With all his athleticism, he only grabbed 2.8 rebounds in that same stretch.
Fantasy managers are hoping Wiggins figures it out eventually, but that hope is wearing thin after seven seasons of inconsistency.
Robert Covington Forward/Center Portland Trail Blazers
Covington managers were riding high last week watching RoCo stuff the stat sheet like an ambitious burrito assembler. But this week was a different story.
He brought a lot of teams down with his 16.7 percent field goal percentage and a paltry 3.3 points per game. He also only averaged 0.7 made threes per game and one block in that same span after averaging 4.7 last week.
Thankfully, small-ball basketball isn't going away in Portland anytime soon, so Covington has a chance to surge once again if you hold onto him.