NBA Expert Picks and Best Bets |March 6

darren cooper
Darren Cooper
NBA Picks and Best Bets
NBA Best Bets 2023-2024

It’s time to get back to winning on Wednesday night in the NBA and that means focusing on the over/under in Atlanta. The Hawks are without Trae Young. The Cavs are without Donovan Mitchell, but have the sportsbooks swung too far down on the total? We also look at the Clippers taking on Houston playing their second game in a row, and a showdown in San Fran with the Bucks and Warriors.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks Best Bet

Over 216 (-112) at FanDuel

We made some bank last week when we saw that Michigan sportsbooks hadn’t corrected for the absence of Trae Young in the Hawks over/under total. But now, I think they’ve overcorrected too much.

Cleveland is playing for the second night in a row after stunning the Celtics with a big fourth quarter comeback. They don’t have Donovan Mitchell with a knee injury but they average 114 a game and allow 109, which is second best in the NBA.

Atlanta still ranks fifth in the NBA in scoring at 120 a game, but they allow 122. My thought is that on second night of back-to-backs, defense is what goes away first. So I feel the Hawks will score a lot and the Cavs will be forced to keep up. I love the over.

fanduel sportsbook
Over 216 (-112)

LA Clippers at Houston Rockets Best Bet

Clippers -6.5 (-110) at BetMGM

The Clippers were the NBA’s hottest team before the All-Star break, but are only 3-4 since the break, including that bad loss to the Lakers when they blew a big lead. LA is 31-29 against the spread. They’re without Russell Westbrook for a while with a broken hand, but he was coming off the bench anyway.

Houston is playing the second game of a back-to-back at home. They are 3-8 this season on no rest. Alperen Sengun had 45 in the win over the Spurs Tuesday night. Fred VanVleet has made 11 threes in his last two games.

The Clippers have too much firepower for the Rockets with Kawhi Leonard and PG-13. Houston is third in the NBA in three-point shooting while the Rockets are second to last. Houston is a fun team, but LA is much better.

betmgm sportsbook
Clippers -6.5 (-110)

Milwaukee Bucks at Golden State Warriors Best Bet

Bucks +4 (-108) at DraftKings

The line is like this because Giannis Antetokounmpo is questionable with a sore Achilles, but this might be the type of game where injuries don’t matter. Golden State is still a marquee NBA franchise with Steph Curry and company.

Even without Giannis though….the Bucks are 6-0 since the All-Star Break, and during this streak have won games by an average of 16 points. They’re 8-2 in last 10 games against the spread. Damian Lillard, the All-Star Game MVP, has been letting it fly. He’s a high-volume streak shooter and right now everything is dropping.

Golden State is 5-2 since the break, but coming off a 52-point loss to the Celtics, and their homecourt mystique is gone. They’re only 16-15 at home. They have a five-game lead for the last Play-In Tournament spot in the West, but the Bucks are the better team right now, even without Giannis take the points. 

draftkings sportsbook
Bucks +4 (-108)

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Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.