NBA Expert Picks and Best Bets | March 13

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

You have to love our hot picks for a cool Wednesday night of NBA action. The Pistons are favored tonight at home and have a chance to go on a win streak against the Raptors - a team they have some history with. There’s an NBA Finals rematch down in Miami with the Heat looking to settle the score, and what does no Steph Curry mean for Golden State when they take on Dallas.

Toronto Raptors at Detroit Pistons Best Bet

Pistons -3.5 (-110) at FanDuel

Believe it, the Pistons are favored tonight at home against Toronto. It’s just the seventh time this season the Pistons are favored at Michigan sportsbooks. They are 2-4 this season straight up as favorites.

Detroit is coming off their biggest margin of victory of the year, beating the Hornets by 17. If you throw out the 28-game losing streak, the Pistons are 11-25, roughly a .333 basketball team which is what we figured they would be this season. By the way, who did the Pistons beat to end the streak? The Raptors.

Toronto has lost four in a row and six of their last seven. They don’t have Scottie Barnes tonight. They don’t have RJ Barrett. They won’t have any player averaging over 13 points a game.

Still….I wrestled with this pick, but the Pistons are younger and still playing hard. Cade Cunningham has 25.4 points in his last 10 games. Detroit gets on a winning streak.

fanduel sportsbook
Pistons -3.5 (-110)

Denver Nuggets at Miami Heat Best Bet

Heat +4.5 (-110) at BetMGM

There are some games that NBA teams have circled on their schedule more than others and I have to believe this is one for Miami.

It’s a rematch of the 2023 NBA Finals won by the Nuggets 4-1. This season the Nuggets have been good, tied for tops in the West, while the Heat have just kind of lingered. Miami is eighth in the East, but only two games out of fourth place. They’ve lost three in a row and are coming off a loss to the Wizards!

Denver beat Miami by six two weeks ago and have won nine of their last 10, but if ever Miami was going to make a stand against the Nuggets the time is now. Jimmy Butler is probable to play. Miami has too much pride not to at least cover this spread.

betmgm sportsbook
Heat +4.5 (-110)

Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks Best Bet

Over 235.5 (-112) at DraftKings

Yesterday, we got burned on our over pick in the Thunder/Pacers game, but I’m staying with it. Dallas is way more concerned with beautiful offense than playing defense and the Warriors, even without Steph Curry, will be happy to run and gun.

The last six meetings between these two teams have all hit the over. They combined for 254 points back in December. Dallas has averaged 123 points in their last five games. Luka Doncic has been a triple double machine. He will get his looks.

Golden State is coming off a split with the Spurs (I swear every two-game NBA series is a split), no Steph, but that just means Chris Paul starts. Golden State is still five games up for the last Play-In Tournament spot in the West. They rank seventh in the NBA in points per game.

Picking totals means thinking styles of play. These two teams play an offensive style.


draftkings sportsbook
Over 235.5 (-112)

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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.