Are the Los Angeles Lakers playoff chances over? The Lakers are back into the 10th spot in the Western Conference, as the San Antonio Spurs fell to the Memphis Grizzlies 112-111 last night. However, LeBron James will miss his second straight game with a severely sprained ankle tonight as Los Angeles visits the Utah Jazz, and Anthony Davis (foot) is not expected to play yet again. The Lakers – Jazz matchup is just one of five games on the NBA docket, which is headlined by the Milwaukee Bucks paying a visit to the Barclays Center to take on the Brooklyn Nets.
This daily NBA article will examine the best betting picks and NBA player prop bets today. With OddsShopper, bettors can maximize their profits and see the best bets with the highest expected return on investment . OddsShopper can find which sportsbooks offer the best prices for these prop bets. The following are the six best bets for March 31.
Best NBA Bets Today: Player Props & Expert Betting
Hawks Spread (-5) Over Cavaliers & Over 227.5 Points
This is a crucial playoff-seeding game for two teams trending in opposite directions. It appears that both squads will be among the last four teams to get into the Eastern Conference playoffs, meaning that they will have to partake in the play-in games just to be considered an official playoff team. This is a makeup from their postponed Dec. 19 game. The point total has ballooned by 7.5 points since the opening line.
Cleveland (42-34) sits sixth in the conference. The Cavaliers are two games in back of the Raptors and Bulls but also just two games ahead of the eighth-place Nets. The Cavs are coming off their seventh loss in their last 12 games last night, as their defense was run through the wringer by Luka Doncic and the Mavericks 120-112. Doncic just missed a triple-double, as he finished with 35 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists. More concerningly, the Cavaliers frontcourt continues to struggle defensively without Jarrett Allen, as Dallas totaled 52 points in the paint on 52.1% shooting from the field and 38.1% from 3. Dorian Finney-Smith contributed a season-high 28 of the 63 points the Mavs frontcourt tallied, as the depleted Cavs were also without Evan Mobley. However, the Cavaliers did shoot 50.6% from the floor, and Caris LeVert and Darius Garland combined for 57 points and 14 assists.
Atlanta (39-37) is arguably playing its best basketball since early in the season. The Hawks are 7-3 in their last 10, though they are still 10th in the conference and the Nets and Hornets are also playing some inspired basketball. The Hawks continue to be one of the most efficient offensive teams in the league and are averaging 117.1 points since the All-Star break. They play better on that end at home, where they have won seven of eight while averaging nearly 122 points on 49.8% shooting from the field. Atlanta has outscored their opponents by 9 points a game over their last eight games at State Farm Arena. Moreover, the Hawks lead the season series 2-1, with Trae Young leading the way with 33.3 points and nine assists a game. Young tossed in 41 points in the team’s last meeting.
Jazz vs. Lakers Over 225 Points
The Jazz and the Lakers enter the game in need of a win, but for semi-different reasons. With James not playing and the Lakers being terrible on the road all season long, expect the Jazz to enjoy the return to the Vivint Arena by coasting to a victory. Neither team has been great on the defensive end lately, so the best bet is to go over the total.
Utah (45-31) will be on its home court for the first time since the middle of the month after going 1-5 during their road trip, as they have struggled defensively. The Jazz have allowed 112.1 points on nearly 50% shooting during this stretch, with the Celtics and Clippers each topping the 120-point plateau. However, the Jazz are the league’s most efficient offensive team at home with a 118.1 rating. They are 26-11 in Salt Lake City overall. Donovan Mitchell has been pretty good against the Lakers this year, and Bojan Bogdanovic (calf) is expected to play for the first time since March 12.
Utah is battling Denver for fifth and sixth place in the Western Conference. The Jazz trail the Nuggets by a half game, though the fourth-place Warriors are just 2.5 games in front of them and they are two games ahead of the seventh-place Timberwolves. Meanwhile, the Lakers are fighting for their playoff lives. Los Angeles (31-44) is a half game from missing the playoffs. The Lakers have lost three straight and 25 of 35, as they have given up 116 points a game during this span. They have also allowed at least 116 points in each of their last seven games and are 6-14 in games James has missed this year.
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Donovan Mitchell Over 24.5 Points
Mitchell has been on a tear of late, averaging nearly 30 points over his last 10 outings on 46.2% shooting from the field and 36.5% from the 3-point line. He has topped the 30-point plateau in five of his previous seven games, including pumping in 33 points against the Clippers on Tuesday. Mitchell, projected for 27.12 points tonight, has dropped 50 points against the Lakers over their previous two meetings. OddsShopper gives the over a 62% chance of hitting with an expected ROI of 13%.
Andre Drummond Over 10.5 Rebounds & Over 1.5 Assists
Drummond is a professional rebounder; even if he is struggling in other departments, Drummond will get as many rebounds as he can. He ranks fourth on the league’s rebounding list among active players despite playing in just 728 career games.
Drummond has grabbed 11 or more rebounds in three straight games and averages 11.6 boards a game in the 30 he has started. He has been a menace against the Bucks this year, averaging 17 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and 1.5 blocks. Drummond is projected for 12.06 rebounds tonight. OddsShopper gives the over a 66% chance of hitting with an expected ROI of 26%.
Other Top NBA Bets Today
- 76ers vs. Pistons Under 223.5 Points
- Giannis Antetokounmpo Under 13.5 Rebounds
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