After what turned out to be a nice array of NBA games last night, today’s condensed version is even more appealing. All five games on the NBA docket have playoff implications, with four of the contests involving both teams being playoff bound. The Hornets-76ers tip things off at 12:30 p.m. (ET), while the Cavaliers-Knicks follow shortly after at 1 p.m. (ET). All three-night games have a direct impact on playoff seedings.
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 bet. The following are the best NBA bets today for Saturday, April 2.
Best NBA Bets Today: Player Props & Expert Betting
Knicks Spread (-1) Over Cavaliers
With just five games remaining in the regular season, it appears that Cleveland (42-35) has to be resigned to the fact that they will be part of the Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament. The Cavaliers are seventh in the conference as they sit three games behind both the Raptors and Bulls.
Cleveland has lost two straight and is 5-8 without Jarrett Allen. It continues to struggle on the defensive end, particularly up front where it will also be missing Evan Mobley once again. The Cavaliers are allowing 114 points on 49.3% shooting from the field over these last 13 games — both numbers are significantly above their season average. The Cavs have also given up seven more paint points a game than their season average during this stretch, and they are giving up the fourth-most points (72.4) to opposing frontcourts over the last 10 contest. Moreover, their opponents have registered an effective field goal percentage of 60% in the past two games. Meanwhile, as could be expected, they have not been as efficient offensively without Mobley and Allen. However, Darius Garland and Caris LeVert have played well the past couple of outings.
New York has played extremely well over the last month and had its season-long winning streak snapped at four games the last time out. The Knicks went a season-best 9-7 in March thanks to a more efficient offense and steady defense. The Knicks have moved the ball well over the last couple of months, but they cut down on their turnovers to 12 a game. They also have done a good job shooting the ball from the 3-point line and getting to the charity stripe.
While the Knicks won’t have Julius Randle (quadriceps) today, R.J. Barett along with Alec Burks, Immanuel Quickley, and Obi Tobin have stepped up their play and should be able to carry them to victor. New York has held its opponents to 45.6% shooting from the field as they have done an excellent job at defending the 3-point line and kept them off the offensive glass. In addition, the Knicks have much more experience playing in the daytime than the Cavs. OddsShopper gives New York a 57% chance of covering with an expected ROI of 6%.
Nets Moneyline (-130) Over Hawks
This is a critical game for both squads as they are fighting for seeding position. Both squads have identical 40-37 records and are in a three-way tie along with Charlotte for the eighth, ninth and 10th seeds in the Eastern Conference. The teams are also just two games in back of the Cavaliers for the seventh seed. Expect a high-scoring, fun/fast-paced affair with a lot of buckets.
Brooklyn has been a much different team since Kevin Durant has returned from injury at the beginning of last month. The Nets are 8-7 since March 1, and they have averaged 119 points during this stretch while shooting a sizzling 51.4% from the field (40.3% from the 3-point line). Turnovers and consistency on the defensive end have been a huge problem for the Nets. However, they have been even better on the offensive end away from home during this period. Durant and Kyrie Irving have combined for nearly 60 points, seven 3-pointers, 11 rebounds and 13 assists in the six road games that they have played together over the last month. Bruce Bowen has also stepped up his play recently. Brown (illness) and Seth Curry (ankle) are questionable for the game.
Atlanta has won four straight and went 11-6 in March. The Hawks can really score the basketball, particularly at home, though they have not shot the ball as well lately as they had in the previous two months. On a positive note, the Hawks have cut down on their turnovers. However, defense continues to be a major struggle. They ranked 19th in defensive ranking at 119 as they permitted their opponents to register an effective shooting percentage of 5 %. Trae Young continues to play well over the last nine games, averaging nearly 29 points and 11 assists. But the Nets have done an excellent job defensively on him as he has shot just 32.7% from the field and 28.6% from the 3-point line in the two previous games.
Moreover, Brooklyn has won the previous two matchups as Durant has been terrific offensively, and they clamped down on the Hawks defensive. Durant has compiled 62 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists in the previous two games. Meanwhile, Brooklyn has held Atlanta to 41.5% from the field and 34.5% beyond the arc. OddsShopper gives the Nets a 54% chance of winning the game.
Evan Fournier Over 14.5 Points
Fournier broke out of a five-game shooting slump in a major way against the Hornets on Wednesday, and the Knicks will need someone to step up with Randle out. Fournier tossed in 30 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field and 6-of-8 from beyond the arc while also making 4-of-5 from the free-throw line against the Hornets. It marked Fournier’s 12th double-figure game in the last 15 outings, although it was the first time in seven games that he has totaled 15 or more points. Fournier has shot the ball extremely well from the perimeter over the last month, canning 3.2 treys at a 38% clip, and the Cavs have struggled guarding the 3-point line. Fournier is projected for 16.99 today. OddsShopper gives the over a 64% chance of hitting with an expected ROI of 26%.
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