NBA Wednesday best bets: Heat, T-Wolves set for defensive clash
We struck out once again with our NBA picks against the spread on Tuesday. Can we get back on track with Wednesday's docket?
This may seem like a fair line between two similarly ranked teams - given that the Grizzlies are 1.5 games up in the win column - but don't let that sway you. Memphis has the worst net rating (-5.1) of any team with a winning record, while the Raptors have the third-best mark (-0.1) among teams with a losing record.
This is also the perfect time to catch the Grizzlies, who are coming off a surprising win over the Jazz as 11-point underdogs. The last team to pull off an outright win as a double-digit 'dog was the Magic, who lost their subsequent game by 33 points. Additionally, Memphis is 0-2 ATS with a pair of double-digit losses when favored after an outright win.
Pick: Raptors +3.5
Despite them surprisingly posting top-10 numbers this season, there are only so many points you can lay on a team like the Wizards before the risk outweighs the reward. But we haven't reached that point yet in Wednesday's matchup against the woefully undermanned Pelicans.
New Orleans is still without star Zion Williamson, and it shows. The team sits 28th in net rating (-8.7), ranking in the bottom five in both offensive and defensive rating. The Pelicans also have bottom-five marks in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.43), turnover rate (16.2%), and true shooting percentage (52.3%). All of that has added up to a 7-12 ATS record for New Orleans, including an abysmal 2-10 ATS record in November.
The Wizards have been inconsistent this year with Bradley Beal cycling in and out of the lineup, but they beat the Pelicans by five points as short home favorites without Beal back on Nov. 15. They can do it again with their star in the rotation on Wednesday.
Pick: Wizards -3.5
If there's anything we know about these two teams, it's that points will be hard to come by in this one. The Heat rank fourth in defensive rating (103.9) and have even reached No. 1 at times this season, while the Timberwolves have surprised with a top-seven rating (104.4) under first-year head coach Chris Finch.
Minnesota's offense hasn't always followed suit, which has aided this team's 12-5 record to the under, tied for third-best in the NBA. The T-Wolves have held five straight teams under 100 points amidst a 4-1 run of hitting the under, while the Heat have done the same in four of their last five games behind their own 4-1 mark.
Pick: Under 213