NBA Play-In Tournament Betting
Wednesday night in the Play-In Tournament marks the first of two nights of do or die basketball. This is what the NBA envisioned with the introduction of this new tournament, more must watch basketball.
It’s hard to take the well-below-.500 Spurs or Pelicans too seriously but the Hawks and Hornets feel like two teams that could muster up an upset should the capture the East’s last seed.
The odds today come from our partners at BetRivers, who have the best lines on the sides we’ll be betting in these games tonight. If you aren’t shopping for the best lines, you’re not doing it right, so if you haven’t already go make an account with BetRivers at the link below.
Charlotte vs Atlanta -5.5 | O/U 235.5
The Hornets and Hawks provide us with one of the more exciting games of the NBA’s Play-In Tournament, at least on paper. Both teams are top-7 in offensive efficiency and outside the top-20 in defensive efficiency. But in the two games they’ve played since the calendar flipped to 2022 they’ve finished well below tonight’s point total.
The biggest reason for that has been Charlotte’s ability to defend Trae Young, who’s shot just 37.7% from the field against the Hornets this year. But in one of those games the Hornets shot a disgusting 11% from three, making just 4 of 26 attempts.
The three ball is a major part of the Charlotte offense, 36.3% of their points come from the perimeter (9th in NBA). The Hawks are one of the worst 3-points shooting defenses in the NBA so I wouldn’t expect to see another night from the Hornets like the one back in January. The last time they were in Atlanta they shot 46% from three.
The Hornets have closed out the season shooting incredibly well and I think that should continue in this one. With as well as they’ve guarded Young this season they’ll be forcing guys like Kevin Heurter and Bogan Bogdanovic to beat them. I’ll take Lamelo Ball and Terry Rozier to pour it in and cover this number.
San Antonio vs New Orleans -5.5 | O/U 224.5
The three point shooting is going to come to a screeching halt in the late game. The Spurs and Pelicans don’t spend a lot of their offensive possession time worrying about shooting from behind the arc. San Antonio is getting 53.2% of their points inside the paint and New Orleans scores 54% of their points from 2-pt range.
Dejounte Murray has had a fantastic season for the Spurs, but he’ll have his hands full against this Pelicans interior defense that ranks 9th in opponent points in the paint. On the defensive side they’ll need to be able to keep New Orleans off the charity stripe, as Brandon Ingram and co. have a knack for getting to the line.
Instead of looking at the total or spread in this one, I’m looking at a prop that has value. Keldon Johnson’s point total is sitting at 20.5 tonight and he’s only exceeded it once in their 4 meetings with the Pelicans this season. That one time he went over it was with just 21 points. His total is inflated as a result of scoring 20+ points in his last nine straight.
Johnson is scoring 44.8% of his points from inside the paint, which is why he’s struggled to exceed 20.5 points against New Orleans this year. In a game I expect to be pretty low scoring I’ll take the under on Johnson who’s averaged 17.0 points per game in 2021/22.
KELDON JOHNSON UNDER 20.5 POINTS
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