NBA

NBA Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Saturday 3/9/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
NBA Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Saturday 3/9/24

TThe 82-game NBA regular season offers us a wide variety of betting options, including point spreads, moneylines, and totals. The Association features 1,230 regular season games, which can make sifting through the odds an overwhelming task.

However, various advanced statistics can help narrow the choices. numberFire's NBA power rankings and daily projections paired with advanced stats from the NBA can help give the inside track to winning big.

Our favorite picks are to come, but don't forget to check out FanDuel's Parlay Hub for other trending bets for all sports -- including basketball.

Without further delay, which NBA odds from FanDuel Sportsbook look like the best bets today?

Please note lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published.

NBA Best Bets

Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Clippers

Under 220.0 (-110)

Prior stats on the Los Angeles Clippers might not help us a ton here. All of James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George are questionable for Saturday's first leg of a back-to-back, and Russell Westbrook just broke his hand two games ago.

However, any absences will be negative news for this total, so under 220 points might seem like a steal with multiple players sitting from L.A.'s key trio.

Even without injury news, the Clippers have hit the over in just 11 of 29 home games, and the pace in this game just isn't very high. L.A. has the league's 16th-fastest pace over every team's respective last 15 games, and the visiting Chicago Bulls are 22nd.

I'd snag this line quickly before injury news is finalized.

Brooklyn Nets at Charlotte Hornets

Over 206.0 (-112)
Dorian Finney-Smith Over 9.5 Points (+104)

This total screams "outlier" -- whether by elite defense, glacial pace, or poor offense. We just don't really have any of those.

Over the last 15 games, these are two of the bottom-three offensive ratings in the league, but they're fairly close to the rest of the chase pack. In this same period, the Charlotte Hornets are 11th in defensive rating, and the Brooklyn Nets are 15th.

Pace also checks out from an extreme outlier perspective. In the defined range, Charlotte is 19th in pace, and Brooklyn is 26th.

So, yes, while this should be a low-scoring game, this low total might just be too low. numberFire's model is projecting 219.9 median points in this contest. With a lift above expectation, I think we can turn to Dorian Finney-Smith's points prop, too.

Finney-Smith has been freed into Brooklyn's starting four spot, and he's averaged 13.3 points and 35.0 minutes per game in March under new coach Kevin Ollie. That's a tremendous role, and this is a tremendous matchup. Over the last 15, Charlotte is allowing the fifth-most points per game to opposing power forwards (26.4).

FanDuel Research's NBA projections have Finney-Smith at 9.7 projected points, so plus money at 9.5 is a solid proposition.

Dallas Mavericks at Detroit Pistons

Pistons +7.5 (-108)
Ausar Thompson Over 2.5 Assists (+118)

The Dallas Mavericks are good, and the Detroit Pistons aren't. I think that largely explains 78% of the bets and 81% of the money behind Dallas at FanDuel Sportsbook today.

However, we know sports betting is deeper than that, and Dallas just isn't good enough in this situation to lay this many points. Over their last 15 games, the Mavs' net rating on the road is -0.2. The youthful Pistons thrive in their building compared to being the away side, posting a -5.9 net rating at home in the same stretch.

Specifically, the Mavs have the fifth-worst road defensive rating (119.0) in this period, and the backdoor cover could be wide open for the taking even after the win-loss outcome is decided.

I was pretty surprised to stumble upon this line for Ausar Thompson given recent trends, as well. Dallas is allowing the fourth-most assists per game to small forwards over their last 15 (4.8), and Thompson (16.0% usage) is an incredibly low-volume shooter. He's on the court to rebound, pass, and defend.

FDR has Thompson projected for 2.8 assists on Saturday. This line should be closer to a pick 'em than +118 with that the case.

Boston Celtics at Phoenix Suns

Suns +5.5 (-110)

I love the Boston Celtics as much as anyone, but there's a continued ignorance to their home-road splits in some of these betting lines (and subsequent activity).

Entering this one on a two-game road skid, Boston just hasn't cut the mustard in similar fashion away from home. Over their last 15 games, a +25.7 net rating at home is the best in the NBA by a mile, but a +6.0 net rating on the road is far more human. The Celtics have covered just 12 of 30 road games against the spread (ATS) this year, too.

Plus, the resurgent Phoenix Suns are no pushover. Phoenix's +5.2 net rating at home is 12th-best in the NBA over the same stretch.

numberFire's model expects the Suns to cover this line 64.3% of the time, and its median projected final score for this contest is a slim 112.1 to 111.0 in the Celtics' favor.

Utah Jazz at Denver Nuggets

Jazz +13.0 (-110)

By moral obligation, I have to take a functional NBA team getting 13 points in a clear letdown spot.

The Denver Nuggets won't have a bigger win all season than Thursday's, stamping a 2-0 season series over the Celtics in a potential NBA Finals preview. Denver has been a quality fade all season, though, with a 28-33-2 ATS record -- particularly in matchups like these.

While Lauri Markkanen won't play tonight, the Jazz -- importantly -- still have Walker Kessler as an excellent defensive matchup for Nikola Jokic. Plus, strong point-guard play from Jordan Clarkson or Collin Sexton will help them score; the Nuggets have ceded the fifth-most points per game to point guards over their last 15 (26.0).

Above all, this game could be decided entering the fourth quarter and return to a cashing position for the Jazz without Denver's starters even touching the floor. Unsurprisingly, 59% of the tickets and 67% of the handle is laying the chalk with the Nuggets, but I'm fading the public.

Toronto Raptors at Portland Trail Blazers

Kelly Olynyk Over 24.5 Points, Rebounds, and Assists (-125)

This line is 25.5 at nearly every book besides FanDuel, so the shield is cutting us a break. It's a tremendous position for Kelly Olynyk and his newly-minted contract.

The Toronto Raptors center is averaging 16.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per 36 minutes in his time with the team, and he's played 27.8 minutes per game in four games this month. Olynyk's points, rebounds, and assists (PRA) pace for 28 minutes of action would be just 22.3 PRA.

However, Jakob Poeltl is sidelined Saturday, so FDR's projections believe he'll log 30.6 minutes. That's excellent news against a Portland Trail Blazers team allowing the 4th-most points, 9th-most boards, and 11th-most assists per game to centers over their past 15 contests.

All in all, FDR believes Olynyk's new role will lead to 27.4 total PRA on Saturday.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.