NBA Betting Picks for Friday 3/1/24: Will the Pacers Swat the Pelicans Once Again?

Riley Thomas
Riley Thomas_riley8

The 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.

While utilizing some of the mentioned tools, 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

Indiana Pacers at New Orleans Pelicans

Pacers +5.0 (-108)

The Indiana Pacers come off a 3-1 home stand that was completed with a 123-114 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on February 28th. Despite the recent win, the Pacers are 5.0-point underdogs as visitors against the same Pelicans tonight. While Indiana has certainly been a different team on the road at times with a 14-15 record -- compared to 20-12 at home -- they are 7-3 over the last 10 games overall and 3-1 against the spread (ATS) over the previous four contests.

New Orleans has not seen the same kind of success of late, with a 1-3 record over the last four, and they are 2-5 ATS over the previous seven contests. Considering the result of the recent matchup, I believe the Pelicans as 5.0-point favorites feels a bit high.

The Pacers' offense found plenty of success in the last meeting -- draining 14 of 38 three-point attempts (36.8%) and also logging 58 points in the paint. The battle on the glass was a key, as well, with Indiana recovering 14 offensive rebounds. The Pacers had 12 more shot attempts than New Oreleans did, and winning the rebound battle by 10 certainly played a role.

The three-point opportunities should be there again today with New Orleans giving up the second-most shots per game. However, the rebounding could prove to be a more difficult task as the Pelicans tout the 8th-best offensive rebounding percentage and 11th-best defensive rebounding percentage. Meanwhile, the Pacers have the 11th-worst offensive rebounding percentage and 5th-worst defensive rebounding percentage.

New Orleans was also dominated in the fastbreak, with Indiana totaling 21 points to the Pels' 8.

Ultimately, the Pacers won a slew of key areas against the Pelicans in the last matchup, and I like Indiana's chances of keeping it close tonight.

Portland Trail Blazers at Memphis Grizzlies

Grizzlies -1.5 (-108)

Two of the Western Conference's bottom three teams meet with the Portland Trail Blazers visiting the Memphis Grizzlies. Both squads show few signs of turning it around, with the Blazers carrying a 1-9 record over the last 10 games while the Grizzlies went 2-8.

These are the bottom two offensive ratings in the NBA; Portland totals the second-fewest points per game (PPG) at 107.2 while Memphis logs only 106.4 PPG (fewest). With two stumbling offenses colliding, I believe the squad with the best defense will take the cake.

This category clearly goes to the Grizzlies as they hold the 11th-best defensive rating. It's a much different story for the Trail Blazers, for they have the ninth-worst defensive rating. Memphis has been over their usual paint production with 49.6 PPG over the previous five games, compared to their season average of 45.5 points in the paint per game. Portland allows the fourth-most points in the paint.

The Grizzlies tout the best defense and could get some easy looks around the rim, especially with Jaren Jackson Jr. coming off of a 33-point game. Jackson takes 59.3% of his shots within nine feet of the basket.

Portland is 3-7 ATS over the last 10 contests while Memphis is 5-1 ATS over the previous 6 games.

Give me the Grizzlies to cover at home.

Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls

Over 221.5 (-112)

The Chicago Bulls continue to be a like a roller-coaster with many peaks and valleys. Who knows what's coming when it comes to this team?

They managed to drop a game against the Detroit Pistons -- numberFire's fifth-worst team by nERD-based power rankings -- as 10-point favorites on February 27th. Only one day later, Chicago took down the Cleveland Cavaliers, who hold the No. 2 seed in the East. This has been the fickle nature of the Bulls.

The offense has at least been somewhat consistent over the last six games, recording 115.7 PPG during the span. This also includes two outings with more than 130 points. Friday's opponent -- the Milwaukee Bucks -- has a rather mediocre defense (16th-best rating). The Bulls have reached at least 50 points in the paint in three of the last four games (above season average of 47.0). The Bucks permit the 11th-most points in the paint, giving Chicago's offense another opportunity to flourish.

Milwaukee also features the fourth-best offensive rating while totaling the second-most PPG (121.6). They make the fifth-most threes and attempt the sixth-most three-pointers per game. With the Bulls allowing the most three-point shots and makes, the Bucks look to be in store for a huge game after shooting 43.1% from deep over their previous three games.

Friday's total of 221.5 is a pretty small number, especially when looking at each offense's advantages. The over is 7-3 over Chicago's past 10 games; I expect this trend to continue.

Take your sports betting to the next level with the FanDuel Parlay Hub! Explore a curated selection of popular parlays for trending games on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Looking for the latest NBA odds? Head over to FanDuel Sportsbook and check out all of the NBA betting options.

Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook and FanDuel Daily Fantasy today!

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.