NBA Betting Picks for Friday 4/12/24: Leaning on Team Totals in High-Stakes Matchups

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

Orlando Magic at Philadelphia 76ers

Over 212 (-110)
76ers Team Total Over 109.5 (-118)

The Orlando Magic and the Philadelphia 76ers are trending in opposite directions with the postseason looming.

The Magic have fallen to the 5 seed with a 1-3 record over their last four games and are even in danger of ending up in the Play-In Tournament. The Sixers are on the other side of the coin, looking to work up to clinching a playoff spot. Philadelphia is on a six-game winning streak and is only one game back from Orlando and the Indiana Pacers for the 5 and 6 seeds.

These teams have plenty to play for tonight. We don't really need to worry about either squad resting players or lacking motivation, making this a game worth targeting.

Considering recent trends, the over is the best bet. The over is 7-3 during Philly's last 10 games and 4-1 in the Magic's last five.

I'm not worried about the Sixers doing their part in the scoring department. They've logged 123.0 points per game (PPG) while shooting 47.1% from the field over the last three games. The paint attack has dominated over the last two contests, posting 68.0 points in the paint per game.

Joel Embiid, who returned from injury on April 2nd, looks better than ever, racking up 30.0 PPG with a 51.4% field goal percentage (FG%) over his last four. Embiid has increased his point total in every game since returning from injury; his latest outing featured 37 points.

The 76ers' superstar center has also had his way with Orlando, averaging 35.8 PPG in his last five matchups with the Magic. Keep in mind that Embiid attempts over 40.0% of his shots within 10 feet of the rim.

Tyrese Maxey also erupted for 52 points in his last outing. Philadelphia's offense is looking dangerous across the board, and they've averaged 118.0 PPG in head-to-head matchups this season. The Sixers have a great chance of going over 109.5 points.

I believe that the Magic can do enough for the 212 combined total to also go over. Orlando mostly leans on their paint attack, totaling the eighth-most points in the painted area. Philly has the 14th-worst mark in points in the point allowed per game.

Recent trends and each team's potential success in the painted area make me confident for the over.

Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavaliers -3 (-110)
Pacers Team Total Under 115.5 (-118)

Let's look at another matchup in the Eastern Conference with playoff stakes. The Pacers hold the 6 seed and are looking to move up to the 5th spot. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers are one game back from the 3 seed. This could also be a potential first-round matchup depending on how the cards fall in the final days of the regular season.

After the Pacers won and covered the first two head-to-head matchups of the season, the Cavaliers struck back with a win and cover as a seven-point underdog on March 18th. Part of their success was holding Indiana to 9 of 38 from three (23.7%).

The Pacers' three-point shooting has been a big piece of their success against Cleveland this season. In their two wins, they shot a combined 43.5% from three-point land -- a stark difference from the 23.7% in the loss. Coincidence? I think not.

Why has this played such a huge role? The Cavs have the seventh-worst defensive rating and flourish at defending the rim, carrying the fifth-best mark in points in the paint allowed per contest. Indiana's offense looks to be in trouble after shooting under 36.0% from three in three of the last four games. The under for the Pacers' total of 115.5 is a solid bet.

Cleveland covering the spread pairs well with Indiana's total going under. A slow-paced game aids the Cavaliers' chances for success, as they play at the sixth-slowest pace in the Association.

Do you remember how I said that Cleveland has a strong interior defense? This combined with the Cavs' potential success at attacking the rim on offense is more strong support for a cover.

Cleveland is averaging 59.0 points in the paint per game over their last five games, which is well above their season average of 49.9 points. There's a good chance that this trend continues with Indiana surrendering the most points in the paint across the NBA.

I'm expecting a pace that favors the Cavaliers in this matchup, leading to a cover and the under for the Pacers' scoring total.

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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.