NBA

NBA Betting Picks for Tuesday 4/2/24: Will the Short-Handed Jazz Still Fill It Up?

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

Milwaukee Bucks at Washington Wizards

Bucks -13.0 (-108)

The Washington Wizards are 13.0-point underdogs on Tuesday against the Milwaukee Bucks. Washington has not fared well against the spread (ATS), going 3-6-1 over the last 10 games.

The Wizards have a long list of concerns for this matchup, including the Bucks' fifth-best offensive rating going against Washington's third-worst defensive rating. Milwaukee will be without Damian Lillard (groin), which could give the Wizards a fighting chance of slowing this Bucks offense.

However, the Bucks' efficiency on offense has stayed steady when Lillard is out. Believe it or not, the three-point shooting gets even better. When Dame is absent, Milwaukee converts 37.6% of their threes (eighth-best) on the season and cashes in 39.6% of threes.

Frankly, I'm far more concerned with Washington's injuries. The notable absence will be Kyle Kuzma, who is battling a heel contusion. The Wiz's best chance of scoring in this one is likely attacking the paint. Washington totals the 3rd-most points in the paint while the Bucks surrender the 12th-most points in the paint.

Without Kuzma in the lineup, the Wizards' two-point percentage drops from 54.5% to 53.3%. The starting forward -- who leads the team with 22.3 points per game (PPG) -- also takes 47.7% of his shots within 10 feet of the basket.

Washington's ability to attack the painted area takes a big hit without Kuzma, and the Bucks' offense can still excel without Lillard thanks to facing a weak Wiz defense. I like the road favorites to cover the spread.

New York Knicks at Miami Heat

Knicks +3.0 (-110)

The New York Knicks are rounding into form ahead of the postseason with a 7-3 record while going 7-2-1 ATS over their last 10 games. Jalen Brunson has posted absurd numbers of late by logging 34.9 PPG with a 49.5% field goal percentage (FG%) while cashing 37.9% of his three-point looks over the last eight contests. Brunson even erupted for a career-high of 61 points on March 29th.

The Miami Heat's main objective for tonight looks as clear as day: find a way to slow Brunson, whose point total is set at 28.5. I do not believe that Miami is up to the task. The Heat's perimeter defense has been weak, giving up the eighth-most three-point shots per contest. Brunson has totaled 8.6 three-point shots per game during his eight-game tear (season average is 6.8).

Of course, this is not all about one player, though, as the entire New York squad is shooting the rock well of late. The Knicks as a team have shot better than 37.0% from three-point land in four of the last five contests. During the five-game stretch, New York has also logged 16.6 made threes per game (season average is 13.2).

The Knicks seem like a favorable bet to cover on the road. This checks out with various models as Massey Ratings is predicting a one-point win for Miami, and numberFire's game projections give New York a 53.8% chance of winning.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Utah Jazz

Jazz Team Total Over 102.5 (-110)

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Utah Jazz are on complete opposite ends of spectrum with the regular season winding down.

The Cavs currently hold the 3 seed in the Eastern Conference and are fending off the Knicks for the spot. The Jazz have been eliminated from postseason contention. Clearly, the motivation of each squad is quite different.

Utah is also dealing with several key injuries as Lauri Markkanen (23.2 PPG), Jordan Clarkson (17.1 PPG), and John Collins (15.1 PPG) are out. That's three of the Jazz's top four scorers. Markkanen could even miss the remainder of the season.

Without much of a surprise, Cleveland is a notable favorite in this one (-12.0). The Cavaliers also boast the seventh-best defensive rating. Surely, Utah will struggle to score without several key pieces, right?

I do not think this is a given. The Cavs' defense has been shredded from three over their previous three outings with opponents making 47.2% of their three-point shots. Why does this matter for tonight's matchup?

The Jazz shoot the 10th most threes per game, and the volume has not decreased even with injuries. For the season, Utah shoots a three-pointer on about 36.0% of their possessions. The figure remains similar even with Markkanen, Clarkson, and Collins off the floor. This is a large sample size, too, as the three players have been off the court for 1,306 possessions compared to the Jazz's 7,593 possessions for the season.

Utah still has a solid scoring duo for tonight with Collin Sexton (18.8 PPG) and Keyonte George (12.8 PPG) suiting up. Sexton has logged 22.8 PPG over his last 14 games while shooting a blistering 39.7% from deep. This could be a revenge game for Sexton -- his point prop is set at 23.5. George has also produced at a higher rate in recent games with 16.6 PPG over his previous 12 outings.

So, what's the bottom line? The Jazz are still capable of scoring and have the tools to expose Cleveland's recent struggles to defend the three. Utah has failed to reach 103 points only once over their previous five games.


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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.