NBA

NBA Betting Picks for Wednesday 2/28/24: Targeting a Pair of Totals in the West

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

New Orleans Pelicans at Indiana Pacers

Pelicans +6.5 (-110)

Last night, the New Orleans Pelicans got off to a great start on their road trip with a 115-92 win and cover against the New York Knicks, a victory that snapped a two-game losing streak. The Pelicans are looking to continue their road success on Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers, who are 2-1 over their last three homes games.

Indiana being favored by 6.5 points simply feels like a bit too much. It's not like New Orleans is completely incapable on the road; in fact, the Pelicans are 18-12 in away games, compared to 17-12 at home. They are also 5-3 against the spread (ATS) over their previous eight games on the road.

New Orleans should be able to score plenty of points against an Indiana squad with the league's fifth-worst defensive rating. The Pels total the 14th-most points in the paint and the 10th-fewest three-point shots as they live around the rim. This is a matchup made in heaven for New Orleans as the Pacers give up the most points in the paint per game while also allowing the most field goal attempts within five feet of the basket. Zion Williamson -- who takes 76.3% of his shots within five feet -- could be gearing up for a monster performance. His points prop is set at 25.5 points.

Slowing Indiana's offense (second-best rating) will be a challenge, but the Pelicans could pass the test. The Pacers total the most points in the paint and the eighth-most three-point makes. New Orleans gives up the fifth-fewest points in the paint, and they've held their last two opponents to a combined 31.4% shooting from three.

The Pelicans moneyline (+210) could be too risky, but covering the 6.5-point spread feels very manageable. numberFire projects the Pels to cover 67.0% of the time.

Sacramento Kings at Denver Nuggets

Over 230.5 (-110)

The Sacramento Kings average the eighth-most points per game (PPG) while carrying the sixth-best effective field goal percentage (eFG%). This suggests plenty of high-scoring games for the Kings, which has been the case -- with the over going 8-2 over the last 10 games. However, Wednesday presents a new challenge as the Denver Nuggets carry the ninth-best defensive rating and Denver's under record is 36-21 (the top under record in the league).

Will the over trend for Sacramento continue even against Denver?

The Kings' offense has caught fire over the last three games, sporting a 52.8% field goal percentage (FG%) while converting 40.2% of their three-point looks. While the Nuggets have an excellent perimeter defense, one that surrenders the second-fewest three-point shots, the interior defense is more vulnerable. Denver has just the 14th-best mark in points in the paint allowed per game (50.2), and this average has slightly increased over the last four contests, with opponents totaling 52.5 points in the paint in that span.

Sacramento was one of those teams that found success in the paint with 56 points in the head-to-head matchup on February 14th. Domantas Sabonis (20.0 PPG), who takes 81.4% of his shots within 10 feet of the rim, totaled 20 points in the previous head-to-head meeting and could be poised for more success. His points prop is set at 19.5 points.

The case for the Nuggets to score enough for the over to hit is less in-depth. First off, Denver's offense has been rolling with 125.3 PPG over their previous three contests while averaging a jaw-dropping 68.0 points in the paint in that stretch -- the best season-long mark in the league is 56.8 held by the Pacers. The Kings have the 11th-worst defensive rating, and their interior defense has been mediocre, with the 15th-best marks in both opponent points in the paint and two-point percentage.

With each offense drawing favorable matchups around the rim, I like the over. That is in line with numberFire's model, which has the over hitting 53.7% of the time.

Los Angeles Lakers at Los Angeles Clippers

Over 234.5 (-112)

This season's fourth edition of the Battle of L.A. goes down tonight. After the Los Angeles Lakers took the first two meetings, the Los Angeles Clippers got revenge with 127-116 win on January 23rd.

Since the Clippers' last loss against the Lakers on January 7th, they have gone 15-6. The Clippers have cemented themselves as a contender in the Western Conference, currently owning the No. 4 seed while holding the second-shortest odds to win the conference (+240), per FanDuel Sportsbook's Western Conference odds. The offense has steadily climbed the ranks as the Clippers now hold the 5th-best offensive rating while totaling 117.6 PPG (10th-best).

This could give a hint for tonight's theme: plenty of points.

The Clips certainly have their advantages against the Lakers. While the Clippers' offense has been cold with only 105.0 PPG over the previous three contests, the Lakers' weak perimeter defense should help get the Clippers back on track.

With the Clippers carrying the second-best three-point percentage in the Association, it feels like only a matter of time before the threes start falling once again. Over the last six games, the Clips shot only 34.2% from deep, compared to their season-long mark of 39.3%. The Lake Show gives up the third-most three-point makes and attempts per contest. Opponents have also shot 40.3% from beyond the arc against the Lakers over the last three games.

We can't overlook the Purple and Gold's recent scoring numbers. They have totaled 124.7 PPG over their last six games. The Lakers have also made at least 40.0% of their threes in four of the last five games. The Clippers allow the 14th-most three-point shots per game, and opponents are averaging 54.7 points in the paint over the last three games (season average is 49.6). This once again supports the Lakers' chances of scoring plenty as they average the second-most points the paint.

Wednesday's edition of the Battle of L.A. could be a high-scoring game with the two teams storming to the over.


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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.