NBA Betting Picks for Wednesday 3/27/24: The Rockets Hope to Keep Soaring Against Thunder

Riley Thomas
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NBA Betting Picks for Wednesday 3/27/24: The Rockets Hope to Keep Soaring Against Thunder

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

Cleveland Cavaliers at Charlotte Hornets

Cavaliers Team Total Over 108.5 (-108)

Donovan Mitchell leads the Cleveland Cavaliers with 27.4 points per game (PPG) and a 31.4% usage rate. Mitchell will miss his sixth straight against the Charlotte Hornets with a nasal fracture. This points to a low-scoring game for Cleveland, which was certainly the case in his first four absences as the Cavs totaled only 96.8 PPG.

However, this changed in the last game as the Cavaliers totaled 115 points while shooting 53.5% from the field and 41.5% from three-point land. What suddenly changed that enabled Cleveland's offense to excel? It was the opponent, as the Cavs took on the Hornets, who have the third-worst defensive rating.

Considering the recent head-to-head matchup, taking the over for Cleveland's team total looks enticing. Here's why you should take over 108.5 points for the Cavaliers' team total.

First off, Cleveland excelled from three, draining 17 of 41 attempts (41.5%). I'm not sure if the Cavs can hit this many threes again, but the efficiency looks sustainable. Charlotte allows the 11th-most three-point shots and 5th-most three-point makes per game, and opponents make 37.6% of their threes against the Hornets (6th-worst mark for defense).

The Wine and Gold also totaled 50 points in the paint in Monday's matchup. Once again, this is sustainable with the Hornets giving up the eighth-most points in the paint.

Massey Ratings is projecting a 110-101 win for the Cavaliers. The forecasted 110-point total is in line with our support. Cleveland should have another solid scoring performance against one of the league's worst defenses.

Golden State Warriors at Orlando Magic

Magic -4.5 (-112)

It's rare to find a mostly clean injury report for any matchup at this point in the season. The Golden State Warriors against the Orlando Magic is about as close to healthy as you could ask for; neither team will be missing a key player, barring a last-minute change.

Golden State comes off an impressive 113-92 win over the Miami Heat as 4.5-point favorites. The Warriors are staying in the Sunshine State to face Orlando. The Magic are 7-3 against the spread (ATS) over their last 10 games and are 4-1 ATS over their previous five home contests. The public is on Orlando with 72% of picks coming in on the Magic moneyline and 60% of spread bets are on Orlando's side.

I agree with the public on this pick. The Magic's defense (third-best rating) could spell too much trouble for Golden State. The Warriors continue to shoot three-pointers in bulk with the third-most attempts per game. Orlando has a stingy perimeter defense, surrendering the fourth-fewest made threes per game and third-fewest attempts from deep per contest.

Assuming that the Magic's three-point defense continues to hold up, this could fall on Golden State's ability to attack the rim. However, Orlando's interior defense has only improved over the past five games, holding opponents to 44.0 points in the paint per game (season average is 47.6). The Warriors average the 12th-fewest points in the paint and have been producing at about the same rate in the past five contests at 49.2 (season average is 48.5).

As Golden State's 107.5 team total suggests, this could be a low-scoring contest. This only favors the Magic's slow-paced attack. Give me Orlando to cover at home thanks to their elite defense.

Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder

Rockets +6.5 (-110)

The Houston Rockets are still soaring on a nine-game winning streak while going 8-1 ATS. I plan on riding this hot streak until the wheels fall off. Houston's tear could finally come to an end against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are favored by 6.5 points. The Thunder moneyline sits at -260, as well.

Despite the Rockets visiting numberFire's second-best team in the league, the public is not shying away from Houston. In fact, this looks to be a tight one with 52% of moneyline picks on OKC while the spread is split at 50/50.

I believe that the Rockets will fall short of the win, but the cover still feels within reach. Some models are projecting this contest with a margin of under six points. For example, Massey Ratings has a forecasted score of 118-113 in favor of the Thunder.

Houston has a pair of key injuries for tonight; Alperen Sengun (21.1 PPG) and Cam Whitmore (12.1 PPG) will be absent. When Sengun and Whitmore are off of the court, the Rockets' three-point shooting actually goes up quite a bit. They shoot 35.4% from deep on the season (ninth-worst), but when Sengun and Whitmore are not playing, Houston converts 37.8% of their three-point shots. Their non-heave three-point percentage is even better at 38.8%.

Of course, this is a limited sample size that could change with time. But for now, it looks to be a reliable trend, and the Rockets could take advantage of the strength against a weak perimeter defense. The Thunder give up the seventh-most three-point makes and sixth-most three-point shots per contest.

We also know that Houston has a solid defense that is a top-10 unit in guarding the paint. This is key with Oklahoma City totaling the seventh-most points in the paint per game.

The Rockets will be without two key scorers, which causes some understandable hesitation. Houston's three-point shooting has been impressive in their absences, though. Impressive three-point shooting would likely keep the Rockets within striking distance, leading to another cover ATS.

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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.