NBA Rivalry Week kicks off Wednesday night with two games on the nationally televised doubleheader featuring teams that are sure to be rivals in every way: Nets vs. 76ers (7:30 p.m. ET) and Grizzlies vs. Warriors (10 p.m. ET).
Our analysts are moving in a different direction for their best bets. They target three bets from two of the 10 games on the schedule and like a player gag, first half total and spread bet in that matchup.
Read on for their expert picks and predictions for Wednesday night.
NBA odds and picks
Indiana Pacers v Orlando Magic
Chris Baker: I’ve been circling this spot for the Magic since Monday, and their victory over the Celtics has solidified my conviction. I’ve been high on this Magic team all season and they are finally in full health with Jonathan Isaac returning on Monday.
Isaac made an immediate impact on both ends of the floor against the No. 1 team in the NBA: 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting with two steals. Isaac further adds to the huge number of unicorns the Magic has in their forecourt.
Between Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, Bol Bol, Isaac, Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr. this Orlando team is absolutely packed with talented bigs. This is a huge problem for the Pacers, who are extremely devoid of size and defensiveness in their forecourt. Outside of Myles Turner, the Pacers play virtually no other major players in their main rotation.
As a result, the Pacers rank 29th in defensive rebound speed and 27th in opponent edge speed allowed. They don’t defend the paint well, which is a necessity against the magic. They will probably ask Aaron Nesmith and Chris Duarte to try and guard 6-foot-10 players like Wagner and Banchero. That would be a complete mismatch and I fully expect the Magic to score at will tonight.
Plus, this is just a horrible place for the Pacers – on their way on the second night of a back-to-back after an emotional comeback win against the Chicago Bulls Tuesday.
I didn’t rate this team very highly without Tyrese Haliburton. Since Haliburton went down on January 11, the Pacers are 1-6 SU and 3-4 ATS and rank 29th in offensive rating over that stretch. The only metric that is positive for them is offensive rebound percentage (second on that stretch). I would expect their new found talent for offensive boards to vanish against this physical Magic team that ranks 12th in defensive rebound percentage.
I like this place in terms of situation and matchup and I comfortably play this down to -6.
Toronto Raptors vs Sacramento Kings
Joe Dellera: The Kings take on the Raptors today and this is a great place for Domantas Sabonis. He has been incredible this season and is finally getting the recognition he deserves across the league. I like his props tonight against Siakam and the Raptors though.
Sabonis and Siakam are similar in the way they play, both can score, rebound and will also facilitate. However, Sabonis dominated this game in recent seasons. He has recorded five consecutive double-doubles and also a triple-double.
Sabonis points + rebounds prop is set at 31.5 and depending on your book it could be 32.5. He has cleared this tally in three of his last five against Siakam, but more importantly, he destroyed that tally with a 21 point, 20 rebound, seven assist this season on Dec. 14.
I prefer the Points + Rebounds line as opposed to Points + Rebounds + Assists in this spot because I think being upside down in this matchup isn’t as important due to Toronto’s height and ability to beat the other scorers on the Kings to defend. I think Sabonis will be a primary offensive option tonight.
Aside from his history against the Raptors, Sabonis has missed this 31.5 line in three consecutive games; however, he had exceeded 31.5 in 18 of the previous 19 games. I will support him getting back on track tonight against the Raptors and would take this to 32.5 PR.
Toronto Raptors vs Sacramento Kings
Munaf Manji: The Raptors and Kings face each other tonight in Sacramento and I expect a lot of points to be scored in the first half.
First, according to Bet Labs, the Raptors are 7-1 down in the first half in their last eight games. TheKings are 8-1 to over in the first half in their past nine games.
In addition, the Raptors and Kings are ranked first and second respectively in the Offensive Rating in the past five games. During that same period, the first half of Kings games averaged 127 points and the Kings allow 63 points per game in the first half.
The Raptors are no stranger to playing high-scoring games this season. In fact, the Raptors are down 10-4 in non-conference games this season and 13-8 down the road this season (according to Bet Labs). I expect the violations to be in full swing tonight. I like this number to 123.5.
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