Conference Battles Look Defensive in Wednesday's NBA Picks

Pistons Heat

Charles Stark

Wednesday, January 3, 2018 2:00 PM GMT

Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018 2:00 PM GMT

Oddsmakers have come out with a low and high total for a couple of NBA matchups on Wednesday. But in the Detroit-Miami and New Orleans-Utah games, which way should you go to cash in?

NBA Wednesday: Pistons vs. Heat

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Free NBA Pick: Under 195.5Best Line Offered: Heritage

Oddsmakers came out with a low 195.5 total for this matchup, and for my NBA pick I’m going to back under the total. Although the total looks low on paper, when we break these teams down and look at them statistically, I have a hard time believing this is going to be an up-and-down affair. In their last matchup in mid-November they had a high-scoring affair, but I think that was more of an anomaly.

Both teams have played some solid defense this season, with Detroit ranking 11th in the NBA in opponent shooting efficiency, and Miami allowing just 37.4 field goals made per game, ranking them fifth. On the other side of the ball, neither team is lighting it up. Miami ranks in the middle of the league in shooting at 45 percent, and Detroit ranks 24th at 44.7 percent.

At the end the day, with the pace included, I simply don’t see this game getting up and down, so look for the defenses to step up and for this game to be a grind. Oddsmakers have made this total low for a reason.

NBA Wednesday: Pelicans vs. Jazz

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Free NBA Pick: Under 209.5Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

In their first matchup this season in early December, these two teams combined for 222 points to go over the 205 total set by oddsmakers. Because of that, oddsmakers have come out with a 209.5 total for this game, but I don’t see the teams getting there so I will back the under.

Utah has not been as good defensively as we seen in years past, but they are still good in limiting tempo and holding teams to low totals. Utah ranks second and fourth in the NBA, respectively, in opponent field goals attempted and made per game. New Orleans has not been very good on the defensive side and they have been allowing a ton of tempo, with opponents getting up 89.6 attempts per game, ranking them 28th.

However, this is just too big of a number when Utah is in the mix. And although New Orleans is an up-tempo team, it will be hard for them to push pace against Utah.

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