The NBA regular season will end in under two weeks. Want to find some value on Saturday’s NBA card? Here are three underdogs with very good chances of not only covering the NBA spread but winning outright.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Atlanta Hawks
Odds: Hawks -8.5
This is a game in which motivation is so obviously a key factor for bettors trying to identify an underdog play. The Nets are 9-point underdogs on the NBA odds to the Hawks, and understandably so. Atlanta is by far the top team in the East, but that might work against the Hawks in this game. There’s just not much Atlanta has to play for, with home-court advantage being sewn up through the conference playoffs. Only in the NBA Finals against Golden State (and no other team) would Atlanta not have home-court in the playoffs. Brooklyn, on the other hand, is trying to secure a playoff spot in the East. The Nets are seventh, one game ahead of eighth-place Miami and 1.5 games ahead of ninth-place Boston, with seven games left to play. Brooklyn was on the outside looking in a week and a half ago, but after winning six straight games, it’s clear the Nets are not only in a much better position, but have discovered something about how to play consistently well. Atlanta has been anything but consistent in recent weeks. The Hawks have alternated wins and losses in their last four games. They have not scored more than 101 points in a game since March 20 against Oklahoma City (115 points)… and the Hawks lost that game because they gave up 123 points. Brooklyn is a very attractive road underdog NBA pick here.
NBA Pick: Nets +9 at The Greek
Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors
Odds: Raptors -3
It is very tempting to pick Boston here. The Celtics are just half a game out of the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. They are so close to the Miami Heat they can taste it, and Miami watched Dwyane Wade get injured on Thursday night in a loss to Cleveland. Boston knows that a playoff berth is within reach, so even though Toronto is a certain playoff team and generally a better team than the Celtics, this night might make Boston the more dangerous ballclub, the one with a lot more at stake. The Raptors did beat Houston on March 30, but that is their only win over a team in a current playoff position since their victory over Miami on March 13. Toronto just isn’t picking up impressive wins, so the Raptors should not be seen as a sure thing here. Boston, getting three points, is a pick worthy of consideration.
NBA Pick: Celtics +3 at Bodog
Utah Jazz vs. Phoenix Suns
Odds: Suns -1.5
The upset potential here is vast, since the Jazz are an early 1.5-point underdog in Phoenix. The Suns did come within an eyelash of beating Golden State on the road, but Phoenix is nevertheless a team with a five-game losing streak. The Jazz, on the other hand, have won three in a row, continuously powered by the defense and rebounding of French big man Rudy Gobert. The Jazz are on the upswing, and Phoenix isn’t. Utah is an excellent underdog pick, quite possibly the best dog on the board this Saturday.
NBA Pick: Jazz +1.5 at 5Dimes