Another big association basketball night brings another round of showings for my NBA role model.
Here’s what you’ll find in the template: projected team totals, combined projected totals, projected match spreads, and implied odds for the moneyline.
I’ll highlight some of the most intriguing matchups on the slate with in-depth game-level analysis that goes beyond the numbers.
To note: My projections will not be updated in real time throughout the day, but Action’s PRO Projections tool is dynamic and will reflect the latest injury and alignment news.
NBA projections model
NBA odds and picks
Although the projections give us a solid basis for what a number should beit’s also important to handicap every game for things the numbers can’t tell us.
Check out my analysis for tonight’s slate.
Golden State Warriors vs. Miami Heat
If you’ve listened to our Wednesday workshop podcast with myself and my colleague Matt Moore, you’ll know I gave it 214.5, but there’s still value here at 213.5. I also gave the heat at -5.5 and 6.5 is the limit I am willing to be in here.
The Golden State Warriors are a sinking ship and they’re playing their third game in four nights against the Heat, who are coming off a disappointing 113-106 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers without Joel Embiid and James Harden.
It’s a great place to bounce back against a Warriors team that lost to the Orlando Magic and will be missed by Stephen Curry.
The Warriors are just 2-6 without Curry this season with an offensive rating of just 108.5. By comparison, with Curry on the ground, the Warriors are scoring 115.8 points per 100 possessions. They will face a Heat team that is fourth in defensive rating (108.2) in their garbage-free time minutes according to Cleaning the Glass. Still, I don’t expect an offensive improvement from the Warriors here.
While the Warriors struggle offensively without Curry, they still have one of the best defenses in the league, holding opposing teams to just 107.1 points per 100 possessions, good for third place among NBA teams. The Heat are only 13th in offensive half-court points per 100 possessions (96.6), so they’re not a team that can run and hide by posting big offensive numbers.
The Heat don’t play fast games either, ranking 27th in pace (96.1) and 22nd in offensive length of possession (15 seconds) while ranking dead last in defensive length of possession (15 seconds), a testament of the opposing attack. use the shot clock more and take hard shots.
Golden State also doesn’t play at a fast pace at all, ranking 15th in pace (98.14) and 15th in offensive duration of possession (14.5 seconds). That said, it seems like a great place for subs and I’d take the heat if I could get them to -6.5 or better.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Memphis Grizzlies
It’s a game in which I throw my own personal numbers.
My post-All-Star break pattern makes the Grizzlies the 2.3-point favorites over the Nets in this game, but that puts Ja Morant in the line as well as home and road games for the Nets who have a significantly better rated power on the road as Kyrie Irving is ineligible for home games due to New York’s vaccination mandate.
When you take Morant off the line and factor in the combination of Durant and Irving, it’s pretty clear the Nets should be big favorites in this game. It’s no surprise the Nets opened as three-point favorites before that bet was reduced to two. Still, I think that number is short.
The Nets are 4-2 on the road since the All-Star Break with the second-best net rating (13.4) behind a best offensive rating of 126.2 and a defensive rating of 112.8, making it 13th among NBA teams.
It’s important to note that Irving was ineligible to play for Toronto in the Nets’ March 1 108-109 loss to the Raptors and Durant also did not feature. Overall, the Nets are 4-1 since the All-Star break with Durant and Irving in the lineup. Their only loss came against the Boston Celtics who are 27-7 in their last 34 games and have been the league’s best team since Jan. 6.
With Durant and Irving on the ground, the Nets outperform teams by +18.3 points per 100 possessions with an offensive rating of 128.7 and a defensive rating of 110.4. The Grizzlies are 20th in defensive rating (123.2) over the past two weeks against the top 10 offense and they’ll face one here in the Nets.
Given the Grizzlies struggle to score in half court where they rank 23rd in half court points per 100 possessions (92.5), it’s hard to imagine them keeping pace with a Nets team that desperate to avoid the play-in tournament.
I’m going to lay the two points with the Nets because the combination of Durant and Irving should be too much to overcome without Morant.
Utah Jazz vs. Boston Celtics
My model makes this game 213, so it looks like a good place for the sub between two good defensive teams. The Utah Jazz have seen their totals drop in nine of their last 10 games and now face the Boston Celtics who are first in defensive ratings (106.7) in their garbage-free minutes.
The Celtics are keeping opposing teams at the lowest eFG% in the league this season (50.2%) and the Jazz have their work cut out with the absence of Bojan Bogdanovic (calf) and the struggles of Mike Conley who has been averaging just 10.9 points on 34.1 percent shooting in his last eight games.
Boston has exploded offensively lately, scoring 126, 124, 132 in its last three games. The Celtics now face a Jazz defense that is holding the teams to 94.8 points per 100 possessions over the past two weeks.
The Celtics performed well against the top 10 defenses where they scored 106.6 points per 100 possessions, 22nd among NBA teams. With the Jazz ranked 22nd in pace (97.4) and 24th in offensive length of possession (15.1 seconds) and the Celtics ranking 24th in pace (96.7) and 25th in offensive length of possession (15.1 seconds) ) by Dunks and Threes, I’m going to play this game to go under.