Top NBA Betting Pick of the Weekend (March 18-19)

Posted by Michael Hunt on Friday,March 17, 2017 10:10, EST in

This could be a good weekend to take advantage of the oddsmakers. I only say that because of course much of their focus will be on the NCAA Tournament. So perhaps you can find some good betting value on the NBA. Here are three NBA betting matchups I recommend.

Top NBA Betting Pick of the Weekend (March 18-19)

Utah Jazz at Chicago Bulls, Saturday

I wouldn’t bet much on the Bulls the rest of the season when they are playing good teams and I’d almost always go under their totals. Why? Chicago’s second-best player, guard Dwyane Wade, is done for the year with a small fracture and a sprain in his right elbow. Thus the Bulls will struggle to score. Wade’s injury occurred during the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies when his arm got twisted during a play between Grizzlies big man Zach Randolph and a couple of his teammates. The Bulls called it a sprain at first. Wade had missed 11 games already this season due to minor injuries or sitting out the second of a back-to- back because he’s old. Wade averaged 18.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists in his first season with the Bulls. It might be his last as Wade has a player option for next season and could very well decline it to play with a contender. Will he return to a Bulls team that appears headed to the lottery? Doubtful. I love the Jazz (and under) even more here because Chicago is playing the second of a back-to- back after visiting Washington on Friday. The Bulls did win in Utah earlier this season, 85-77. Utah is looking for its first road win against Chicago since the 2014-15 season, which came on 1/7/15 (97-77). The Jazz should get it.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Los Angeles Clippers, Saturday

This is the ABC Saturday night showcase game as LeBron James goes up against his good buddy, Clippers point guard Chris Paul. Assuming both play, that is. These days in the NBA, you never know when a star might sit out. The Cavs got a huge boost to hang onto the East’s No. 1 seed when Kevin Love returned from his injury on Thursday vs. Utah. Love had surgery Feb. 14 and was originally expected to miss six weeks. The defending NBA champions had been 7-6 since he was injured. Love is averaging 20 points and 11.1 rebounds. This game starts a four-game road trip for the Cavs. They will want some payback after a 113-94 home blowout loss to the Clippers on Dec. 1. J.J. Redick scored 23 points, and Blake Griffin matched a career high with 11 assists. Los Angeles took control with a 13-2 run to open the third quarter. Kyrie Irving scored 28 and Love 16 for the Cavs. Take the Cavs here if Love plays (team might be cautious with him), but L.A. if he doesn’t.

Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers, Sunday

Obviously Boston is far superior to Philadelphia. But you may want to take the 76ers and the points here because the Celtics will be without their best player and the NBA’s second-leading scorer in All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas. He also missed Friday’s game against Brooklyn with a right knee bone bruise. Thomas is averaging a career and East-best 29.2 points per game this season. After dropping a team- high 27 points Wednesday night in the Celtics’ win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Thomas now has led the C’s in scoring in 32 consecutive games. That’s the fourth-longest streak in NBA history, and he’s only two games away from tying Kobe Bryant for the third-longest. Technically that streak ends, then. Thomas still has an outside chance to challenge Larry Bird’s franchise scoring record of 29.9 points per game. The Celtics went 1-3 in the four games that Thomas missed with a strained right groin in December.