Handicapping the NBA: Wednesday Best Bets

Handicapping the NBA: Wednesday Best Bets

This article is part of our NBA Picks series.

Bucks (2-1) at Celtics (2-1)

Pick: Bucks -2.0 -- FanDuel, Tuesday 5:43 PM CT

The Celtics have been on-script so far. They lost by 14 in Philadelphia during the opener, beat the Raptors at home by six, and then shook off the back-to-back to still beat the Knicks by 23 on the road. All of those things were "supposed to" happen. Their strongest attribute so far has been winning the possession game. Heading into Tuesday's games, the Celtics ranked first in limiting turnovers while also ranking first in forced turnovers.

But if the Celtics are who we think they are, they should lose to the Bucks here. The perception of Milwaukee might still be recovering from their overtime loss to the Jimmy-Butler-less Heat. Aside from that, the Bucks got a nice win over the Rockets in which Giannis Antetokounmpo fouled out late, and they took care of business against the Cavaliers on Monday. So far, the Bucks have been elite in shooting efficiency, limiting turnovers and defensive rebounding, ranking top-5 in each category. Milwaukee still projects to easily be a top-2 seed in the East, which means they certainly should win this game by three or more.

Bulls (1-3) at Cavaliers (1-2)

Pick: Bulls -1.0 -- FanDuel, Tuesday 8:34 PM CT

I'm not ready to believe the Bulls are this bad. They've gotten off to a rough start, suffering bad losses to the Hornets and Knicks. But Chicago has still managed to rank top-10 in two of the Offensive Four Factors (TOV% and ORB%) and two of the Defensive Four Factors (TOV% and FT/FGA). I'm also expecting Lauri Markkanen to shoot better than 39.7 FG% and 18.5 3P% moving forward. Tomas Satoransky and Otto Porter are both under 30 FG%. That just won't continue. I'm banking on some positive regression here.

The Cavaliers got a nice win over the Pacers at home in the second game of the season, but it's not like we're looking at a miracle playoff team here. Cleveland has been good on the defensive glass and haven't sent teams to the free-throw line, but there's not much else to point to suggesting they'll be competitive on a night-to-night basis.

Hornets (1-3) at Kings (0-4)

Pick: Kings -7.0 -- FanDuel, Tuesday 8:43 PM CT

I'll probably be saying this until the Hornets get slapped with a double-digit spread, but Charlotte is not good. They're actually very bad. They've lost their past three games by a combined 56 points. And what will happen when Devonte' Graham and PJ Washington stop shooting a combined 52.0 percent from the three-point line? Dwayne Bacon is leading this team in usage. Terry Rozier's +/- per 100 possessions is -17.0, and Malik Monk's is -30.9. The fact that they're getting 7.0 points on the road suggests they're probably only four or five points worse than the Kings in a vacuum. I know the Kings have underwhelmed, but, really, that's insane.

Hot take: Buddy Hield, De'Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic will not continue to shoot a combined 34.4 percent from the field. Sacramento doesn't necessarily have an uncharacteristically bad loss, either. They've played the Suns, Blazers, Jazz and Nuggets -- the latter three are 50-win candidates. Wednesday marks a great spot for them to beat up on a bad team at home and get some confidence.

Suns (2-2) at Warriors (1-2)

Pick: Warriors -5.0 -- FanDuel, Tuesday 9:29 PM CT

The Suns are definitely better than we expected. Coach Monty Williams, plus some solid free-agent acquisitions, seem to have breathed new life into the organization. They have the sixth-best defense in the league. Most players are also shooting a sustainable field-goal percentage. But I think the absence of Deandre Ayton will start to affect them soon. Aron Baynes and Frank Kaminsky are definitely rotation players, but they've probably been punching above their weight class over the past few games. The Suns have also played just one road game so far this season, losing to the Nuggets, so we're still not sure how things will hold up away from Talking Stick Resort Arena.

While the Warriors have been getting lit up, allowing the highest eFG% in the league, the other areas of their defense have been good. They're ranked 12 in defensive FT/FGA, ranked 5 in defensive TOV% and ranked 6 in DRB%. Golden State has also managed the best offensive rebounding rate in the league, are committing the sixth-fewest turnovers per 100 possessions, and have the eighth-highest FT/FGA. I think better performances are in their future, especially once Steph Curry starts shooting better than 26.7 percent from three and D'Angelo Russell starts shooting better than 38.3 percent from the field. Getting Alec Burks and Willie Cauley-Stein back for Wednesday truly matters. Their value over the Warriors' depth pieces is significant.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Barutha
Alex is RotoWire's Chief NBA Editor. He writes articles about daily fantasy, year-long fantasy and sports betting. You can hear him on the RotoWire NBA Podcast, Sirius XM, VSiN and other platforms. He firmly believes Robert Covington is the most underrated fantasy player of the past decade.
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