Saturday’s best bets including Raptors vs Hawks, Jazz vs Trail Blazers

It’s a bright Saturday in the NBA. We have five games scheduled, including two games on NBA TV: Timberwolves vs 76ers (7:30 p.m. ET) and Jazz vs Trail Blazers (10 p.m. ET).

Our team of bettors aim for a player prop, total and spread bet for today’s games. Below is their in-depth analysis and best bets for Saturday.

NBA Odds & Tips

Toronto Raptors vs. Atlanta Hawks

Choose
De’Andre Hunter o1.5 3s (+108)
A book
fan duel
Tip
6 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Joe Dellera: The Hawks and Raptors remind me of each other, neither is particularly stunning but both are feisty with almost identical records. They’ve got length, shooting and a commitment on defense, but we’re still waiting for them to turn the corner this season.

One of the Raptors’ flaws is that they allow the sixth highest frequency of 3s in the league, but specifically the second highest frequency out of the corner. While putting up good defense over the break, the Raptors allow their opponents to shoot 39.3% in corner 3.

One player who can benefit from this for Atlanta is De’Andre Hunter. He takes 14% of his looks from the corner and shoots 46.4% of those looks (a team high). He’s exceeded 1.5 3s in six of 10 games, including a three-3-pointer game against Toronto on Halloween, and I’ll back him to evade 2 from long-range with plus money.


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Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Choose
Under 217.5
A book
fan duel
Tip
7:30 p.m. ET
TV
NBA TV

Chris Baker: Minnesota has a two-day rest margin over the 76ers, who played a physical Milwaukee team last night. Minnesota also has a health advantage with no one currently injured.

Philly should at least skip Tyrese Maxey, but they can do without Tobias Harris, who missed last night’s game with a hip injury. With multiple stars, Philly will turn to Joel Embiid for a large usage rate.

The problem with this is that Minnesota actually has a capable defender guarding it with Rudy Gobert at center. Between Gobert, Towns and McDaniels, the T’wolves have the length to disrupt Embiid on offense.

There were 180 possessions with James Harden and Tyrese Maxey both off and off the court, and in that sample size, the 76ers average just 101.7 points per 100 possessions (third percentile). Their pace also slows even further as they only have a 12.8% transition rate without Maxey and Harden.

This team is struggling without their two starting men on offense and I expect that will continue to be the case tonight. This team gets significantly better defensively without Harden and Maxey as they’re in the 97th percentile and only allowing 102.7 points per 100 if those two guys are out.

We should see a lot more minutes from Matisse Thybulle, De’Anthony Melton and PJ Tucker and if Tobias Harris is left out I think that would further increase their defensive ceiling.

I think these teams are a good fit here and I expect the pace to be a lot slower with the 76ers missing both starting supervisors. I play this down to 216.


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Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Choose
Blazers -3.5
A book
fan duel
Tip
10 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Austin Wang: The Jazz pulled off an impressive win as they defeated the Suns 134-133. They had to turn around and travel overnight to Portland where they will be on the road and in the second game of a back-to-back.

After such a hard fought game that ended with such a slim margin, I see disappointment for the Jazz. They also shot an unreal 56% from the field and 16 to 31 from behind the arc (51.6%). That’s not sustainable, and I see some regression against a dramatically improved defense for the Blazers, who sit sixth in defensive standings.

The Blazers’ injury record looks clean. Both Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons are back in the lineup after both missing a few games in early November. The clutch factor is strong in this duo, and I have faith that they’ll pull away the fourth quarter when the jazz tires.

With those situational factors in mind, I make those Line Blazers at -6 and would play the Blazers down to -4.


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