NBA Rivalry Week kicks off Wednesday night with two nationally televised doubleheader games with teams that are sure to be rivals by all accounts: Nets vs. 76ers (7:30 p.m. ET) and Grizzlies vs. Warriors (10 p.m. ET).
Our analysts go in a different direction for their best bets. They target three bets from two of the 10 games on the schedule and as a player prop, the first half as a whole and spread bets in that game.
Read on for their picks and expert predictions for Wednesday night.
NBA options and options
Indiana Pacers vs Orlando Magic
Chris Baker: I’ve been circling this spot for the Magic since Monday and their win over the Celtics has boosted my confidence even more. I have been high on this Magic team all season and they are finally fully healthy with Jonathan Isaac returning on Monday.
Isaac made an immediate impact on both ends of the floor against the NBA’s No. 1 team: 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting with two steals. Isaac adds to the large number of unicorns the Magic have in their front court.
Between Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, Bol Bol, Isaac, Mo Bamba, and Wendell Carter Jr. This Orlando team is full of talent. This is a big issue for the Pacers who are severely lacking in size and defensive ability in their front court. Outside of Myles Turner, the Pacers have almost no other bigs in their rotation.
As a result, the Pacers rank 29th in defensive rebounding rate and 27th in opponent margin of error allowed. They don’t protect the paint well, which is essential against the Magic. They will likely ask Aaron Nesmith and Chris Duarte to try to guard 6-foot-10 players like Wagner and Banchero. It would be a huge mismatch and I fully expect the Magic to score at will tonight.
Plus, this is just a terrible spot for the Pacers — on the road on the second night of a back-to-back after an emotional comeback win against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday.
I don’t rate this team very high without Tyrese Haliburton. Since Haliburton went down on Jan. 11, the Pacers are 1-6 SU and 3-4 ATS and rank 29th in offensive rating over that stretch. The only positive metric for them is offensive rebounding rate (ranking second over the stretch). I would expect their new bump for offensive boards to falter against this physical magic team that ranks 12th in defensive rebounding.
I love this place positionally and matchup wise and I play this comfortably up to -6.
Toronto Raptors vs Sacramento Kings
Joe Dellera: The Kings will face the Raptors today and this is a very good place for Domantas Sabonis. He has been amazing this season and is finally getting some of the recognition he deserves around the league. I love his props tonight against Siakam and the Raptors though.
Sabonis and Siakam are similar in the way they play, both can score, rebound and assist as well. However, Sabonis has dominated this game the past few seasons. He has recorded five consecutive doubles and a triple double as well.
Prop Sabonis’ Points + Rebounds is set at 31.5 and depending on your book it could be 32.5. He has cleared this number in three of his last five against Siakam, but more importantly, he destroyed this number with a 21 point, 20 rebound, seven assist performance this season on December 14th.
I prefer the Points + Rebounds line over Points + Rebounds + Assists in this spot because I think his assist upside in this game isn’t as important due to Toronto’s length and potential other scorers have defended the Kings. I think Sabonis will be the main offensive option tonight.
His history against the Raptors aside, Sabonis has lost this streak by 31.5 in three consecutive games; however, he had exceeded 31.5 in 18 of the previous 19 games. I’ll back him to get back on track tonight against the Raptors and he’d take this up to a 32.5 PR.
Toronto Raptors vs Sacramento Kings
Munaf Manji: The Raptors and Kings face off tonight in Sacramento and I expect plenty of points to be scored in the first half.
First, the Raptors are 7-1 in the first half in their last eight games, according to Bet Labs. The Kings are 8-1 in the first half in their last nine games.
Additionally, over the last five games, the Raptors and Kings are tied for first and second in Offensive Rating. In that same span, the first half of Kings games averaged 127 points and the Kings are allowing 63 points per game in the first half.
The Raptors are no strangers to playing high scoring games this season. In fact, the Raptors are 10-4 in non-conference games this season and are 13-8 on the road this season (according to Bet Labs). I expect the offense to be firing on all cylinders tonight. I love this number up to 123.5.
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