We are at the halfway point in the NBA bubble seeding round, and I would like to take this time to apologize to Phoenix Suns fans. I doubted your team and I have egg on my face for it.
Also, let's not bet on the Memphis Grizzlies any more inexperience and a rash of injuries will keep them out of the NBA playoffs. We have another six games coming up from the NBA bubble today, Best Bets and DFS picks are listed. Lets cash some tickets.
Orlando Magic vs Philadelphia 76ers
The Play: Magic +4.5
The Orlando Magic won their first two games of the seeding round, but have lost their last two games. Today, I like them vs a 76ers team who lost twice to Orlando during the regular season.
Aaron Gordon and Michael Carter-Williams will both likely be game-time decisions. We do know that Ben Simmons will be out for the 76ers.
Orlando and Philadelphia are both playing with hopes of moving up in seeding. For the Magic, getting to the 7-seed keeps them from having to play the Bucks in the first round of the playoffs. For the 76ers, they can move up into the 5-seed and avoid a first-round matchup with Boston, but the Heat and the Pacers aren't pushovers either.
Philadelphia opens up as a 4.5 point favorite, and according to numberFire, 73% of the spread bets are on the 76ers. This is a nationally televised game, featuring one of the NBA's biggest fanbases vs one of the league's smaller fanbases these games are always good opportunities. I like the Magic at +4.5 and will sprinkle on the moneyline. I wouldn't be surprised if the line starts to move towards the Magic side; I can sense sharp money coming in on Orlando.
Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors
The Play: Raptors -2.5
Two of the best teams in the East meet to close the night's action in the bubble. The Raptors opened up this game as 2.5-point favorites, but that number moved up to -3 for a while and then moved back down to -2.
According to NumberFire, 54% of the spread money is coming in on the Celtics, and 77% of the moneyline cash is also backing the Celtics. So of course, I'm on Toronto.
The Raptors are playing some of the best basketball in the league. Before the seeding round started, Toronto was +700 to win the Eastern Conference, now they are +350. The line on this game should move a lot throughout the course of the day. Enough Celtics money could in to drop this line down to Raptors -1, or we could see some reverse steam push this line up to Toronto -3.5. Regardless of what the number does the Raptors are the team to back.
The Raptors have a chance at locking up the 2-seed in the East tonight, and they also are only 1.5 games behind the Lakers for 2nd best record in the league. It may not seem like much since there isn't really a home-court advantage in the bubble but there may be at some point.
Check this out from our Raptors insider Aaron Rose as he quotes Raptors Head Coach Nick Nurse.
"I'm not sure the home court thing won't be a little bit of an advantage, maybe," Nurse said Wednesday. "It seems like they're tweaking a little bit more and more as they go here in the games, as they're learning things about how to put the game on in this setting. We're seeing familiar faces on those screens, and who knows what it'll evolve to here two months from now. So I don't want to discount the home court thing quite yet."
San Antonio Spurs Money Line +
Sacramento Kings Money Line +
Washington Wizards / New Orleans Pelicans Over 233.5 (+ 263)
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C Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Embiid is paying some of the best hoops in the bubble. In the 76ers three games, he has scored 81, 45, and 58 fantasy points respectively. With Ben Simmons out tonight, Embiid is set up to go off yet again.
SF/PF Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans
This game should be an absolute track meet. Neither of these teams play defense and they both play at a high pace. Ingram should thrive in this environment as this game has the highest point total on the slate.
PG/SG Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans
The pace of this game is perfect for how Holiday plays. He will need to limit his turnovers and hit his three-point shots to exceed his value, but the Wizards are the perfect team to do it against.
SG/SF Terrence Ross, Orlando Magic
Ross is always a risky guy to play. Any player that shoots 11 threes a game like he did last time out would be a risky play, but with Aaron Gordon possibly out tonight, Ross could put up a ton of shots. Let's just pray he gets hot.