- The Thunder are playing great basketball right now, which makes them a strong value bet against a Warriors team that is just 21-20 when Kevin Durant plays without Steph Curry.
After going 2-1 last night, Three at 3 is back to its winning ways. Here are the three best bets for a loaded night of NBA action:
1. Portland Trail Blazers at Milwaukee Bucks (-7)
8:00 pm ET
The Blazers were the only loss for the Three at 3 last night, but that’s no reason to pass up on value like this on Wednesday. Facing Milwaukee tonight might explain Portland's lackluster performance against the Knicks on Tuesday. The Blazers likely have this game circled as an opportunity to show they’re legitimately one of the best teams in the league. When these teams met at the Moda Center on Nov. 6, the Blazers won 118-103 as two-point home favorites. Things will be a lot more difficult in Milwaukee, but this is still far too many points to give a team as good as Portland. Since the start of last season, the Blazers are 52-38 against the spread when facing teams that make an average of six or more threes. Portland won those games by an average of 2.2 points. The Bucks have a lot of firepower with superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo and a versatile group of shooters, but the Blazers match up well defensively too. Al-Farouq Aminu, especially, is long enough to give the Greek Freak trouble. That will be huge in this game. On the other end, it’s hard to imagine the Bucks finding a way to stop Damian Lillard. This should be close throughout.
Pick: Blazers (+7)
2. Denver Nuggets at Minnesota Timberwolves (-1)
8:00 pm ET
Since the Timberwolves traded Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns has taken his game to another level and started showing the leadership that Minnesota has wanted from him for years. Over the last four games, Towns is averaging 19.8 points and 16.5 rebounds per game on 56.6% shooting from the field and is shooting 63.6% from three. While that outside shooting is not sustainable, it’s nice to see Towns finally playing the type of basketball that was expected from him when he was selected first overall in 2015. His defense still remains a work in progress, but even that has been better since Butler was dealt. Towns faces a difficult challenge tonight against Nikola Jokic and a dangerous Nuggets team. Denver has been struggling of late but is still capable of winning on any given night. Minnesota will need to play well on both ends of the floor, but that shouldn't be a problem. The Timberwolves are 47-26 against the spread versus teams that make 46.0% of their shots or better since the start of the 2016-17 season. Minnesota is also 12-1 against the spread when playing at home after three or more consecutive unders in that span. Combine those trends with the fact that the Timberwolves are 5-1 straight up and 4-2 against the spread when hosting the Nuggets since the start of 2017, and it’s easy to see why Minnesota is the play tonight.
Pick: Timberwolves (-1)
3. Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors (-1)
10:30 pm ET
It might be hard to believe with all of Golden State's stars, but the Warriors look like a regular team when Steph Curry is out of the lineup. Curry will be sitting again tonight when the Warriors host the Thunder. Golden State comes into this game on a three-game losing streak, and the team has dropped four of its past six. The two most recent losses came against the Mavericks and Spurs, so it’s not like they’re dropping games to elite teams. Meanwhile, the Thunder are scorching hot coming into this one. Oklahoma City has won eight of its past 10, and Monday night’s loss in Sacramento was an excusable one—Russell Westbrook was working himself back into the lineup after missing time with an ankle injury. Westbrook finished the game with 29 points, 13 boards and seven assists in 37 minutes of action. He did not look limited at all, and he shook the rust off as the game went on. Westbrook will be extra motivated tonight because he badly wants to take down Kevin Durant. But the battle inside could be the difference maker. If Draymond Green is either out or playing injured, Oklahoma City's Steven Adams can dominate around the basket on both ends of the floor. This Warriors team is just 21-20 when playing games with Durant and without Curry. And it’s hard to trust the Warriors to beat a good Thunder team, so back Oklahoma City and enjoy the Westbrook show.
Pick: Thunder (+1)
Overall Record: 46-29-3