A tough break yesterday with my NBA best bets, as Pascal Siakam could not get off the hook, and in doing so brought the first lost wager in six games. Nikola Jokic had twenty-one points at halftime and went over his point line of 27.5 points by one successful field goal… brutal. Fred VanVleet was close, but the Rockets once again blew out their competition. 




It is simply incredible how many player proposition bets have been lost by one statistic, or the hook. This will shift Fantasy Alarm NBA Best Bets to a straight bet focus.

After 22 teams played yesterday, there are only four games today. Two games are nationally televised on TNT: the Los Angeles Lakers at Milwaukee Bucks beginning at 7:30 PM ET and the Dallas Mavericks at Sacramento Kings beginning at 10:00 PM ET. There will be wagers placed on both matches tonight. 

The Bet of the Night in my NBA best bets comes from a showdown between teams ranked in the top four of the Western Conference. The Oklahoma City Thunder travel to the Smoothie King Center to play the New Orleans Pelicans.

Expert NBA Best Bet Today, 3/26
Thunder vs. Pelicans Prediction: New Orleans Moneyline (+105 on BetMGM)

The New Orleans Pelicans host the Oklahoma City Thunder in a Western Conference showdown. The West truly is best, with teams ranked fourth through ninth separated by only five games. The Pelicans are in fourth place, as they surpassed the Los Angeles Clippers with wins in eight of their last ten games. 

Truthfully, they are tied with the Los Angeles Clippers for fourth, but ahead due to tiebreakers. They are two games ahead of the Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings, and two and a half games ahead of the Phoenix Suns. All but the Clippers have a winning record over their last ten games too. The Pelicans must keep winning or be at risk of being in the play-in.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are the second seed of the Western Conference and in a three-team race at the top. They are currently one game behind the Denver Nuggets for first and half a game ahead of the Minnesota Timberwolves in third. They too can not lose many more games if they wish to be in first place.

The Pelicans have a better defense and have the advantage of playing at home after a long road trip. The Thunder are on the last of a three-game road stretch that included Canada and Milwaukee. Oklahoma City has a better points per game average but were shut down by the Bucks. Their previous four games were played against the worst defenses, and they are playing a good defense tonight.

Zion Williamson is playing the best basketball of his NBA career, and the Thunder will not have an answer for him tonight. CJ McCollum has been much more efficient, and Herbert Jones has stepped it up on the offensive end with Brandon Ingram out. A win by the Pelicans tonight would put them four and a half games out of third place and gives them sole possession of fourth place.




NBA Predictions Today, 3/26
Lakers vs. Bucks Prediction: Both Teams Total Points Over 109.5 (-130 on DraftKings)

The second bet is for both the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks to score over 109.5 points. The projected total for this game is 232 points, and in their previous matchup they each scored over 120 points. As it currently sits the Bucks are nine-point favorites and a final score of 120-111 is more than achievable. 

Both teams average over 110 points per game; The Lakers 117.7, and the Bucks 120.6. It is true that NBA teams are averaging less points since the All-Star break, but their most recent game took place after the All-Star break. The Lakers have scored over 110 points in 16 of their last 18 games, and that likely will not stop tonight.

Another advantage both of these teams share is the ability to get to the free throw line. Giannis Antetokounmpo has attempted 724 free throws this season – 124 more than Shai Gilegous-Alexander who is second with 600. Milwaukee has the second most free throws as a team this season, and the Lakers have the fifth most. Collectively they have 3.459 free throw attempts this season, and free throws are easy points that aid a bet placed on points to be scored. 

In addition to that, the game is on TNT which seems to always have a high-scoring game. It is a game with meaning for both teams even though they are in different conferences. Only four games separate Milwaukee from the sixth place Orlando Magic. Winning the second seed ensures they will not play the Boston Celtics until the Conference Finals… if at all. 

Los Angeles is currently in the middle of a good or bad situation. They have a three-game lead over the red-hot Houston Rockets in the 11th seed but are also only three games away from the sixth seed. They are currently the ninth seed and in the play-in but forced to win back-to-back games to advance to the playoffs. 

However, if they fall to eleventh seed they are eliminated from any playoff scenarios, and if they advance to sixth, they would secure a playoff match against the third ranked Western Conference team. That is all to say that both teams should be scoring plenty tonight. 

The Lakers team prop line is at 110.5, and the Bucks line is set at 120.5. According to the sportsbooks this is a bet almost exclusively on the Lakers, and a teased down bet at that. This covers the Lakers ‘hook’ and gives an eleven-point cushion for Milwaukee. It is a first-time bet for Fantasy Alarm NBA Best Bets this season, and it should cash.




Mavericks vs. Kings Prediction: Over 233.5 Points (-110 on BetMGM)

A potential best game of the season is taking place on the second game of TNT. The Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings will be in action, and they are tied for the sixth spot of the Western Conference. 

The Kings currently have the tiebreaker over the Mavericks, and that is a big deal. If the playoffs started today, the Kings would be enjoying a break and resting after a long regular season. Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks would be in the play-in and forced to win one of the two play-in games.

This is a battle between two offensive teams, and this column is betting on the total points. This match is the highest point total of the night and rightfully so. Dallas scores an average of 118.6 points per game, and the Kings 117.6, exactly one point difference. Collectively, that is 236.2 points per game, and this bet is listed below average.

As mentioned before, that is mainly due to lower scoring since the All-Star break. However, the Kings have scored over 120 points in four of their last eight games. The Dallas Mavericks have scored 113 or more points in nine of their last eleven games. So, the dip in expected points does not add up. 

In addition to that the Mavericks will not have an answer for Domantas Sabonis, and the Kings will not have an answer for Luka Doncic. Kyrie Irving is scoring more and looks like an older version of himself. Malik Monk will come off the bench and be a problem for any combination of the Mavericks back court. Harrison Barnes has become a better three-point scorer, and Daniel Gafford has drastically improved his pick and roll game.

Doncic is third in the league in free throw attempts, and both teams have a backcourt capable of producing over half of the required total points. This match is on TNT with the winner improving to a one game advantage for sixth place. 

Excluding the playoffs, this is the best basketball in the Association. Two teams on a winning streak, playing their best basketball of the season, in a game with significant impact on playoff rankings. How can you not be romantic about basketball? Particularly in late March?




Thanks for reading my NBA best bets today! Remember to check out Fantasy Alarm for all your fantasy and betting needs.

Bet Smart, Be Lucky - Iggy

*All bets to be placed at 1 unit unless specified otherwise.