Good afternoon all, Matt back for another day of free NBA picks from us here at Sports Intel for March 4th.
Matt’s NBA Picks March 4th
First up we head to Milwaukee where the Bucks are hosting the Pacers tonight as 10 point home favorites. The Pacers are currently on a four-game win streak after beating the Spurs 116-111 on Monday night despite blowing a 15 point lead. They trail the Heat by just two games now for fourth place in the East and are looking to continue their climb up the NBA standings.
One issue is that the Pacers will likely to again be without the services of Victor Oladipo. He has missed three of the Pacer’s last five games and it appears the team wants to see how does at shootaround this morning before pulling the trigger. One has to think that even if he does suit up, what kind will he really contribute? He has yet to eclipse 30 minutes or 20 points in an of his ten games played.
The Pacers do have depth, however, and both Malcolm Brogdon who scored 26 points and TJ Warren who scored 23 really stepped up against the Spurs. But this Bucks team is much better than a Spurs team playing without LaMarcus Aldrich in the lineup.
The Bucks have only lost 3 games at home this year and have a five-game lead over the Lakers for the best record in the NBA. They are coming off a tough loss where they looked very ineffective vs the Miami Heat in a key conference showdown. The Heat did an amazing job of containing the Greek Freak, leaving him with a season-low 13 points.
They also held the Bucks to just 89 points which broke their season-low threshold for the second day in a row after scoring just 93 vs the Hornets on Sunday.
They did win that game but it’s unusual for the best team in the NBA to have back to back nights like that against teams they should be beaten with relative ease.
As far as betting trends go, while the Pacers have done well of late on the road, with a 9-3-1 ATS record in their last 13, the Bucks are the best home team in the league and are hard to bet against on their own turf.
Milwaukee has covered 5 straight at home and have not lost a game all year coming off a loss. They are 6-2 ATS in those games and I suspect Milwaukee gets back on track and makes the most of a Pacers team lacking one of their best players.
Hornets Visiting Mavericks
Next up we head to Dallas where the Mavericks are six-point home favorites over the visiting Hornets.
This might be the most exciting matchup of the night with two of the league’s young stars going head to head with Zion Williamson and Luka Donchic.
The Pelicans are playing their second game in as many nights, coming off a 139-134 loss to the Timberwolves on Tuesday. This team has some amazing young players aside from Zion, including their leading scorer Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball who leads the team in assists.
The problem is these guys are a bit too offensive-minded and currently rank 27th in the league with 116.9 PPG given up to their opposition. One of their main issues is not defending the perimeter and it has led their opponents to enjoy a 36% shooting average behind the arc, ranking them 19th in the league.
This might be the Pelicans downfall tonight as the Mavericks are the 10th best 3 point shooting team in the NBA.
The Mavericks are also looking for a bounce-back game after an upset loss to the lowly Bulls on Monday. The offense did their part, scoring 107 points, but was let down by unusually bad defense. They rank in the Top-10 in opponent shooting percentage, assists allowed and forced turnovers.
Not only are the Mavericks a Top-10 defense but they also possess one of the more potent offenses as well, ranking 3rd in overall scoring with 116.4 PPG average.
Neither team was particularly great ATS over the last week of play with the Pelicans 2-4 in their last six and the Mavericks 3-3. Nonetheless, the Mavericks are a much better team on both ends of the floor and if they can get their 3 points shooting hot early, this could be a blowout. Take the Mavs at home -6 to bounce back and hand the Pelicans a third straight loss.
There you have it folks, another day of free NBA picks against the spread from us at Sports Intel for March 4th. I am Matt and we will catch up with you again tomorrow.