North Texas forward Moulaye Sissoko (14) dunks in the second half during a college basketball game in the quarterfinals of the National Invitational Tournament between the Oklahoma State Cowboys (OSU) and the North Texas Mean Green at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla., Tuesday, March 21, 2023. Osu Vs Nt
We’ve got a six-game NBA slate and a pair of NIT Semifinals on tap tonight, and we believe we found a couple of good spots to cash along with another MLB future with great value.
6 p.m. CT: NIT Semifinals: North Texas vs. Wisconsin
The Pick: North Texas +1.5 (-110) at BetMGM
This pick is all about value in this spot, plain and simple! There is a lot of variation in this line because we have a game with a name-brand power conference team taking on a relatively nondescript mid-major opponent. Most books have North Texas favored by 1.5, which is probably the right number. Two of the best sources for true lines on games, Unabated and Deckprism, both have North Texas at -1.5. As a result, we head to BetMGM, which has the wrong team favored and take advantage of the tremendous value we are being presented with. A three-point swing in this spot is huge and way too good to pass up. Points will be at a premium in this one, so the three-point swing becomes even more significant. KenPom has the Mean Green winning by three and ranks them 29 spots better than Wisconsin at 33rd versus Wisconsin’s 62nd nationally. Both teams are elite defensive teams that play at a glacier-like pace, with North Texas having the big edge on the offensive end of the floor. The Badgers plain and simple, can’t shoot or grab offensive rebounds, while North Texas is strong in both areas. The only edge the Badgers have in this game is turnover percentage where Wisconsin ranks first in the nation turning the ball over a scant 13.2% of the time, while the Mean Green struggles in this area with a 19.8% turnover rate to rank 286th out of 363 Division I schools. The good news for North Texas is while the Wisconsin defense is one of the nation’s best, they do not create a ton of turnovers which should mitigate that Wisconsin advantage tonight. The Mean Green has also shown they can beat a power conference team by going to Gallagher-Iba Arena and taking down Oklahoma State in the NIT Quarterfinals. Long story short, grab the point and a half and roll with North Texas.
6:30 p.m. CT: NBA: Heat at Raptors
The Pick: Over 219.5 (-105) WynnBET
Another situation in NBA totals where perception is not quite reality. The Heat have this reputation for playing at among the slowest paces in the NBA and playing lockdown defense, and making the game look like a 1990s NBA game. This Miami team has not been that team for better than a month, and that presents a strong spot for the over to cash. In their last 10 outings, the Heat are 16th in the NBA, scoring 115.8 ppg, with the Raptors directly behind them with 115.7 ppg. Add into the equation that Miami is third, and Toronto is 11th in offensive rating over that same span, and this game doesn’t portend to be the defensive struggle many would expect. The Heat are also 16th in the NBA in points allowed in their last 10, surrendering 116.9 points per outing while ranking 29th in defensive rating. A couple of more interesting nuggets that make us lean over here: Toronto’s average implied point total this year is 3.6 more points than its implied total in Tuesday’s game (114.6 implied points on average compared to 111 implied points in this game) and Miami’s average implied point total on the year (112.3 points) is 4.3 points higher than its implied total in this matchup (108 points). All these factors are enough to make us believe this game slides over a very modest total despite what should be a pretty slow pace of play.
Future’s Bet: Byron Buxton UNDER 30.5 home runs (-140) at DraftKings
Byron Buxton is an excellent ballplayer for the Twins when healthy, but he hasn’t been healthy often. When Buxton is healthy, he averages 27 home runs per 162 games played – and let’s be honest, even if he is healthy all of 2023, he will need days off. Buxton has never played more than 140 games in a season and has played more than 100 games in a season just once. In order to cross the 30.5-homer threshold and go over this number, he would need to set a new career high in home runs by at least three. Buxton is a constant injury liability, but I see tons of value here whether he’s injured or not. This is a perfect spot to take advantage of asymmetric risk, and the most value I’ve seen on a season-long MLB player prop in years. I would play this down to 28.5.