Mar 27, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley (5) looks to drive past Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) in the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Gallery Sports’ Betting Picks for March 29, 2023

We have a full NBA slate tonight, but we think our best value lies all in one game, so we will focus our energy there as far as our plays, along with another MLB futures bet where we see great value.

6:30 p.m. CT: NBA: Heat at Knicks

The Picks: Knicks Team Total Over 114 (-110) at WynnBET & Knicks -5 (-105) at WynnBET

I know the Heat got us last night with Jimmy Butler being a late scratch and their offense completely cratering. They shot 40% from the field, 30% from beyond the arc, and turned the ball over 15 times. The numbers were even worse before a meaningless fourth quarter in a blowout. As a result, the Over in their matchup with the Raptors was not in the cards. But I will stick by the analysis we used to arrive at that pick and bring it here. Miami’s defense has just not been the typical Heat defense since the All-Star break. This fact was even alluded to in the broadcast on TNT with a discussion centered on Miami head coach Eric Spolestra’s unhappiness with the Heat’s defense performance since the break. The Raptors got whatever they wanted offensively against the Heat before resting their starters late in a lopsided victory. I expect that to carry over to tonight on the second night of a back-to-back versus the Knicks. New York has been terrific on offense recently, putting up 119.6 ppg over their last 20 outings, including 137 points on the woeful Rockets on Monday night. The Knicks are at home, rested and offensively clicking on all cylinders, while the Heat are on the road in the second night of a back-to-back, struggling defensively and might not have their best player tonight in Jimmy Butler. This all seems like a recipe for a New York win with a cover of the spread and a strong night offensive that allows them to clear the team total with room to spare, as the Knicks likely hit 120 tonight.

MLB Futures Bet: Minnesota Twins to win the AL Central (+180) at FanDuel

After some subtle improvements to their roster this offseason and with some regression to the mean expected from a divisional rival, I would favor the Twins over the rest of the field to win the American League Central division. Minnesota’s rotation, which was an issue at times last season, is suddenly a strength. The Twins acquired starting pitcher Pablo Lopez this offseason, and will finally see Kenta Maeda back on the mound now that he’s recovered from his knee injury. Add in last season’s acquisition of Tyler Mahle, and the continued presence of Joe Ryan and Sonny Gray, and the Twins have a rotation full of No. 2 starters. Minnesota also improved the depth of its offense, an important factor with a 162-game season ahead. Additions like Christian Vazquez, Michael A. Taylor, Kyle Farmer, Joey Gallo, and Donovan Solano may not make headlines, but together significantly increase the Twins’ scoring floor as a team. I’m anticipating negative regression hitting the Guardians, who won 92 games last season but tied Pittsburgh and Baltimore for the most wins above Pythagorean expectation with four. Minnesota, meanwhile, lost four more games than expected by the same metric. Add in an injury to start the season for Guardians pitcher Triston McKenzie and the possibility of Cleveland’s second-year players finally hitting a sophomore slump, and I’d put the Twins at least on par with Cleveland. The Chicago White Sox could also be a factor, but rumors are already swirling about the Southsiders shipping away pieces as the season progresses. Chicago has no depth behind its key cogs at the top of the roster, making it a poor candidate to compete for a division title.

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