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NBA betting: Four picks for Wednesday

Joel Embiid put up 48 points in a blowout win against the Wizards last month. Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The knockout round of the NBA in-season tournament ended Tuesday night, meaning the final four is now set. Tonight, the 22 teams that weren't in the tournament play in an 11-game slate with across-the-board action. Because of the tournament, this is a light week of action overall, so tonight's games are a great opportunity to find some fun matchups. Let's dig in.


Orlando Magic +4.5 over Cleveland Cavaliers (-115)

Since November 11th, the Magic are undefeated against every NBA team except the Nets. Their 10 wins in this stretch include quality victories over the Nuggets, Celtics, Bucks and Pacers, and they enter Wednesday's game with the fourth-best record in the NBA. The Cavs are 3-3 in their last six games and just over .500 on the season with a -0.4 point per game scoring differential. They have home court and a strong roster, but the way the Magic are playing, I'll take them with the points.

Joel Embiid over 31.5 points (-105)

Embiid missed the last two games with an illness, but he has taken advantage of the sparse schedule around the tournament to get healthy in time for tonight's game. And his timing is good, returning to face a Wizards team that allows the most points in the NBA to opposing centers. While there is some risk of blowout, I still like Embiid to go over against the squad he torched for 48 points in 31 minutes in their matchup last month.

Oklahoma City Thunder -2.5 (-110) at Houston Rockets

While the Rockets have gotten off to a better than expected start to the season, the Thunder have quietly been one of the best teams in basketball. They enter Wednesday just decimal points behind the Celtics for the best scoring differential in the NBA at +8.3 PPG and have won eight of their last 10 games, including two straight. The Rockets have lost three straight and six of their last eight overall.

Denver Nuggets +1.5 (-120) at LA Clippers

The Nuggets have won four of their last five games, including a nine-point win over the Clippers in LA less than 10 games ago in which neither Nikola Jokic nor Jamal Murray played. The Nuggets will have their MVP back on Wednesday, and even Murray (ankle) is listed as questionable. The defending champion Nuggets have the best record in the Western Conference and have won both games against the Clippers this season.


Tonight's lines and BPI predictions

Basketball Power Index by ESPN Analytics, Odds by ESPN BET


Orlando Magic at Cleveland Cavaliers
7 p.m. Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland


Records (Against the Spread)
Magic: 14-6 (15-5-0)
Cavaliers: 11-9 (7-12-1)

Line: Cavaliers (-4.5) Total: 223.5
Money Line: Magic (+150), Cavaliers (-175)
BPI Projection: Cavaliers by 4.4, straight up 65.7%, 220.9 total points.

Injury Report:
Magic: Jonathan Isaac, (GTD - Ankle); Markelle Fultz, (OUT - Knee); Wendell Carter Jr., (OUT - Finger)
Cavaliers: None reported


Memphis Grizzlies at Detroit Pistons
7 p.m. Little Caesars Arena, Detroit


Records (Against the Spread)
Grizzlies: 5-14 (8-11-0)
Pistons: 2-18 (8-11-1)

Line: Grizzlies (-1.5) Total: 219.5
Money Line: Grizzlies (-125), Pistons (+105)
BPI Projection: Pistons by 0.5, straight up 51.8%, 223.3 total points.

Injury Report:
Grizzlies: Brandon Clarke, (OUT - Achilles); Steven Adams, (OUT - Knee); Jake LaRavia, (OUT - Eye); Marcus Smart, (OUT - Foot); Luke Kennard, (OUT - Knee); Ja Morant, (OUT - Suspension)
Pistons: Monte Morris, (OUT - Quadriceps); Joe Harris, (GTD - Shoulder); Marvin Bagley III, (GTD - Back)


Philadelphia 76ers at Washington Wizards
7 p.m. Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.


Records (Against the Spread)
76ers: 12-7 (13-6-0)
Wizards: 3-16 (9-10-0)

Line: 76ers (-10.5) Total: 239.5
Money Line: 76ers (-450), Wizards (+360)
BPI Projection: 76ers by 10, straight up 82.6%, 227.6 total points.

Injury Report:
76ers: De'Anthony Melton, (GTD - Illness)
Wizards: Johnny Davis, (GTD - Calf); Jordan Poole, (GTD - Ankle); Landry Shamet, (GTD - Neck); Ryan Rollins, (GTD - Knee); Delon Wright, (OUT - Knee)


Miami Heat at Toronto Raptors
7:30 p.m. Scotiabank Arena, Toronto


Records (Against the Spread)
Heat: 11-9 (9-11-0)
Raptors: 9-11 (11-9-0)

Line: Raptors (-3.5) Total: 219.5
Money Line: Heat (+135), Raptors (-155)
BPI Projection: Raptors by 1.5, straight up 55.4%, 221.4 total points.

Injury Report:
Heat: Dru Smith, (OUT - Knee); Bam Adebayo, (OUT - Hip); Haywood Highsmith, (OUT - Back); Tyler Herro, (OUT - Ankle); R.J. Hampton, (OUT - Knee)
Raptors: Christian Koloko, (OUT - Illness)


Brooklyn Nets at Atlanta Hawks
7:30 p.m. State Farm Arena, Atlanta


Records (Against the Spread)
Nets: 10-9 (14-4-1)
Hawks: 9-10 (5-14-0)

Line: Hawks (-3.5) Total: 242.5
Money Line: Nets (+140), Hawks (-160)
BPI Projection: Hawks by 0.9, straight up 53.1%, 236.7 total points.

Injury Report:
Nets: Dariq Whitehead, (GTD - Foot); Noah Clowney, (GTD - Shoulder); Ben Simmons, (OUT - Back); Lonnie Walker IV, (OUT - Hamstring)
Hawks: Kobe Bufkin, (OUT - Thumb); Mouhamed Gueye, (OUT - Back); Jalen Johnson, (OUT - Wrist)


San Antonio Spurs at Minnesota Timberwolves
7:30 p.m. Target Center, Minneapolis


Records (Against the Spread)
Spurs: 3-16 (6-12-1)
Timberwolves: 15-4 (10-6-3)

Line: Timberwolves (-12.5) Total: 230.5
Money Line: Spurs (+550), Timberwolves (-800)
BPI Projection: Timberwolves by 12.5, straight up 86.0%, 231.4 total points.

Injury Report:
Spurs: Devin Vassell, (GTD - Knee); Zach Collins, (GTD - Thumb)
Timberwolves: Jaylen Clark, (OUT - Achilles); Anthony Edwards, (GTD - Hip); Jordan McLaughlin, (OUT - Knee); Jaden McDaniels, (OUT - Ankle)


Charlotte Hornets at Chicago Bulls
8 p.m. United Center, Chicago


Records (Against the Spread)
Hornets: 6-12 (7-11-0)
Bulls: 7-14 (7-13-1)

Line: Bulls (-4.5) Total: 220.5
Money Line: Hornets (+160), Bulls (-190)
BPI Projection: Bulls by 4, straight up 64.0%, 226.5 total points.

Injury Report:
Hornets: Mark Williams, (GTD - Back); Frank Ntilikina, (OUT - Lower Leg); Cody Martin, (OUT - Knee); LaMelo Ball, (OUT - Ankle)
Bulls: Lonzo Ball, (OUT - Knee); Alex Caruso, (GTD - Toe); Torrey Craig, (GTD - Knee); Onuralp Bitim, (OUT - Illness); Zach LaVine, (OUT - Foot)


Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets
8 p.m. Toyota Center, Houston


Records (Against the Spread)
Thunder: 13-6 (14-4-1)
Rockets: 8-9 (10-5-2)

Line: Thunder (-2.5) Total: 226.5
Money Line: Thunder (-135), Rockets (+115)
BPI Projection: Thunder by 2.9, straight up 60.3%, 231.0 total points.

Injury Report:
Thunder: None reported
Rockets: Jock Landale, (GTD - Illness); Victor Oladipo, (OUT - Knee)


Utah Jazz at Dallas Mavericks
8:30 p.m. American Airlines Center, Dallas


Records (Against the Spread)
Jazz: 7-13 (11-9-0)
Mavericks: 11-8 (9-10-0)

Line: Mavericks (-11.5) Total: 232.5
Money Line: Jazz (+370), Mavericks (-460)
BPI Projection: Mavericks by 9.2, straight up 79.4%, 235.0 total points.

Injury Report:
Jazz: Jordan Clarkson, (OUT - Thigh); Kelly Olynyk, (OUT - Shoulder); Lauri Markkanen, (OUT - Hamstring)
Mavericks: None reported


Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors
10 p.m. Chase Center, San Francisco


Records (Against the Spread)
Blazers: 6-13 (9-10-0)
Warriors: 9-11 (8-11-1)

Line: Warriors (-12.5) Total: 225.5
Money Line: Blazers (+600), Warriors (-900)
BPI Projection: Warriors by 11, straight up 83.5%, 227.1 total points.

Injury Report:
Blazers: Robert Williams III, (OUT - Knee); Anfernee Simons, (GTD - Thumb); Deandre Ayton, (GTD - Knee); Jerami Grant, (OUT - Concussion); Ish Wainright, (OUT - Knee)
Warriors: Andrew Wiggins, (GTD - Finger); Chris Paul, (GTD - Lower Leg); Usman Garuba, (OUT - Finger); Gary Payton II, (OUT - Calf)


Denver Nuggets at LA Clippers
10 p.m. Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles


Records (Against the Spread)
Nuggets: 14-7 (8-12-1)
Clippers: 9-10 (7-12-0)

Line: Clippers (-1.5) Total: 227.5
Money Line: Nuggets (-105), Clippers (-115)
BPI Projection: Clippers by 2, straight up 57.2%, 227.0 total points.

Injury Report:
Nuggets: Vlatko Cancar, (OUT - Knee); Aaron Gordon, (GTD - Heel); Jamal Murray, (GTD - Ankle)
Clippers: Mason Plumlee, (OUT - Knee); Brandon Boston Jr., (OUT - Quadriceps)