March 18 NBA Odds: Betting Lines for Mavericks at 76ers, Nuggets at Cavaliers, More

Written By Juan Carlos Blanco on March 18, 2022
NBA MVP odds

After barely making a blip on the sports radar Thursday night with just one game, the NBA roars back on Friday night with a 12-game slate. There’s a handful of marquee matchups on tap, and somewhat surprising for a ledger of that size, only a pair of true projected blowout scenarios. However, there are also a number of big names on the injury report, which could certainly give the night a tinge of unpredictability.

Friday March 18 NBA odds

Here are Friday March 18 NBA odds with point spreads, moneylines and totals.

Player prop bets

Nuggets C Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic is averaging 30 PPG with a 34% usage rate and shooting 62% from the floor over his last seven games. It’s stunning to see his scoring prop at 24.5 points at DraftKings with Denver visiting the reeling Cavs tonight. Cleveland has failed to cover in five of its last six when listed as underdogs and five of those games have gone Over the implied total. The Cavs own a 117.2 defensive rating in those games and are giving up 30 PPG and 19 RPG to centers over the last week. With Jarrett Allen (finger) out, they should have few answers for the reigning MVP. Consider the Player Performance Double at FanDuel Sportsbook for Jokic to top 30 points in a win (+400 odds).

Pacers G Tyrese Haliburton

Tyrese Haliburton continues to fill up the stat sheet with his new team and his numbers are still relatively impressive (15.6 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 4.9 RPG) when Malcolm Brogdon has been active. The Pacers want Haliburton to run their team and his usage rate has jumped from 18 to 21% while his assist rate has jumped from 31 to 37.5% since getting traded from the Kings. He’s topped 30.5 combined points, rebounds, and assists in 10 of 14 games with the Pacers and should bounce back quickly from a 4-point dud in a blowout loss to Memphis. Houston allows the most PPG in the NBA this season and these teams are 30th and 28th in defensive rating over their last 15 games, with this meeting implied to produced 242 points.

What to watch for today

Mavericks aim to keep torrid stretch going against potentially Embiid-less Sixers: The Mavericks are on the verge of moving into the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference, a surge that has been made possible by Dallas prevailing in 14 of its last 17 games. Dallas has also enjoyed the early stages of their current road trip through the Eastern Conference, knocking off the Celtics and Nets by three- and two-point margins. The Mavs may have a good chance to keep their streak going Friday, as they visit a 76ers team that could be without Joel Embiid (back) and that’s endured 15 home losses this season.

Raptors look to add to Lakers’ misery: The Lakers continue to be shockingly bad, with their 20-point loss to the Timberwolves on Wednesday even drawing some mockery from their opponent. Los Angeles has now dropped three straight and 12 of their last 15 overall as LeBron and company continue to flirt with missing out on the postseason altogether. Friday, they’ll visit Raptors team they just lost to by a 114-103 score two games ago, and L.A. is unsurprisingly an 8.5-to-9-point underdog due to both recent play and its 9-23 road mark.

Nuggets and Cavaliers set for interconference clash: The Cavaliers continue to manage the absence of big man Jarrett Allen (finger), and they’ve unsurprisingly scuffled without the breakout big by going 2-3 over the first five games of his absence. Friday’s interconference clash against the visiting Nuggets shapes up as a particularly inopportune time to be without Allen’s services, considering it leaves Cleveland especially shorthanded against Nikola Jokic. Allen was also excellent in the Cavs’ 99-87 win over Denver earlier this season with a 21-point, 16-rebound double-double, but even without him, Cleveland is still just a modest 2.5-point home underdog.

Clippers out to avoid dip below .500 in matchup versus short-handed Jazz: The Clippers area another team that’s been battling though the absences of key players, except in their case, it’s been for the duration of the season. With Kawhi Leonard (knee) unavailable altogether and Paul George (elbow) last having taken the floor Dec. 22, L.A. has had to scuffle to a 36-36 mark. The Clips have a tough assignment in front of them in their quest to snap a brief two-game losing streak, as they visit the Jazz on Friday night after already having taken a 21-point loss from them earlier in the season. However, Utah will be without both Donovan Mitchell and Bojan Bogdanovic due to calf injuries, giving the visitors a bit more even footing than they’d otherwise have.

Bulls face another stiff test in visit to Suns: The Bulls could be one of the shakiest 41-28 teams in recent memory, as they continue to have trouble notching wins against teams with winning records. Following Chicago’s back-to-back losses to the Cavaliers and Raptors, Billy Donovan’s crew is just 2-8 in their last 10 matchups versus fellow contenders that are above .500. They’ll get another chance to improve on that mark Friday night in a visit to Phoenix, but the matchup against the Suns is about as difficult as they come. Devin Booker and company are 29-8 straight up at home, as well as an NBA-best 23-5 in non-conference games.

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Juan Carlos Blanco

Juan Carlos Blanco has served as a freelance writer for a wide variety of online publications and websites, with an intensive focus on fantasy sports. Juan has provided analysis and comprehensive coverage of the MLB, NBA, NFL, CFL, AAF and AFL while also reporting on news and developments in the daily fantasy sports and online gaming industries.

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