NBA Best Bets: Tuesday, January 24

We’re back after a week off due to a New Orleans bachelor party, so I’m writing this up with certainly fewer brain cells than last time (if you’re in the Big Easy and think you want more than one Hurricane, don’t do it — trust me).

This might be ill-advised, but the plays are too tasty today to ignore. We’ve got the Battle for LA, a streaking Bulls team and more!

Layups: 2-Unit Plays
Two-Pointers: 1-Unit Plays
Three-Pointers: 0.75-Unit Plays
Half-Court Shot: 0.5-Unit Plays

Last Week: 2-0 (+2.15 units)
Season Record: 22-20-1 (-3.3 units)


Pelicans-Nuggets Under 230.5 (-110): The Nuggets have been a sneaky under team. They’ve had some stars in and out of the lineup and hit seven unders over their last 10 games because of it. The Pels have hit 12 of 23 unders at home and also have been a low-scoring team lately, holding the fifth-worst offensive rating over the last 10 games.

With Michael Porter Jr. out and Nikola Jokic and Bones Hyland questionable, this is setting up to be another game with less star power and, therefore, less scoring. Let’s hit a number that seems a tad too high.

Lakers 1Q Team Total Over 27.5 (-115), and Lakers 1Q ML (+130): These are two separate bets, not a parlay. And you may be asking, out of all the bets to make… Why the Battle for Los Angeles? It’s gross, but there’s a lot of weird stuff that can happen in this game, so I’m trying to minimize some risk.

The Lakers have been a fantastic first-quarter team over the last five games. They’re ninth in the league in NET rating in the first quarter and hold the second-best offensive rating. They’ve been coming out of the gate hot, and on top of all that, the Clippers have the third-worst defensive rating in the first quarter over their last five games. Put all that together in the betting lab and out pops this stinker of a bet. I made it for the Degen Den, so I have to make it here.


Pacers +2 vs. Bulls (-110): This is the most situational play possible because if you look at the numbers, the Bulls are the team to back here. The Pacers are on a seven-game losing streak and have looked abysmal without Tyrese Haliburton. Chicago’s won three in a row and six of their last 10.

BUT, the Bulls recently returned from Paris and now are on a road back-to-back after playing at home last night. Fatigue has gotta be a thing at this point. Indy hasn’t played since Saturday night and they’re 5-2 ATS with 2-3 days rest. They can’t keep losing forever. While it’s certainly possible I look incredibly stupid with this pick tonight, it seems like a situation to take advantage of.