NBA Best Bets: Wednesday, December 29th

Let’s keep this momentum going! Thanks to a 3-1 week, we successfully avoided the minefield that is betting the NBA during COVID-19. Teams have seemingly settled into playing with replacement players, and we’re getting a better idea of who’s out and who’s not.

This is also the time of year where we can get a solid sense of the teams that will be sellers and buyers at the deadline, which means that betting player props could get a bit easier.

We’re back at the edge of the minefield again, so let’s be careful where we walk.

Categories:
Layups: The bets I really like and feel the most confident in.
Two-Pointers: The bets I like a lot and feel fairly confident in.
Three-Pointers: The bets I like but don’t feel as confident in.
Half-Court Shot: A long underdog I like to win straight-up.

Record: 26-23-1 (+0.95 Units)

Layups

Mavericks -2.5 @ Kings (-110): This is a great spot to fade the Kings because A.) they’re coming off a win and I don’t think they’re a good enough team to string together a winning steak, and B.) they’re on the second game of a back-to-back against a rested Mavs team.

While the Mavs won’t have star Luka Doncic, they still have Kristaps Porzingis and a solid core around him. Dallas is also coming off a 15-point win over the Trail Blazers where their offense looked the best it’s looked all season, scoring 132 points. They now take on an equally defensively challenged team in Sacramento, and I think that’s a good enough reason to back them here.

Two-Pointers

Hawks-Bulls Under 227.5 (-110): These two teams JUST played each other and scored a combined 248 points. Which, if you know me, means I think it’s time to fade. The familiarity between the teams, and the loss of Bogdan Bogdanovic and Gorgui Dieng to protocols help make this game a solid under candidate.

In their last matchup on Monday, the Bulls shot 49% from three (!!) and 54% from the field, while the Hawks shot 44% from three. All of those stats are more than the teams’ averages. This seems to be a regress-to-the-mean type of game, so let’s take advantage of an inflated total.

Three-Pointers

Jalen Brunson O27.5 Points/Assists (-120): Let’s keep rolling with the Mavs tonight and back Jalen to have a good game. He’s coming off a 14-point slate in Portland, which is on the low end of the points spectrum for him — that makes me like this as a bounce-back spot.

With Luka out, it’s going to be his show to run, which means his assists will be up (they already are the past few games, where he’s averaging 7.8 over his last five), and the scoring opportunities will be plenty with the Kings giving up 114 points a game, good for third-worst in the NBA. Porzingis had his big night against Portland, so let’s see if Jalen can have his against the Kings.

Grizzlies -6 vs. Lakers (-110): This is just a rough spot for the Lakers. The second game of a back-to-back against a team that beat them handily already, and on top of that, they’re on the road.

LeBron and co. have been terrible ATS, winning only 37% against the number, good for second-worst in the league. Memphis has been sneakily one of the better teams in the Association, having a 60% win percentage ATS. They’re coming off a big road win against the Suns, so a home contest against a tired Lakers squad should be a good place to back them.

Marcus Morris Over 22.5 Points/Reb/Ast (-120): No Paul George. No Nic Batum. No Reggie Jackson. Is that Marcus Morris’ music?!

It’s time he gets loose. He had a great game in his first game back from the protocol, scoring 24 points against the Nets. He’s going to be relied on as the main scorer with so many Clippers being out. He can get close to this number with just his scoring, so I’ll gladly take this over in a game where he’ll have a high usage number.