NBA Expert Picks and Best Bets | January 8

Bryan Zarpentine pic
By:
Bryan Zarpentine
01/08/2024
NBA
NBA Best Bets 2023-2024

While most sports fans may be excited about the college football title game on Monday night, don’t sleep on the NBA’s schedule, which features some heavyweight matchups. However, we decided to look past the most compelling matchups and search for the best betting options. Here are three NBA picks for Monday that we are confident will pay off.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs Washington Wizards Best Bet:

Wizards +11.5 | -110 at FanDuel

Washington’s pitiful 6-29 record aside, it’s hard to trust the Thunder right now, especially as double-digit road favorites. Oklahoma City has dropped the first two games of the team’s road trip, losing winnable games against the Hawks and Nets. The loss in Brooklyn was particularly troubling. Even though the Thunder has one of the best records against the spread in the NBA, OKC is just 3-3 against the spread as a road favorite. They’ve also allowed at least 120 points in four of their last six games. That kind of defensive effort is going to make it double to cover double figures, regardless of the opponent.

Obviously, the Wizards aren’t a good team to back either. They are just 1-7 in their last eight games and 2-6 against the spread during that stretch. But this team is no stranger to being a heavy underdog and they haven’t quit on the season just yet. Keep in mind that Washington has six players who average double figures while point guard Tyus Jones has done a nice job of distributing the ball lately. Look for the Wizards to score enough to stay within 10 points of the Thunder in this game.

FanDuel Sportsbook
Wizards +11.5 | -110 at FanDuel

Chicago Bulls vs Charlotte Hornets Best Bet:

Hornets +6.5 | -115 at BetMGM

The Hornets are another bad team I think will hold its own at home on Monday. Even though Charlotte is just 8-25 on the season, the Hornets are 7-5 against the spread as a home underdog. They should also have a little more confidence in their first home game since snapping an 11-game losing streak last week. While Charlotte lost by 13 points in Chicago over the weekend, the Hornets shot under 30% from three-point range in that game. That number should improve enough at home to keep the Hornets close in this game.

Meanwhile, the Bulls aren’t exactly a team that’s easy to back as a favorite. After all, they are five games under .500 on the season and 4-12 straight up on the road. On top of that, Chicago is 0-4 this season in the second game when playing the same opponent in back-to-back games. There are also a few key players battling injuries who could be a game-time decision. In other words, there is a lot going against the Bulls in this matchup, putting the Hornets in a good position to stay close and potentially pull off an upset if they can make plays down the stretch.

BetMGM Sportsbook
Hornets + 6.5 | -115 at BetMGM

Boston Celtics vs Indiana Pacers Best Bet:

Over 244 | -114 at BetRivers

It doesn’t matter how much more BetRivers bumps up the over/under in this game, the smart money is on the over. The Pacers continue to be the best team in the NBA at hitting the over, doing so nearly 70% of the time. Likewise, the Celtics are 19-16 O/U despite hitting the under in three of their last four games.

In fairness, these teams played on Saturday and only scored 219 total points. But that game was out of character for the Pacers, who had previously scored at least 120 points in six straight games, including three games with at least 140 points. It won’t be easy for Boston’s defense to replicate that type of performance two games in a row. Tyrese Haliburton will get things going while the Celtics will use their offensive firepower to put up a huge total against Indiana’s porous defense, giving us an entertaining game with an absurd amount of points.

BetRivers
Over 244 | -114 at BetRivers

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