This week starts with a solid nine-game slate of NBA action for us to wager on, I have to be honest, this is my favorite slate of the season thus far.
The Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets play on NBA TV, the Celtics and Raptors match up, and two 4-2 squads in Indiana and New Orleans tip off this evening as well. I have a pair of best bets, a people's parlay, and a take on an Eastern Conference matchup you'll want to stick around for.
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NBA Best Bets - Monday, January 4th
Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors (-4.5) Total: 218.5
The Celtics and Raptors are teams headed in different directions to start the season. Boston has won three of their last four games while the Raptors have lost four of their last five. Toronto looks to be in trouble this season. Pascal Siakam has not been playing well, and no one else for Toronto has stepped up. Playing in Tampa so far appears to be a major issue for them.
This game opened up with the Raptors as a 2.5 point favorite, and the public as you might expect are heavily backing the underdog Celtics. However, sharp money has steamed the Raptors all the way up to -5 at some sportsbooks. The Celtics will have both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in the lineup tonight, so one might wonder what the sharp bettors see in the Raptors but it's quite simple. The Celtics are playing in their third straight road game, their fifth road game out of their last six contests, and this qualifies as a poor spot for Boston. I agree with the sharps and will be laying the points with the Raptors tonight. This would also be called fading a trendy underdog.
Best Bet: Raptors -4.5
Indiana Pacers vs New Orleans Pelicans (-1.5) Total: 216.5
This should be one of the better games on the slate tonight, The Pelicans and Pacers have both been very impressive to start the season, both teams come into tonight's game relatively healthy and playing on one day of rest. Zion Williamson is playing very well in his second season, but Brandon Ingram is the Pelicans top player, the Pacers are riding the great play of Domantas Sabonis to start the season, this will be a one-possession game. The Pelicans are getting the majority of the spread handle and the number has pushed up to -2 in some spots, what I find interesting is that the Pacers are getting 50% of the money line bets, as they should be because they are the better team in my opinion. Zion Williamson is a favorite of public bettors, this is the perfect game to fade the public. Don't forget to drip on the money line.
Best Bet: Pacers +1.5
Best Bets ATS Record (2020-2021 season): 3-6-0
The People's Parlay
Tonight's "People's Parlay" is all favorites. You know how that normally goes, so go easy on this one.
- Philadelphia 76ers Moneyline -420
- Miami Heat Moneyline -480
- Sacramento Kings Moneyline - 129
- Payout via DraftKings Sportsbook +167
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Orlando Magic (-5.5)
This game comes down to the health of two key players. If Darius Garland plays for Cleveland and Evan Fournier sits for Orlando, take the points with the Cavs. If Fournier plays and Garland is out, lay the number with Magic. If both teams are at full strength or both players miss the game then stay away.
NBA League Pass Nightly Rankings
1. Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors
2. Indians Pacers vs New Orleans Pelicans - Watch the Pelicans broadcast, they have great entertainment.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers vs Orlando Magic - If you have never heard Austin Carr call a basketball game you are in for a treat.
4. New York Knicks vs Atlanta Hawks
5. Sacramento Kings vs Golden State Warriors