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The Fantasy Executive's Daily NBA Rundown - Odds, Bets, and Plays for Monday, January 18th

SI Gambling’s Corey Parson breaks down his Wednesday NBA wagers and shares his best bets, target lines, and more.

Martin Luther King Day is one of the most significant days on the NBA calendar. Outside of Christmas Day, no regular-season game day attracts more betting action than MLK Day for the NBA. There are nine games on the slate; the first tip is at noon from Madison Square Garden, and the final game of the slate tips off from Los Angeles at 10 pm EST. There will be five nationally televised games throughout the day and the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. the Washington Wizards has been postponed. 

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NBA MLK Slate - Monday, January 18th

NOTE - These are picks for the full slate, but do not fall under the "best bet" category below.

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Orlando Magic vs New York Knicks (+1) Total: 207

The Orlando Magic come into Madison Square Garden today as losers of five games in a row. To their credit, they have had injury issues and their competition has been tough, but they have been getting smoked. In their five-game losing streak, they have scored over 100 points only once. The Knicks are not much better, but they are coming off one of their better wins of the season in a 30-point road victory over the Celtics. I would not be surprised if neither of these teams scored 100 points today.

The Pick: Under 207

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Atlanta Hawks (-8) Total: 227.5

Atlanta and Minnesota both come into this game struggling. Both teams are banged up, and Atlanta has some expectations issues they are working through. This is one of the nationally televised games, but I will not be betting on this game. Atlanta is not eight points better than anyone and the Timberwolves will not have Karl Anthony-Towns. The under, however, has hit in each of the Hawks' last eight games.

The Pick: Under 227.5

San Antonio Spurs vs Portland Trail Blazers (+1.5) Total: 224

This is one of the games that I am really looking forward to watching today. Both teams are playing well, but injuries to the Trail Blazers will take some of the fun away. C.J. McCollum will be out for Portland, and I think Damian Lillard will have to go off to keep the Blazers in this one. His point prop is set at 33.5, and it’s actually juiced to -121 so apparently, the books feel the same way. The Spurs are 5-1-1 ATS on the road this season. Fade the trendy underdog Trail Blazers.

The Pick: Spurs -1.5

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Detroit Pistons vs Miami Heat (-6) Total: 218.5

The Miami Heat are another team coming into today's action short-handed and are on a three-game losing streak. The Pistons just beat them by 20 on Saturday, yet Miami is a 6-point favorite this afternoon. Neither team has been good defensively lately as well. Miami Heat contests have finished over the total in each of their last four games.

The Pick: Over 218.5

Phoenix Suns vs Memphis Grizzlies (+3) Total: 224

If you know me, you know exactly where I will be at 5:10 pm EST today; on the love seat getting ready for the game of the day. This should be a good one as Ja Morant returns for the Grizzlies who are on a four-game winning streak. This will be the Suns' first game in a week after having three straight games postponed. The Grizzlies will be without Jonas Valanciunas which will put more pressure on Morant. The well-rested Suns should be able to get this one on the road.

The Pick: Suns -3

Dallas Mavericks vs Toronto Raptors (-3.5) Total: 219

The Raptors come into this game winners of two in a row, and they have looked better as of late, the Mavericks will be short-staffed due to health and safety protocols. I refuse to lay points with Toronto, and I don't like how they have looked this season. Dallas is a trendy underdog in this game and I normally fade trendy dogs, so I'm not going to back the Mavericks. Instead, I will back Luka Doncic, when his "Triple Double" Prop comes out, I would play it.

The Prop: Luka Doncic to Triple Double.

Milwaukee Bucks vs Brooklyn Nets (+2.5) Total: 237.5

The Bucks are in Brooklyn for the marquee matchup of the MLK Day slate. This nationally televised game will be heavily bet on, and the majority of the money and tickets will be on the underdog Nets. I think Brooklyn will beat the Bucks today. I hate to be on such a public side, but I've been fading the Bucks on the road this season and have gone 2-4 ATS away from Milwaukee. It will be interesting to see if Kyrie Irving decides to show up, but if not Kevin Durant and James Harden can get the job done. I like Brooklyn to win this game, but my official pick will be on the over.

The Pick: Over 237.5

Houston Rockets vs Chicago Bulls (-1) Total: 228

The Bulls are 9-4 ATS, and the Rockets are a mess. Therefore, the thought of laying points with them is very unsettling. I don't like how this point spread has bounced around. Look at how high this total is at 228! Frankly, I don't know if the Rockets can get to 100. Give me the under.

The Pick: Under 228

Golden State Warriors vs Los Angeles Lakers (-8.5) Total: 224.5

The last game of the MLK Day slate is the Lakers vs. the Warriors. This is when bettors push their chips to the middle to back the Lakers and LeBron, whereas doing the opposite is probably the smart bet. Everyone will be on the Lakers and the books will need the Warriors to come through, so nine times out of 10 I would back the Warriors in this spot but not tonight. The Lakers are just too good. 

Their point differential is +11, they have won nine of their last 10 games, they are undefeated ATS in their last four, and they are 8-6 ATS on the season despite always laying big numbers. The Lakers are the kings of the West, they will look to reinforce that tonight vs the dubs.

The Pick: Lakers 8.5

Overall Record: 7-12 ATS- This will improve trust me

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