We have 10 games on the NBA slate tonight as we countdown to the big Christmas Day contests coming up next week. There are no real marquee matchups tonight but there are a few spots where we can find some betting value to give us a few extra bucks for holiday shopping. Here are my best bets for Friday night.
Sacramento Kings vs Indiana Pacers: Pacers -4.5
The Indiana Pacers are quietly one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers have won five of their last six games, with their only loss coming against the Lakers in a game they should have won. The 19-win Pacers have 12 home victories on the season while their opponents tonight, the Sacramento Kings, are 6-10 on the road straight up. The Kings are in a tough spot tonight, playing their third straight road game vs. a team that is undefeated against the spread in their last four contests. Sacramento does have impressive road victories over Houston and Dallas this month, but they also have losses to the Knicks and Hornets. I normally don't like to bet big public favorites, which the Pacers will be this evening, but I don't see any way the Kings keep this close.
Dallas Mavericks vs Philadelphia 76ers: Mavericks +8.5
Two of the better teams in the league meet tonight in Philadelphia. Although both teams have had good starts to the season, both have hit a rough patch as of late. The Sixers have lost their last two games, including their first home loss of the season against the Heat. The Mavericks, who are without their best player in Luka Doncic, have lost two out of the last three games. This game opened up with the Sixers as 8-point favorites, and even with Luka Doncic out that spread seems a little high. If you were to ask most NBA bettors who is the best road team in the league, they would never guess the Dallas Mavericks. But that's right, the same Mavericks who were a terrible road team last season are 10-2 on the road this season. Only the Bucks have more road wins. A trend that I have noticed in the NBA in the early parts of this season is that when a team loses against the spread, if their next game is on the road they are likely to be a big underdog in that game. Those teams normally cover the spread. The Mavericks are in that exact spot tonight.
Season Record: 42-41