NBA Best Bets Today | Expert Picks For Sunday, Dec. 31

NBA Best Bets Today | Expert Picks For Sunday, Dec. 31 article feature image
Credit:

Via Michael Gonzales/Getty Images. Pictured: Victor Wembanyama #1 of the San Antonio Spurs looks on during the game against the Chicago Bulls on December 8, 2023 at the Frost Bank Center in San Antonio, Texas.

NBA Best Bets Today | Expert Picks for Sunday, Dec. 31

The NBA has a loaded slate of New Year's Eve action on Sunday, December 31. Our betting experts have analyzed the odds and locked in four best bets for three of tonight's matchups.

Find their NBA best bets and expert picks below, including selections for Nets vs. Thunder, Celtics vs. Spurs and Kings vs. Grizzlies.

GameTime (ET)Pick
7:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
8:00 p.m.
Specific betting recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NBA Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.

Nets vs. Thunder

Sunday, Dec. 31
7:00 p.m. ET
NBA League Pass
Thunder 1H -3.5 (-130)

By Michael Arinze

We expected the Thunder to be decent, but I wonder if anyone saw them being so good and dominant thus far.

At 21-9, Oklahoma City (OKC) is tied for the second seed in the Western Conference, 2.5 games behind the top-seeded Timberwolves. However, according to NBA.com, Oklahoma City leads the conference with a net rating (8.4) that's almost three points better than any other team.

The Thunder is among three teams ranked in the top ten for offense and defensive efficiency. Thus, there aren't any noticeable weaknesses with this unit. But perhaps their best attribute is their availability.

Given that Oklahoma City has the second-youngest roster in the league, you don't have to worry too much about players in and out of the lineup due to load management.

We're seeing a high level of consistency with this Thunder team that does a tremendous job competing right from the first whistle. Bettors can exploit this by targeting some of OKC's derivatives, like first-half wagers.

Our Action Labs database shows Oklahoma City is 13-4 at home against the first-half spread for 7.7 units. In comparison, Brooklyn is 6-9 against the first-half spread on the road.

If we isolate the net rating of both teams in the first half, Oklahoma City has a +10 advantage.

Lay the 3.5 points with the Thunder at PointsBet.

Pick: Thunder 1H -3.5 (-130)


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Celtics vs. Spurs

Sunday, Dec. 31
7:00 p.m. ET
NBA League Pass
Jayson Tatum Over 4.5 Assists (-135)

By Joe Dellera

The Celtics take on the San Antonio Spurs and wrap up the year on the road. The Spurs have been a fun watch because of Victor Wembanyama; however, they certainly are not a good basketball team at this point. They are the worst team in Adjusted Net Rating with the worst offense and 25th ranked defense. They do this while playing at the third-fastest pace in the league as well, per DunksandThrees.

Despite any blowout potential in this game, I expect Jayson Tatum to have a solid performance, especially with Jrue Holiday listed as questionable (elbow). On the season, Tatum is averaging 4.4 assists per game on a team-leading 8.7 potentials, per NBA Advanced Stats.

In the two games that Holiday missed, Tatum recorded just three and four assists but averaged a whopping 12 potentials in those games. The conversion rate was significantly lower than his numbers on the entire season. If Holiday is set to miss, I’d project Tatum to be closer to six or seven assists. Regardless, this Spurs team is so bad defensively that it would set up plenty of solid opportunities for Tatum to dime.

Over Tatum’s last 10 road games, he has exceeded 4.5 assists in seven of them, with 6+ (+145) in six of those games. In a clear pace-up spot against a porous Spurs’ defense, I'll back Tatum to record over 4.5 assists and sprinkle some on six-plus.

Pick: Jayson Tatum Over 4.5 Assists (-135)


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Celtics vs. Spurs

Sunday, Dec. 31
7:00 p.m. ET
NBA League Pass
Victor Wembanyama Over 2.5 Blocks (+130)

By Maltman

The Celtics opponents have averaged the fewest blocks in the NBA, at 3.9 per game, which is why this is plus money.

But since Wemby has moved to center full time, he has gone over this line in seven of eight games. He had seven blocks last game, and we should expect him to be a problem against the Celtics as well, occasionally surprising guys with incredible blocks as always.

I would bet this to -110: I don’t think this should be plus money at all.

Pick: Victor Wembanyama Over 2.5 Blocks (+130)


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Kings vs. Grizzlies

Sunday, Dec. 31
8:00 p.m. ET
NBA League Pass
Domantas Sabonis Under 21.5 Points (-120)

By Joe Dellera

The Kings visit the Memphis Grizzlies to close out 2024 and this sets up to be a tough matchup for Domantas Sabonis.

Sabonis has struggled in head-to-head matchups against Jaren Jackson Jr. and has never scored 20-plus points in seven games while averaging just 13.9 points per game. Additionally, the Grizzlies present a unique difficulty for centers. Due to the Grizzlies having Bismack Biyombo to patrol the paint, they have an anchor on the interior which then allows Jackson Jr. to act as a floater and provide help defense as needed.

The Grizzlies stifled Alperen Sengun to just 11, 9, and 15 points against them this season and stylistically him and Sabonis have a similar offensive game.

It has flown under the radar a bit because of Memphis’ struggles this season without Ja Morant, but they have the eighth-best Adjusted Defensive Rating in the league, and it’s trended up a bit with Morant because they’ve been able to play fewer defensive sets in transition.

I expect the Grizzlies to give Sabonis some difficulty tonight, and will take him to go under his points prop.

Pick: Domantas Sabonis Under 21.5 Points (-120)



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