Promotion Banner

NBA Odds, Expert Picks, Best Bets: Our Staff Predictions for Bucks vs. Knicks, Bulls vs. Celtics (January 9)

NBA Odds, Expert Picks, Best Bets: Our Staff Predictions for Bucks vs. Knicks, Bulls vs. Celtics (January 9) article feature image
Credit:

John Fisher/Getty Images. Pictured: Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks, Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 and Brook Lopez #11 of the Milwaukee Bucks

  • It might be Championship Monday elsewhere in the sports world, but the NBA has a quality six-game slate tonight.
  • The three best bets our analysts are targeting come from two games: Bucks vs. Knicks and Bulls vs. Celtics.
  • Here are their expert picks and predictions for those matchups.

We’ve got a good slate of NBA games to counter the College Football National Championship game Monday night. There are six matchups on the schedule, including Bulls vs. Celtics (7:30 p.m. on NBA TV) and Lakers vs. Nuggets (9 p.m. ET).

Our betting analysts have zeroed in on two games for their best bets for Monday and see value in a player prop, moneyline and total. You can find their expert picks and predictions for those games below.

NBA Odds & Picks

Click on a game to skip ahead
Bucks vs. Knicks Player Prop
7:30 p.m. ET
Bucks vs. Knicks Moneyline
7:30 p.m. ET
Bulls vs. Celtics Total
7:30 p.m. ET

Milwaukee Bucks vs. New York Knicks

Pick
Julius Randle Under 42.5 PRA (-122)
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
7:30 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Joe Dellera: The Knicks host the Bucks tonight in what should be a tightly contested game. RJ Barrett is listed as doubtful, but one of the players who has excelled in his absence is Julius Randle.

Over Randle’s past 10 games he is averaging 47 combined points, rebounds and assists and is surging as an All-Star Candidate. He has exceeded his PRA line of 41.5 in eight of these 10 games.

However, this matchup is a brutal one for Randle because the Bucks can oppose him with both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez. In Randle’s six contests versus the Bucks over the last two seasons he has barely even sniffed this number.

He is averaging just 29.5 PRA with five consecutive unders. This number is inflated due to his recent play and I’ll grab the under, which is a point higher at FanDuel than the rest of the market.


» Return to the table of contents «


Milwaukee Bucks vs. New York Knicks

Pick
Bucks ML (-108)
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
7:30 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Chris Baker: The Bucks have struggled as of late, losing six of their past 10 games and most recently suffering a dramatic blowout loss to the Charlotte Hornets. It wasn’t pretty, but this is a great spot for the Bucks to get right as the Knicks just don’t matchup well with them.

Jrue Holiday and Jevon Carter have done a great job containing Jalen Brunson in both games against the Knicks this season. Brunson has been held to 11-of-30 (36.6%) from the field for 30 points and just seven assists in two games against the Bucks this season. Holiday and Carter have clearly had an impact on Brunson’s efficiency in these games and I expect that to continue here with no RJ Barrett (doubtful) to worry about for the Knicks tonight.

The Bucks are due for some major positive shooting regression as they shot below 30% from beyond the arc in each of their games against the Knicks. They were getting plenty of clean looks as they attempted about 80% of their shots at the rim or the perimeter in each game.

Unfortunately, they have shot just 23-of-79 (29.1%) on their 3-point looks against the Knicks this season. The Knicks defense ranks 26th in 3-point attempt rate allowed while the Bucks offense ranks seventh in 3-point rate, so the Bucks should be able to continue to generate clean looks from deep.

Finally, the Knicks rotation just isn’t as talented as it was when these two teams matched up earlier in the year. The Knicks were playing tons of talented guys like Obi Toppin, Cam Reddish, and RJ Barrett, but they have suffered some injuries that has forced them to shorten their rotation. Their current bench rotation of Isaiah Hartenstein, Jericho Sims, Evan Fournier, and Miles McBride just isn’t going to survive against this Bucks team.

They have been fortunate over the past five games as they have played three games against the two worst teams in the league (Spurs twice and the Rockets) and one game against the Suns who look like one of the worst offenses in the NBA without Devin Booker.

Having depth is super important when facing Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks and I just don’t have enough faith in the Knicks’ current bench rotation to trust them here. Back the Bucks at basically a pick’em price on the moneyline.


» Return to the table of contents «


Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics

Pick
Under 236.5
Book
DraftKings
Tipoff
7:30 p.m. ET
TV
NBA TV

Matt Moore: This is all about the number. There will be points in this game between two good offenses — the Bulls rank third and the Celtics rank fifth in efficiency the past two weeks per Cleaning the Glass — but this number is incredibly high.

So everyone’s dropping 40 this season and everyone’s shooting the lights out, right? But the under in games with a total of 230 or more are 200-174-6 (53.5%). At 235 and higher, it’s 74-56-2 to the under.

The Celtics should be up for this game after the Bulls are one of only two teams to hand them more than one loss this season; the Bulls are 3-0 so far vs. the C’s.

The average closing total in the first three games was 226.5. So now it’s 236.5, because … why? The average combined score in those three games? 230.

This number is not a touch high; it’s way too high. I have this projected at 230, which is still a barnburner. Efficiency is up this season but Pace is not.

I got this at 238 and DraftKings has the best number at the time of writing, but like the under down to my projection.


» Return to the table of contents «


How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.