NBA Betting Odds, Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Celtics vs. Pacers and Warriors vs. Pistons (Tuesday, Dec. 29)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics, Malcolm Brogdon #7 of the Indiana Pacers.
- The two NBA games our experts are eye sit on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of top-to-bottom talent, but both still have betting value.
- Check out their analysis and picks for Celitcs-Pacers and Warriors-Pistons below.
Tuesday’s slate brings us an Eastern Conference playoff rematch from the bubble (Bucks vs. Heat 7:30 p.m. on TNT) and two rising teams out West (Pelicans vs. Suns 10 p.m. ET on TNT) on the national TV front. But, once again, our NBA crew is digging deeper into the slate to find some betting value.
They have pinpointed two spread bets that they’re betting tonight. You can find their analysis on those games below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Celtics vs. Pacers
Brandon Anderson: I’m continuing to fade the Boston Celtics early in the season without Kemba Walker.
The Celtics could easily be 0-3 without Jayson Tatum’s bank-shot 3 over the reigning Defensive Player of the Year on opening night. We’re still treating the Celtics like the contender they’ve been many years standing, but they simply do not look like a contender right now.
Part of it is tied to Walker’s absence, and Gordon Hayward’s departure. The Celtics don’t have any real replacement for the scoring versatility and shot creation that is missing on offense since most of their role players are meant to be just that: role players.
Daniel Theis and Tristan Thompson are starters now but bring nothing on offense other than finishing shots Boston isn’t creating much of right now.
Grant Williams, Semi Ojeleye, Robert Williams, it’s all the same story. Boston’s offense right now is “Please Tatum or Brown, do some stuff.” In Boston’s only win, they needed monster shooting nights from Tatum and Jeff Teague and still nearly melted down in the fourth quarter before surviving.
But it’s not just the offense. The Celtics rank dead last in defensive rating so far. Even after only one week of games, that is very concerning — especially considering Kemba isn’t playing. Teague and Payton Pritchard are not exactly good defenders in Walker’s stead, Marcus Smart can’t defend all five guys, and Boston’s double pivot hasn’t worked well on either end.
I’m not out on Boston entirely, but until the market adjusts, I’m fading the Celtics against a team I like. And I really like the Indiana Pacers.
I liked the Pacers coming into the season as a very strong, balanced five-man starting lineup with upside, and the coaching change to Nate Bjorkgren is paying off early. The Pacers have upped the pace and are taking more threes, and they rank top seven in both Offensive Rating and Defensive Rating so far. Domantas Sabonis is putting up superstar numbers, Myles Turner is defending super well again, and Malcolm Brogdon and Victor Oladipo are playing well.
The Pacers are the better team right now. They beat Boston two nights ago even without Oladipo, and he is expected to play tonight. The Pacers as a home dog is just silly as Indiana has clearly been the better team so far. I’m happy to take their ML at +EV, but will play the spread up to -2.5 if the line starts moving their direction too.
Warriors vs. Pistons
Raheem Palmer: At some point we have to start questioning Stephen Curry’s status as an elite floor raiser in this league — a guy who’s presence alone can make any roster a playoff team. Curry’s mere presence on the floor means his gravity is creating open shots for teammates, but how much does it matter when those open shots are going to Kelly Oubre and Andrew Wiggins?
These two have started out the season a combined 4-for-30 from 3-point range. The Splash Brothers have been replaced by the Brick Brothers and the lack of scoring threats has impacted Curry who has only shot 40% or better in two of his past eight games.
This season, the Warriors are scoring a league low 97.2 points per 100 possessions, rank last in eFG% (43.7%), 28th in 3-point shooting percentage (30.2%) and in the bottom 10 in the league in nearly every other shooting metric.
While the Warriors shooting should regress positively at some point, they aren’t any better defensively, ranking 28th in Defensive Rating (116.0). They’re also dead last in Rebound Rate and 24th in Offensive Rebound rate and will be facing a Detroit Pistons team with Mason Plumlee, Jerami Grant and Blake Griffin, all players with size and an ability to crash the boards.
With Derrick Rose also returning after a rest day, I think the Pistons are in prime position to make this a close game and possibly win outright as this is a Warriors team that needed a buzzer-beater to beat the Chicago Bulls.
The Pistons aren’t any good, but I’m fine with fading the Warriors as my model thinks that the Pistons should be favored in this matchup. I’ll take the +4.5 with the home team.