NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Hawks vs. Clippers & Klay Thompson’s Return to Cavaliers vs. Warriors (January 9)

NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Hawks vs. Clippers & Klay Thompson’s Return to Cavaliers vs. Warriors (January 9) article feature image

Kent Smith/Getty Images. Pictured: Stephen Curry

  • Sunday isn't reserved for just football, as there are a full 10 games on today's NBA slate.
  • One of the highlights of the night will be Klay Thompson making his long-awaited return to the Warriors against the Cavaliers.
  • See how our staff is betting that game and one other matchup throughout the day.

Happy Klay Day! Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson returns to NBA action for the first time in nearly three years, and there is a full slate of 10 NBA games on Sunday.

Our Action Network NBA Staff has you covered with Raheem Palmer's best bet on the total in Thompson's return against the Cavaliers along with Roberto Arguello's spread bet on the afternoon game between the Hawks and Clippers.

Check out their analysis and best bets below.

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NBA Odds & Picks

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Atlanta Hawks vs. LA Clippers
3:30 p.m. ET
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors
8:40 p.m. ET

Atlanta Hawks vs. LA Clippers

Clippers +4.5
3:30 p.m. ET
NBA League Pass

Roberto Arguello: The Hawks face the Clippers on Sunday afternoon in LA as four-point road favorites. While the Clippers will remain without Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Luke Kennard, I like the value on LA here against a Hawks team caught in a downward spiral.

After making the Eastern Conference Finals last season, the Hawks have regressed defensively as they have plummeted from 17th in Defensive Rating last season to 28th this year. The Hawks’ defense has been at its worst lately as they have allowed their opponents to score at least 118 points in five of their last six games while recording a horrific 126.9 Defensive Rating.

Over that same span of six games, the Hawks rank 28th in the league in Spread Differential as they are failing to cover by 6.4 points per game, and they have lost seven of their last 10 games outright overall. Their poor defense will likely be even thinner than usual as their last line of defense, big man Clint Capela, is doubtful to play on Sunday. Trae Young has been spectacular offensively for the Hawks, but he can only put so much lipstick on this pig.

The Clippers have lost three straight games of their own against some of the hottest teams in the NBA, but I like this spot to buy low on them and their quality defense as they should be motivated against a flawed Hawks team that doesn’t have a pulse on defense.

In a matchup between a poor offense (Clippers) against a poor defense (Hawks) and an elite offense (Hawks) against an elite defense (Clippers), I’ll ride with the stronger defense and the lesser offense that should see a boost in efficiency at home. Take the Clippers as 4.5-point underdogs at BetMGM with value down to +3.

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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors

Under 218.5
8:40 p.m. ET

Raheem Palmer: After not playing basketball for nearly three years, Klay Thompson finally makes his return after tearing his ACL in the NBA Finals and his Achilles a year later. While many may assume that we’ll see the Splash Brothers in Thompson and Steph Curry immediately return to their previous form, I think there will be an adjustment period when it comes to this offense.

The Warriors offense has slipped a bit recently as they’re scoring just 101.8 points per 100 possessions in their last five games. On the other hand, the Warriors still have the best defense in the league, holding opposing teams to 103.1 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage-time minutes according to Cleaning the Glass. The Cavs are also top tier defensively, ranking third in Defensive Rating (105.7).

The biggest issue for the Cavs is the lack of playmaking outside of Darius Garland with the injuries to Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio. That could rear its ugly head against this Warriors team which has the best defense in the league. I’ll play the Under 218 here with my model making this total much lower, and nerves from Thompson’s return impacting the Warriors offense.

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