NBA Betting Odds, Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Hawks vs. Nets and Lakers vs. Spurs (Wednesday, Dec. 30)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: DeMar DeRozan #10 of the San Antonio Spurs.
- Six games for Wednesday's slate, two bets from our experts.
- Matt Moore and Brandon Anderson are targeting the first-quarter spread in two games: Hawks vs. Nets and Lakers vs. Spurs.
- Check out their analysis and picks below.
Wednesday’s NBA schedule brings us a rematch from Tuesday (Bucks vs. Heat 7:30 p.m. on NBATV) and fun matchup out West (Trail Blazers vs. Lakers 10 p.m. ET on NBATV) on the national TV front. Our NBA crew is digging a bit deeper and getting creative to find some betting value on Wednesday’s slate.
They have pinpointed first-quarter two spread bets that they’re betting tonight. You can find their analysis on those games below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Hawks vs. Nets
Brandon Anderson: The Hawks are undefeated and feeling pretty good about themselves. Trae Young is an early MVP candidate averaging 34.0 points per game, and the new look Hawks have had one of the most efficient offenses in the league.
But the Hawks’ three wins have come against the Bulls, Grizzlies, and Pistons, three teams that may not even make the play-in games, so this hot start might be as much a product of a creampuff schedule as anything else. And the Brooklyn Nets are none of those teams.
Brooklyn has looked great at times and not so great at other times, but the great times have come mostly when Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are doing their thing. And so far this year, Irving and Durant have almost exclusively done their thing together.
Steve Nash has been partnering the two at the hip with their minutes, and that obviously includes a big stretch together at the start of the game. With Irving and Durant off the court, Brooklyn has a negative net rating. With them on the court together, the Nets have been darn near invincible.
It’s all from a small sample, of course, but the bet here is that the Hawks get a reality check out of the gates against a Brooklyn team that’s a whole lot better and more talented than anyone this team has played before. In particular, the questionable Hawks defense has yet to be tested by an offense with this firepower.
Look for Durant and Irving to get the Nets off to a quick start and grab Brooklyn in the first quarter here. I’ll play to -125 or go up a point to -3.5 at plus money.
Lakers vs. Spurs
Matt Moore: I’ve been fading Spurs first quarters consistently over the past two seasons. The Spurs with DeMar DeRozan and without LaMarcus Aldridge are good. The Spurs with LaMarcus Aldridge and without DeMar DeRozan are good. The Spurs with both are bad.
That was true all last season and despite how good the Spurs (and especially DeRozan) have been this season, the trend is true even now. The Spurs with Aldridge and DeRozan together have been outscored by 30 points. With DeRozan on the floor and Aldridge off, they’ve outscored opponents by 18.
As long as Aldridge is starting in this game (and our NBA Insiders lineups tool says he will), I’m fading the Spurs in the first quarter. The Lakers are likely to be irritated after the loss to the Trail Blazers, and match up better with the Spurs.
If you can find the Lakers’ first quarter spread at -1.5 or lower, grab it, but don’t take it over that. I’ll lay the juice on the moneyline.