NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Nuggets vs. Mavericks, Hawks vs. Trail Blazers, More (January 3)
Harrison Barden/Getty Images. Pictured: Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks.
- The NBA opens the first Monday of 2022 with a packed slate of 10 games.
- Our Action Network NBA analysts have four best bets, including plays on Grizzlies-Nets and Hawks-Trail Blazers.
- Check out their analysis and picks below.
Tonight brings us the first Monday slate in the NBA of 2022 and it doesn’t disappoint. Among the matchups are two battles on NBA TV: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Brooklyn Nets (7:30 p.m. ET) and Miami Heat vs. Golden State Warriors (10 p.m. ET).
Those aren’t the only matchups worth watching or betting tonight, though. Our NBA experts are looking at three other games with value and are eying spreads and totals across those games.
Check out their analysis and best bets for Monday night below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Brooklyn Nets
Raheem Palmer: The Nets have Kevin Durant and James Harden back in the lineup, but I’m struggling to see how they should be laying 6.5-points to the Grizzlies who are 7-3 in their past 10 games and ninth in Defensive Rating over the past two weeks, allowing just 107.7 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage time minutes.
The Nets have seen their offense return to form over the past two weeks, scoring 115.9 points per 100 possessions but the defense is an issue — they are allowing 113.0 points per 100 possessions, which ranks 18th among NBA teams. They’re coming off a 120-116 loss against the Clippers in which they had much of their roster missing.
While motivation will be high for the Nets, I simply can’t get to this number here. The Grizzlies are the No. 1 Offensive Rebounding team in the league (32.6%) facing a Nets team that is 23rd in Defensive Rebounding Rate (71.6%), so it’s likely the Grizzlies will have more possessions and in a close game that should be enough to keep us inside the number.
Detroit Pistons vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Matt Moore: I don’t think you should play trends in absolutes. They can back up your analysis, be used as supportive evidence. But using trends by themselves ignores a lot of context.
That said, I’m playing this purely based on trends.
- Mike Budenholzer vs. division opponents since arriving in Milwaukee: 35-13-1 ATS.
- Budenholzer with the Bucks as a double-digit favorite vs. division opponents: 17-7 ATS
- Budenholzer with the Bucks as more than a 13-point favorite vs. division opponents: 6-3 ATS
I use two different projections for lines. My more conservative projection never puts the Pistons as huge dogs, basically because it doesn’t believe their offense can truly be as bad as it is. My more aggressive model puts this at Bucks -15, and that’s before the COVID absences for Detroit.
Denver Nuggets vs. Dallas Mavericks
Moore: Two compromised teams with under trends.
Let’s start with pace. The Mavericks have the fourth-longest offensive possession length per DunksAndThrees.com. The Nuggets are sixth. This means their possessions take longer, on average, than most of the league.
Dallas ranks second-to-last in Pace overall and Denver is 25th. These two teams take their time and set up their halfcourt offenses. Dallas spends the most time in halfcourt possessions of any team in the league, per Synergy Sports.
The Nuggets remain banged up and short-handed, Most of the Mavericks’ key players are out of COVID protocols, but their profile is lesser offensively, anyway.
The under has hit in four of the last five Nuggets games, and the under is 22-12-2 in Mavericks games overall. Luka Doncic is back, but he’s out of shape and on a back-to-back.
These teams have been better defensively than expected this season. Dallas is 14th in adjusted defensive rating, the Nuggets 10th per dunksAndThrees.com.
Atlanta Hawks vs Portland Trail Blazers
Joe Dellera: TheHawks and Trail Blazers face off tonight and there are some notable absences on both sides. The Blazers will be without Damian Lillard (injury management), CJ McCollum (lung), and Jusuf Nurkic (Health Protocols) is doubtful. The Hawks will be missing both John Collins and Bogdan Bogdanovic, but Cam Reddish (Probable), Danilo Gallinari, Kevin Huerter, and Delon Wright amongst others are expected to return.
Both these teams have underperformed their expectations this season; however, the Hawks’ offense still is excellent. They have the second-best adjusted Offensive Rating (133.3) while the Blazers have second-worst adjusted Defensive Rating (114.8). This is something the Hawks can exploit in this matchup against a shorthanded Portland team.
Portland has the worst allowed Effective Field Goal Percentage (55.8%) and they get demolished at the rim and from 3-point range. Atlanta is the second best 3-point shooting team in the league (38.4%), per Cleaning the Glass. I expect plenty of 3’s and lobs from Trae Young to Clint Capella in this matchup.
If both Lillard and Nurkic cannot play tonight, they will be missing their two best players in point differential, +6.9 and +6.6 respectively, and this is going to severely impact this matchup. This line has already moved from 3.5 to 5.5 and I’ll take that whether Nurkic plays or not.