NBA Odds & Betting Picks: Our Best Bets for Suns vs. Pistons and Jazz vs. Bucks (Friday, Jan. 8)
Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks.
The NBA takes center stage Friday night with 10 games on the evening slate, anchored by two fun national TV matchups: Charlotte Hornets vs. New Orleans Pelicans (7:30 p.m. ET) and Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors (10 p.m. ET).
The early game will be the first time the Ball brothers, Lonzo and LaMelo, will face one another in the NBA. With so many games to choose from, our has pinpointed four games that stand out in terms of betting value. They’re betting one total, one moneyline parlay and one full-game spread in tonight’s action.
NBA Odds & Picks
Suns vs. Pistons
Matt Moore: I have two angles, here. The Phoenix Suns have played just two out of eight games where their opponent went over its team total. The Suns have also scored over their team total in just two out of the eight games.
They are the fifth-most profitable team to bet the under on so far this season, according to data from Bet Labs.
There’s also this fun trend I found: In games with teams coming off 20 or more made 3’s since 2014-15 (the high-volume 3-point), the under is 72-49-6 (59.5%). On the road? 38-24-1 to the under (61.9%).
I think the market overvalues the Suns’ scoring, and the Pistons, while not a good defensive team, had their Defensive Rating nuked by two games against the Bucks and one agains the Hawks.
I like the under 216 here.
Suns vs. Pistons | Wizards vs. Celtics
Brandon Anderson: The Suns and Celtics are polar opposites of their Friday night opponents. The Celtics are the lesser of the two teams right now as they sort through some injuries, and they are over reliant on Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and not good enough on defense.
The Wizards will score some points, but I will count on the Celtics to win at home against a bad team. The news about the Celtics missing three rotation players (notably Tristan Thompson) due to COVID protocols gives me some pause here, enough to wait for a better number if the line shrinks,
The Suns are on the road but it’s not like the Pistons are much of a test. The Suns’ defense has been far better than expected, and that alone should do the trick against these Pistons right now.
With both these teams favored by around six points, I don’t feel like messing around with a backdoor or a good team grinding out a win on a bad day. I trust both of them to win, and this moneyline parlay comes out about exactly at even odds. Worth the price of admission for me.
Jazz vs. Bucks
Raheem Palmer: The Utah Jazz are in the midst of a brutal stretch of road games, playing seven games in 10 days. While they were able to open the road trip with a win against the San Antonio Spurs, they dropped games against the Brooklyn Nets without Kevin Durant and the New York Knicks a day later.
Things won’t get any easier for them when they take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. While the Bucks are on the first game of a back-to-back, the Jazz have traveled 2569 miles during this road trip according to our NBA Insiders tool.
It’s hard to imagine they’ll have their legs deep into this game. Before their game against the Nets, they didn’t have practice in order to save their legs and still came out flat and unable to score.
Now they face a Bucks team that ranks first in Net Rating (+12.9) and Offensive Rating (120.1), while still maintaining a top-tier defense. My projections are heavily influenced by recent games, so there’s a big discrepancy between my number and the market number, nonetheless, I still think this line is short.
With Joe Ingles popping up on the injury report with a sore achilles, the last thing this Jazz team needs is to be short handed. I’ll be laying the 5-points with the Milwaukee Bucks at home.