NBA Odds & Betting Picks: Best Bets for Wizards vs. Rockets, Knicks vs. Jazz (Tuesday, Jan. 26)
Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Clarkson #00, Joe Ingles #2 and Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz.
- There are three games on the NBA schedule Tuesday, but only two were good enough for our crew of analysts to jump on.
- They're hitting one spread and one total on tonight's slate -- you can find their analysis and picks on those games below.
There is just one national TV game on Tuesday’s NBA slate — Clippers vs. Hawks, 7:30 p.m. on NBA TV — and it has already been impacted by the league’s health and safety protocols (Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will sit due to contact tracing).
The two picks our experts are making come Tuesday’s other matchups: Wizards vs. Rockets and Knicks vs. Jazz. Our crew is betting one spread and one total in those games and you can find their analysis and picks below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Wizards vs. Rockets
Raheem Palmer: You couldn’t ask for a worse slate of NBA games from an entertainment standpoint.
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are out of tonight’s matchup against Trae Young (also questionable) and the Atlanta Hawks due to COVID-19 protocols. The red-hot Utah Jazz take on the New York Knicks where they’ve been listed as a 11.5-point favorite and finally the Washington Wizards take on the Houston Rockets, which is the one game I believe actually has some value.
Since the James Harden trade, the Rockets have one of the worst offenses in the league as they’re scoring just 107.6 points per 100 possessions post trade. This isn’t a great shooting team either — they rank 20th in 3-point shooting (35.5%) this season.
According to our NBA Insiders tool, they’ll likely be without the services of Christian Wood who is currently their leading scorer at 23.5 points per game. The Wizards rank ninth in Offensive Rating (112.5) largely due to the NBA’s scoring leader, Bradley Beal, who is averaging 34.5 points per game.
However, this team is missing a healthy chunk of its roster (Davis Bertans, Troy brown, Ish Smith and Rui Hachimura) and thus they’re fighting an uphill battle.
When you consider that they’re also missing Thomas Bryant who is out for the season with a torn ACL, this Wizards team is in a tough spot. It’s not a surprise that they had their lowest-scoring output of the season in Sunday’s game against the Spurs after not playing since Jan. 11.
This number got steamed up from an opener of 230.5 but given the circumstances surrounding both teams, I think this number has gotten out of line.
While these two teams are both top-10 in Pace, which makes this a scary play, I think we’ll see these offenses take a hit in efficiency. I’ll take the under 233 and look for a lower scoring game than the market anticipates.
Knicks vs. Jazz
Brandon Anderson: I’ve been riding the red-hot Jazz lately, and on a slate without many options tonight, I’m simply going to stick with what’s been working.
The Jazz have won eight games in a row and covered in all eight of them. They’ve won by double digits in all but one of those, with an average winning margin of 15.8 points during this stretch. The Jazz are back to playing elite defense, with Rudy Gobert as the anchor and the offense has taken off this season too.
The Jazz lead the NBA in 3s and are making more than 40% of their shots from behind the arc. Donovan Mitchell has been fantastic in this stretch — don’t tell Shaq — and Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson have been particularly good too.
The last time the Jazz lost a game, it was to checks notes the New York Knickerbockers! I think Utah has been waiting for this game. New York has played tough defense this year, but tough defense can’t do much about scorching hot shooting, and I’m not sure the Knicks will be able to score much on this locked-in defense.
This is a high line, especially in what should be a slow, defensive game. It’s begging us to take the Knicks to cover, but I won’t bite. I’m sticking with the hot hand and taking the Jazz to win and cover a ninth straight.