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NBA Odds & Best Bets: Our Top Picks for Heat vs. Knicks, Jazz vs. Suns, More (January 26)

NBA Odds & Best Bets: Our Top Picks for Heat vs. Knicks, Jazz vs. Suns, More (January 26) article feature image
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Alex Goodlett/Getty Images. Pictured: Hassan Whiteside.

  • The Action Network's NBA analysts have five best bets for Wednesday's NBA Action.
  • We have three spread bets, one player prop and one total bet.
  • Check out their picks and breakdowns below.

The NBA season continues with a packed slate of 10 games to bet on Wednesday. Our Action Network NBA analysts have identified five bets – one prop bet, one total and three spread picks – with value. Check our why they like these bets and where to find them below.

NBA Odds & Picks

Click on a game to skip ahead
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Orlando Magic
7 p.m. ET
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
7 p.m. ET
New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat
7:30 p.m. ET
Phoenix Suns vs. Utah Jazz
10 p.m. ET

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Orlando Magic

Pick
Magic -1 | Under 214
Book
DraftKings
Tipoff
7 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Raheem Palmer: The Los Angeles Clippers had one of the most stunning performances of the season, coming back from 35 points to defeat the Washington Wizards yesterday.

Trailing 66-31 with a little more than a minute left in the first half, their 35-point comeback is the second-biggest comeback in the shot clock era only behind the Utah Jazz coming back from a 36-point deficit to defeat the Denver Nuggets in 1996.

Despite the fact that Clippers head coach Tyron Lue didn’t play three of his starters in Reggie Jackson, Ivica Zubac and Nicolas Batum in the second half of last night’s win, this is still tough situational spot for the Clippers who are playing their third game in four nights in addition to a game on a back-to-back.

My colleague Matt Moore pointed out that teams that win on a back-to-back by a margin of just 1-6 points are just 9-23-2 in the following game this season, a spot which perfectly fits backing the Magic here.


Trends aside, these are two teams which are offensively inept with the Clippers ranking 27th in Offensive Rating (106.8) and the Magic ranking 28th (103.4).

Neither of these teams play fast either with the Clippers ranking 16th in Pace (98.3) and 17th in Offensive Length of Possession (14.7 seconds) and the Magic ranking 15th in Pace (98.3) and 15th in Offensive Length of Possession (14.6 seconds), according to Dunks And Threes.

With the Clippers likely having tired legs, I’m not seeing a high scoring game here. I’ll back the Magic and the under.


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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Pick
Bucks -4
Book
Caesars
Tipoff
7 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Joe Dellera: The Bucks have split the season series with the Cavaliers as they each have one win apiece. This game is surprisingly important given the Bucks are just 0.5 games ahead of the Cavaliers, and they are divisional rivals. Whichever team takes this matchup will have at least a split in the head-to-head tiebreaker.

The Cavaliers have been better over the course of the season with the fourth-best Adjusted Net Rating, +5.0, while the Bucks are the eighth-ranked team in Adjusted Net Rating, +3.0.

However, the Bucks are finally healthy at this point while the Cavaliers are undergoing injury issues in today’s matchup. Jarrett Allen (illness) is questionable after missing Monday’s game against the Knicks and practice yesterday. If he is unable to go, this will have a significant impact on the Cavaliers’ interior defense.

On the flip side, the Bucks are expected to start their big three of Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. When those three play, the Bucks have had success.

The Bucks are 18-3 (!!!!) with Giannis, Mid, and Jrue this season.

— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) January 24, 2022

18-3 is impressive, and it’s backed up by the advanced metrics as well. On the season, the Bucks have a +4.6 Point Differential, but when those three share the floor, the Bucks jump to +10.8 while scoring 116.6 points per 100 possessions and they hold opponents to just 105.8, per Cleaning the Glass. They are truly elite, and they are realistically undervalued in the futures market.

In the Mark Budenholzer era, the Bucks are an incredible 35-15-1 ATS against divisional opponents and 45-6 straight up. This is a spot the Bucks historically have crushed in, and this season they are 5-4 ATS and 7-2 SU. I’ll lay the points with the Bucks and back them on the road.


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New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat

Pick
Heat -5.5
Book
BetMGM
Tipoff
7:30 p.m. ET
TV
ESPN

Roberto Arguello: The Heat are the better team, and they match up well with this Knicks team that lacks the shooting from its best players to put enough pressure on the Heat defense. The Heat swept the three-game series against a better version of this Knicks team last year, and I expect a much better Heat team to continue this trend.

The Heat are also more rested with two days off since their last game while the Knicks are on the road and playing their third game in four nights (with each of their top two bigs questionable).

With Duncan Robinson finally finding his stroke, this means the Heat should have one of their elite shooters, him or Max Strus, on the court at all times while they also have at least one of their best scorers, Jimmy Butler or Tyler Herro, playing too.

Duncan Robinson’s first 22 games of the season:
10.4 PPG – 34.9% FG – 31.8% 3PT – 62.5% FT

Duncan Robinson’s last 22 games of the season:
13.3 PPG – 43.9% FG – 40.2% 3PT – 84.4% FT pic.twitter.com/TLR7JoNSaw

— Heat Nation (@HeatNationCom) January 25, 2022

The Knicks can’t match this, and they will rely on their role players having an outlier shooting night from beyond the arc to cover, especially if they are shorthanded inside without Mitchell Robinson and Nerlens Noel.

The Heat are the deeper team with a much higher offensive ceiling that is peaking right now as they have won seven of their last nine games. Back Miami as 5.5-point favorites on BetMGM with value down to -7.


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Phoenix Suns vs. Utah Jazz

Pick
Hassan Whiteside Under 0.5 Assists +170
Book
DraftKings
Tipoff
10 p.m. ET
TV
ESPN

Brandon Anderson: I have very few hard and fast rules in life, but one of them is this: if you give me plus money to bet against Hassan Whiteside recording an assist in a game of basketball, I will take that bet every single time.

Whiteside has 315 assists in his NBA career. He’s 32 years old and has been playing professionally since 2010. Whiteside has played 483 games in his career. He’s totaled 12,105 minutes. He even led the league in blocks twice and in offensive rebounds once.

But the man is an absolute black hole as a passer.

I’ll do the math for you. Whiteside averages 0.65 assists per game for his career. Notice how it’s so low we have to add the hundredths place just to show how low it is? For his career, Whiteside averages an assist every 38.4 minutes. And he’s even lower this year at one dime every 44.4 minutes, his lowest rate since 2016 — and that’s saying something.

And remember, he is playing basketball with the most talented humans on the planet. You could stand a seven-foot piece of plywood on the court and it would accidentally ricochet more than 0.65 assists per game to some random teammates.

But no, not Hassan Whiteside. This man actively avoids assists at all costs. His career Assist-Turnover Rate is 0.43. In other words, he has more than twice as many turnovers for his career as assists. The dude literally had six dimes his first three seasons in the league across 67 games. Six!!

So here’s the script tonight: Rudy Gobert is out, so Hassan Whiteside is starting. That means big minutes, and it means we actually get a chance to bet against Whiteside. And because this man has miraculously recorded in assist in three of his four Jazz starts — he had two last game! — we’re getting plus juice to bet on the donut.

And we are betting on that donut.

I want it. I need it. I will hate watch every second rooting against human achievement and accidental ricochet assists. Give us that donut, Hassan. I’ll play at any plus number.

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