Tuesday’s NBA Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Nuggets vs. Rockets & Mavericks vs. Thunder
Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Paul (front) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
There are seven games on the NBA schedule to close out the decade on New Years Eve and our experts are betting on two specific matchups:
- 7 p.m. ET: Denver Nuggets at Houston Rockets
- 8 p.m. ET: Dallas Mavericks at Oklahoma City Thunder
See what bets they’re making below.
Odds as of Tuesday afternoon and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.
John Ewing: Nuggets at Rockets
- Spread: -4.5
- Over/Under: 224
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
Rockets-Nuggets total opened 220 and has quickly been bet up to 223. At the time of writing 61% of tickets are on the over, which accounts for 85% of dollars wagered.
When there is a largest percentage of dollars than tickets this is an indication of sharp action. Historically, it has been profitable to follow the line movement and bet the over when there is more money than tickets on a game.
Professional bettors don’t always win, but being on the same side as smart money is advantageous. Money percentages and line movement indicate that pros are on the Rockets-Nuggest over tonight.
The PICK: Over 224
John Ewing is 535-470-20 (53.2%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.
Wob: Nuggets at Rockets
If you get your news from Twitter, it will tell you the Denver Nuggets are an underachieving contender whose best player is sweating more hot dog water than points.
In reality, this team is back to championship contention form and Nikola Jokic is now the league’s top scorer in clutch time (the statistic recorded when a game’s point differential is five points or less with five points left in the fourth quarter.)
In addition, the Nuggets went from being one of the league’s most anemic offenses to start the season to the most efficient during the month of December.
Whatever it is they were missing, they found it. Maybe it was Michael Porter Jr., or maybe it was giving Garry Harris’ minutes to Will Barton and Monte Morris. This is the team everyone thought could make the Finals last season and they may have finally found their third wheel scoring option in MPJ.
As for this game in particular, yes Harden is back from his toe injury, but the Nuggets shouldn’t be 4.5-point dogs to anybody right now if they show up and play defense like they have all season. They know how important this game is in the down-the-road playoff standings. Expect their best effort despite the line moving against them.
The PICK: Nuggets +4.5
Brandon Anderson: Mavericks at Thunder
- Spread: Mavericks -3.5
- Over/Under: 220.5
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
The Oklahoma City Thunder have had one heck of a December. Remember how there were only six sure playoff teams in the West? Well it’s starting to look like seven, with the Thunder now firmly locked into the seventh spot in the conference standings, a full 3.5 games ahead of the rest of the riff-raff out West.
Chris Paul has led the way with a rejuvenated month, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is continuing his breakout season. OKC is 10-4 in December, including 9-5 against the spread.
The Mavericks hav e slowed down after a sizzling start in large part because Luka Doncic has finally fallen back to earth. Doncic is questionable with a back injury and could be limited or out, so that’s one easy way to win this bet.
Even if he plays, he hasn’t been the same lately and these are two relatively even teams. OKC is healthier and at home, and they’ll want to finish the month strong.
The PICK: OKC +3.5