NBA Expert Betting Picks (Monday, Jan. 13): Best Bets for 76ers vs. Pacers, Hornets vs. Trail Blazers
Omar Rawlings/Getty Images. Pictured: Devonte’ Graham (4) of the Charlotte Hornets.
There are seven games on Monday evening’s NBA schedule, and our experts are betting on these specific matchups:
- 7 p.m. ET: Philadelphia 76ers at Indiana Pacers
- 7 p.m. ET: New Orleans Pelicans at Detroit Pistons
- 10 p.m. ET: Charlotte Hornets at Portland Trail Blazers
See which bets they’re making below.
Odds as of Monday afternoon and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Wob: 76ers at Pacers
- Spread: Pacers -2
- Over/Under: 213
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
The sample size of the Philadelphia 76ers playing without Embiid is large enough for me to ask the question: how does this team plan on scoring enough point to beat anybody decent?
Listen, Ben Simmons is going to do his thing in the first three quarters, get out in transition, hit the nitrous oxide cannons unlike few other players in this league can and wreak havoc on the opposing ball-handlers.
But when the game slows down into the half-court in the fourth quarter and the transition opportunities are limited, the 76ers just can’t score. They have zero presence within the 3-point line, which makes passing the ball around the perimeter to find open 3s quite difficult when the defense knows it’s never going inside.
The Pacers want to play in the mud, they will encourage the game’s pace to be slow, playoff-esque basketball. And because this game will be likely be played on their terms, I just don’t know how Philly plans on scoring 100 points tonight.
The PICK: Pacers -2
John Ewing: 76ers at Pacers
Embiid had surgery on his finger last Friday and will be out at least two weeks. With the Sixers big man sidelined, Al Horford will need to take on a bigger role in the team’s offense.
Oddsmakers have not adjusted Horford’s props enough for the increased role in Philly’s offense. The over/under for Horford’s assists tonight is 3.5, he is averaging 3.8 assists this season.
In the two games that Embiid has missed since having surgery, Horford recorded five and six assist games. With Embiid off the court, there is more space for Horford and the rest of the Sixers offense to operate, creating more passing lanes and increasing the chances for assists.
The FantasyLabs player prop tool projects Horford to have 4.9 assists tonight against the Pacers. The over has received a 10 out of 10 bet quality rating.
With the odds not properly accounting for Horford’s increased role, I’ll be betting the over on his assists prop tonight.
The PICK: Horford over 3.5 assists
Brandon Anderson: Pelicans at Pistons
- Spread: Pistons -3.5
- Over/Under: 224.5
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
Don’t look now, but the New Orleans Pelicans have started to figure things out. New Orleans has won seven of their last 10, with the only losses to the Lakers, Jazz, and Celtics, two of those on the road. The Pelicans are suddenly four games back in the wide open race for the eighth-spot out West, and their schedule is about to open up right as Zion Williamson gets closer to making his debut.
The Detroit Pistons are trending in the other direction. They’ve lost seven of 10 both outright and against the spread, and they just never seemed to find their footing this season with a litany of injuries and a dearth of NBA-caliber players around Andre Drummond.
The Pels have a several players listed questionable, so if they all miss then this might be a game to avoid, but otherwise I like New Orleans to take care of business on the road as the more talented team moving in the right direction. New Orleans is 8-1-1 ATS since Dec. 20, and should not be underdogs against Detroit.
I also like the over in this game, if you want to double down. These teams have combined to hit 14 of their last 20 overs, and neither of them offer much defensively.
The PICK: Pelicans +3.5
Bryan Mears: Pelicans at Pistons
The Pistons over the last two weeks have posted an Offensive Rating of just 104.6 — the third-worst mark in the league. They’ve lost two straight games to the Bulls and Cavs, and weren’t particularly impressive in the prior game to the Cavaliers, either.
The shot profile has been just so bad without Blake Griffin in the lineup. With him off the floor, the Pistons have taken 8.4% fewer 3-pointers, including a 2.8% drop-off in attempts from the corners. They haven’t really replaced those attempts with good penetration, either; rather it’s just been inefficient mid-rangers. They still have some fine shooters and good offensive players, but that profile just isn’t going to produce a high-level offense.
On the other side of this game, the Pelicans could be incredibly shorthanded in this contest. Kenrich Williams and JJ Redick have already been ruled out, and Jrue Holiday was downgraded to doubtful. On top of that, Brandon Ingram was added to the injury report today; he and Derrick Favors are questionable.
That’s almost the entire main rotation and especially a lot of the main offensive playmakers. Redick has arguably been the most important player to their offense given his shooting: The Pels have posted a eFG% 3.3% worse without him on the floor.
I think Ingram is the big one here, though. He’s been the linchpin of the offense so far this season, and they’ve dropped 3.2/100 in efficiency without him. One of his biggest sources of value has been getting to the foul line, which the Pels have done 6.2% more often with him.
If he’s out, I don’t think there will be a lot of offensive firepower on the floor for either team and would take the under at 224.5.
The PICK: Under 224.5
Matt Moore: Hornets at Trail Blazers
- Spread: Trail Blazers -9
- Over/Under: 215
- Time: 10 p.m. ET
This is just the second time this season the Blazers have been double-digit favorites at home. The last time, they lost outright to the Golden State Warriors early in the season, the first real “ruh-roh” moment in what has turned into a nerve-wracking Blazers season.
Portland is 6-11 ATS this season at home and Mario Hezonja, who is questionable, is actually a significant injury for them. The gap between these two teams is significant, but it is not 9.5 points significant, even on a back-to-back. Charlotte is 6-4 ATS this season with rest disadvantage.
Devonte’ Graham should be able to get loose vs. the defense, and the Hornets’ big weakness — their complete and total lack of interior defense — doesn’t matter much vs. the Blazers outside of the relatively empty-calorie stats Hassan Whiteside will put up.
The only caveat? Terry Stotts is one of the best coaches in our database against the spread after the turn of the year.
The PICK: Hornets +9