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NBA Expert Betting Picks (Monday, Jan. 27): Best Bets for Magic vs. Heat, Mavericks vs. Thunder

Credit:

Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Paul (3) and Dennis Schroder (17) of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

There are six games on Monday’s NBA schedule and our experts are betting the spread and over/under on two specific matchups:

  • 7:30 p.m. ET: Orlando Magic at Miami Heat 
  • 8 p.m. ET: Dallas Mavericks at Oklahoma City Thunder

See the three 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.


John Ewing: Magic at Heat

  • Spread: Heat -5.5
  • Over/Under: 211
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

The Magic have lost three in a row and five of their past six games. They’re also playing the second game of a back-to-back tonight.

Bettors think this is a good spot to fade Steve Clifford’s team. More than 80% of spread tickets are on Miami -5.5.

It is easy to understand why there is lopsided action on Miami, but historically it has been profitable to bet NBA teams getting little public support.

Since 2015, bettors following this strategy would have gone 132-86-6 (61%) against the spread returning a profit of $4,007 for a $100 bettor.

The Heat have dominated at home this season going 20-2 and the Magic are playing on a back-to-back, but don’t be surprised if the public is disappointed by the results of tonight’s game.

The PICK: Magic +5.5 (spread has since moved to +6)

Bryan Mears: Mavericks at Thunder

  • Spread: Mavericks -1
  • Over/Under: 226.5
  • Time: 8:10 p.m. ET

Over the last bit, these two teams have played excellent basketball — at least on the offensive end. Those numbers…

  • Mavs over last 2 weeks: +6.1 Net Rating (6th), 121.4 ORtg (2nd), 115.3 DRtg (24th)
  • Thunder over last 2 weeks: +5.4 Net Rating (7th), 117.8 ORtg (6th), 112.4 DRtg (15th)

And I’m not really sure you could blame it on bad luck. Since Jan. 1, both of these teams rank in the bottom-10 in 3P% allowed on wide-open shots. The issue has been more systemic, and neither team has been great at protecting the paint.

In that span, the Mavs and Thunder rank 23rd and 20th, respectively, in terms of opponent frequency of shots at the rim. The Thunder have done OK defending those shots (the Mavs have stunk), but both teams have been awful overall in the restricted area. With Dwight Powell out for the season and Steven Adams dealing with a nagging ankle injury, I’m not really sure the personnel is there for them to turn it around right now.

Further, these offenses are pretty potent right now. The Mavs have been awesome all year, and the Thunder over the last month have really done a great job generating open looks and finally hitting them. I think a big part of that actually is limiting minutes for Terrance Ferguson and Abdel Nader, who have been really bad.

They’re still giving minutes to guys like Luguentz Dort, but it’s also meant that Dennis Schroder has been able to play more minutes with the starters, particularly Chris Paul.

In their last game, CP3 came out early and then came back to play with Schroder, and that’s when the Thunder really went on an early run. Schroder has had issues in his career, but he’s playing some good, underrated basketball in Oklahoma City this year.

I’m a little worried about the potential pace of play — the Thunder have been average in pace lately, but the Mavs have been quite slow — but overall I think these offenses are playing too well and the defenses too bad. I grabbed the over here at 226.5.

The PICK: Over 226.5

Brandon Anderson: Mavericks at Thunder

Mavericks vs. Thunder is a pretty great Monday night game. These teams are tied with 28 wins, so OKC can move ahead of Dallas in the standings with a win. Few teams have been hotter than the Thunder, who have won and covered five straight. They continue to outperform expectations this season.

The PICK: Thunder +1.5 (spread has since moved to +1)

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