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NBA Expert Betting Picks (Thursday, Jan. 16): Best Bets for Celtics vs. Bucks, Nuggets vs. Warriors & More

Credit:

Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Jokic (15) of the Denver Nuggets.

There are five games on Thursday evening’s NBA schedule, and our experts are betting on these specific matchups:

  • 7:30 p.m. ET: Phoenix Suns at New York Knicks
  • 8 p.m. ET: Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks
  • 10:30 p.m. ET: Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors

See which bets they’re making below.


Odds as of Thursday afternoon and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.


John Ewing: Suns at Knicks

  • Spread: Suns -3
  • Over/Under: 226
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

Betting tickets are split on the Suns-Knicks over, but the total has increased from 225 to 226 and sharp action is responsible for the line movement.

We know this because nearly 80% of the dollars are on the over. This means that larger bets, likely from pros, expect tonight’s game to be high scoring.

Even though the total has increased it has still been profitable to follow sharp line movement when there is a greater amount of dollars than tickets on the over.

A $100 bettor following this system would have returned a profit of $5,107 since 2015. Sharps don’t always win but being on the same side as the pros is a smart strategy.

The PICK: Over 226
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Justin Phan: Celtics at Bucks

  • Spread: Bucks -10
  • Over/Under: 225.5
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET

It’s the second leg of a back-to-back on the road for the Celtics, and they’re coming off a game in which Brad Stevens left his starters in for a bit too long considering the deficit.

There’s a chance they’ll be without Jaylen Brown, who suffered a sprained thumb and was in obvious pain after Wednesday’s loss while putting a wrap/glove on. Jayson Tatum (knee) is uncertain as well.

The PICK: Bucks -8.5 (it’s now up to -9/-10 depending on the book)
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Wob: Celtics at Bucks

66 games. Sixty. Six. Games. That’s the number of consecutive regular season games the Milwaukee Bucks have scored at least 100 points. It’s tied for the 19th-longest streak all-time (per Basketball Reference) and it is almost impossible to find a night on the schedule where you can predict this trend might end — even with Giannis Antetokounmpo missing the occasional game from time-to-time.

To say they are an offensive juggernaut would be an insulting understatement, and while the Celtics are currently the league’s fourth-ranked defense, it just doesn’t matter. Stats and analytics have become irrelevant when playing the Bucks in the regular season. They just bury you in Giannis’ nuclear apocalyptic dust with wave after wave of secondary transitions, fast breaks, and some of the league’s best 3-point shooters trailing every play.

As for this game in particular, the assembly line of buckets will keep steaming along. If Jayson Tatum is back in the Celtics lineup tonight after their pathetic performance/loss at home against the lowly Detroit Pistons, you can guarandamntee the league’s best SEGABABA (second game of a back-to-back, shoutout Matt Moore) coach is going to bring it tonight.

Hell, they may even win this thing. At the very least, expect points. Lots of them.

The PICK: Over 225.5
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Brandon Anderson: Nuggets at Warriors

  • Spread: Nuggets -3.5
  • Over/Under: 212
  • Time: 10:30 p.m. ET

Remember when the Warriors won three games in a row at Christmas? Well, the holidays are over, and the Dubs have lost nine straight since. This line opened much higher, but has fallen off with a slew of Nuggets injuries. Jamal Murray is sure to miss after an ugly injury. Paul Millsap should be out too, and maybe Gary Harris as well (you can stay updated with all the injury news here).

All of that might scare you away from Denver, but it shouldn’t. Remember what we’ve heard about this team all year? The Nuggets have one of the deepest rosters in the league.

Monte Morris will be just fine at point guard and might even stabilize things. And I’m ready for a possible Michael Porter Jr. breakout game with all those extra shots. Nikola Jokic is the Nuggets’ engine, and he’s just fine. The Nuggets will be too.

If you really want to gamble, these teams have combined to go under in their past nine games and have both trended under all season. It makes sense for that to continue tonight with Denver missing some of their natural scorers. Feel free to parlay Nuggets -3.5 with the under if you want to double down.

The PICK: Nuggets -3.5
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