NBA Best Bets: Our Favorite Picks for Nuggets vs. Nets, Pacers vs. Warriors (Tuesday, Jan. 12)
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors.
- Despite COVID-related cancellations impacting Tuesday's slate, our NBA betting analysts have found value on three games still on the schedule.
- Check our staff's favorite picks from Jazz vs. Cavaliers, Nuggets vs. Nets & Pacers vs. Warriors.
One of Tuesday’s scheduled games (Celtics vs. Bulls) has already been called off and another game (76ers-Heat) is still in question due to COVID protocols.
Our staff is still finding value across the slate and are betting two spreads and one total. They give their analysis and picks on those games below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Brandon Anderson: Cleveland Cavaliers games have not exactly been a blast this season. The Cavs rank right at the top of the league on defense and at the bottom in offense and pace. It makes for a pretty awful product, replete with endless Andre Drummond ISO plays and too much Cedi Osman.
As you might imagine, all that defense and lack of offense at a snail’s pace has made for a serious lack of scoring. The Cavs rank last with a putrid 100 points per game scoring average, and the defense has allowed only 102.8 PPG, which also ranks either first or last, depending on if you value defense or entertainment.
The Cavs have not scored fewer than 100 points in eight straight games — Cleveland game unders are a perfect 9-0.
The Jazz are always more defensive than not with Rudy Gobert manning the lane, and Utah’s main offensive pieces haven’t been great so far this year, especially Donovan Mitchell. Jazz game unders are 5-3 when they are favorites and 6-4 overall.
This line opened at 211 and is quickly being bet down, and a line in the single digits above 200 is practically begging for an over. Let’s stick with what works and fade points, entertainment, and anything resembling real basketball with a 10th straight Cleveland under.
I’ll play the under to 204.5.
Raheem Palmer: After a 2-0 start with wins over the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics on Christmas, the Brooklyn Nets were anointed 2020-2021 NBA champions during the first week of the season. Since then, things haven’t gone so smoothly.
They’ve lost four out of their past six games, Spencer Dinwiddie tore his ACL, Kevin Durant missed a few games due to contract tracing for COVID-19 and Kyrie Irving has gone off the grid. They face a Denver Nuggets team Tuesday that has won two straight and three out of its past four games.
The Nets haven’t proven they can consistently defend and they come off a game in which they gave up a 124.1 Offensive Rating to an Oklahoma City Thunder team that ranks 28th in offense this season.
The Nuggets have the league’s second-ranked Offense and should be able to get whatever they want tonight with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. The Nets are still a team finding their footing while the Nuggets have an established core.
My projections make this game Nuggets -1.5 so at a PK or +1.5, I’ll take the road team. With the lack of home court advantage and road teams continuing to cover the number going 83-70 (54.2%), I’ll take the road dog, which has covered at a 61.4% this season per Bet Labs, at short odds.
Joe Dellera: The Pacers are coming off a brutal loss to the Kings where everything just fell apart in the last 90 seconds. This is the second game of a road back-to-back set on a West Coast road trip against the Golden State Warriors.
It’s been reported that Victor Oladipo is doubtful and TJ McConnell is out for personal reasons. Keep an eye on their status using our Action Labs Insider Tool, but if neither of these two play, the Pacers’ depth will be severely hampered.
The Warriors started this season poorly, but over the past two weeks they rank second in point differential per 100 possessions at +3.6 points, per Cleaning the Glass. There’s been a marked increase in both their Offensive and Defensive Ratings, and this has coincided with the return of Draymond Green. The Warriors are 5.6 points better with him on the floor than off, and he’s been an anchor for their defense.
While the Pacers have been good at limiting 3 point opportunities, they have the second-worst 3-point shooting percentage against them. If the Pacers can’t contain Curry from deep, this could be a big performance for the sharp shooter who is looking to rebound off his worst shooting performance as a pro ever where he made just 2-of-16 shots and 1-of-10 from 3 point range.
This is a play on depth, and while the Pacers would be a great test for the Warriors if everyone was expected to play, that’s not the case here. I’m backing the Warriors to cover this spread as the Pacers will be too thin to contend.