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NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: Matt Moore’s Bets for Celtics vs. Hornets, Pelicans vs. Cavaliers, More (January 16)

NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: Matt Moore’s Bets for Celtics vs. Hornets, Pelicans vs. Cavaliers, More (January 16) article feature image
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David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

With a hefty nine-game slate of NBA games on tap for Martin Luther King Jr. day, it’s a great day to day-bet some basketball.

Of the nine games on tap today, seven of them tip before 5 p.m. ET, so make sure to check lines before the market moves on some of the earlier matchups.

Here’s a rundown of what I’m betting on Monday’s slate.

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Celtics vs. Hornets

1 p.m. ET
NBA TV
The Bet: Celtics -8

Teams on the road for the two-game set who are favored in both games the against same opponent have a 54.5% win percentage against the spread and 54% after winning the first game.

The Celtics covered the first game’s 7.5-point spread by nine points on Saturday. Charlotte, for whatever reason, is terrible at home, 6-14 ATS. I make this game Celtics -13.

Jaylen Brown won’t play in this in this game — he’s expected to miss a week or two — but he wasn’t around for Saturday’s game, either. Jayson Tatum had 33 points on 27 shots. The Hornets‘ offense is the type that’s easy for Boston to manage. The Hornets are periodically ornery, but this doesn’t profile as the spot.


Pelicans vs. Cavaliers

3 p.m. ET
NBA League Pass
The Bet: Cavaliers -6.5

With both teams fully healthy, I have this spread at Cavaliers -8.5. The Pelicans are a really good team when fully healthy, the Cavaliers are just better, especially at home (12-7-2, 63% ATS).

The Cavaliers are one of the few teams equipped to handle the Pelicans in the paint; the Cavs are fourth in opponent points in the paint per 100 possessions. Their two-big lineup with Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen can manage the Pels.

The Pelicans attempt 3-pointers at the third-lowest rate in the NBA (though they shoot it efficiently). Without their points in the paint advantage, especially without Zion Williamson, the Cavs have a significant edge.

This number with Brandon Ingram and Williamson would have to be close to Cavs just -3 at home, and that’s not enough for how good the Cavaliers have been this season.


Raptors vs. Knicks

3 p.m. ET
NBA League Pass
The Bet: Knicks -3

This is a wild line given the state of things.

The Knicks rank top 10 in both Offensive and Defensive Rating, according to Dunks And Threes. Toronto ranks 14th in offense and shockingly 19th in defense.

The Raptors are 7-4 ATS as a road underdog this season and won the last matchup in New York outright 113-106. But Toronto is circling the drain. There’s no upside in sight; they’re not weighed down by injuries, the team is just in a bad place.

The Knicks are not great at home, I understand this. But as a favorite, they’re 13-9-1 (second-most profitable team in Bet Labs) and have covered five of their past seven.

This is a play on the number, and the fact that it suggests this is a pick‘em on neutral court. That’s just not the case this season and looks like a heavy weight to the prestige of the Raptors instead of the reality.


Heat vs. Hawks

3:30 p.m. ET
TNT
The Bet: Hawks ML (+100)

I’m waiting on this number to see if it moves further towards Miami.

Don’t get me wrong, I hate betting the Hawks. It’s painful. But the difference in these two teams in net rating is 1.5. That’s not what determines a line, but my numbers make this Hawks -1.5 in Atlanta.

The Heat have played better as of late, winning six of their past eight games and going 5-2-1 ATS in that span. But here’s who the wins were against: The Utah Jazz, who are terrible as a home favorite, the Los Angeles Clippers without Kawhi Leonard (who aren’t that impressive with him), the Zombie Phoenix Suns, the Brooklyn Nets ( a good win) and the Milwaukee Bucks twice without Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Miami probably hasn’t turned the corner as much as bettors would like to think they have, so I’ll play the moneyline return at the best price I find with the home team.


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