NBA Expert Tips and Best Bets | February 1

James Salmon
NBA Tips, Predictions & News
NBA Tips & Best Bets
Best Bets 2023 / 2024

Thursday will be a solid day of action in the NBA, with ten games taking place across the course of the day. And though it kicks off with a relatively uninspiring group of three games, each of which involves one of the Wizards, Pistons and Hornets, there is plenty of intrigue in the later matchups, which include a Nuggets vs Thunder clash at midday AEDT. These are our three best bets for the day’s action. 

Chicago Bulls @ Charlotte Hornets

Bulls -2.5  | $1.88 with GetSetBet 

The Bulls are not exactly world beaters and will at best be a play-in tournament team this year, but the 2.5 point line they have been handed by NBA betting sites against the Hornets looks like great value. Charlotte are in a world of hurt at the moment; as their record of 10-35 suggests they have struggled all year, but their recent trade of Terry Rozier to the Miami Heat has made them even more thin on talent than they already were and is a pretty clear indication of their intentions this year (ahem, a good draft pick). Lamelo Ball’s return has been a welcome one but he has again missed the last two games through injury, and is doubtful for this one. Without him, they have very little to lean on, with rookie Brandon Miller really their best player. That aside, it’s the likes of PJ Washington, Ish Smith and Nick Richards trying to get the job done – not a team that is going to be particularly competitive in the NBA. The Bulls aren’t great but they have a solid enough team led by DeMar DeRozan, the improved Coby White, the reliable enough Nikola Vucevic, and a couple of other nice pieces like Ayo Dosunmu and Alex Caruso. That team won’t beat anyone of substance in the post season but it’s certainly good enough to dispose of the Hornets in their current state without too much of a hassle. Even if Ball is in the Bulls should cover this, but without him – and note that he is not expected to play – this should be an easy win for the Bulls.

Bulls -2.5 @ Hornets @ $1.88

Phoenix Suns @ Brooklyn Nets

Suns -3.5 | $1.91 with BlueBet

Talent isn’t everything, but it is certainly something, and in this match up there is a hell of a lot more of it on the visiting side. The Suns have one of the most talented teams in the league led by Devin Booker and Kevin Durant, and with Bradley Beal providing a pretty damn handy third wheel, and though they haven’t exactly had the season they had hoped for, they are beginning to turn things around, surprise surprise, now that they have a bit of continuity in their lineup. They won seven games in a row through the middle stages of January, and though that streak came to an end with a couple of consecutive losses, they bounced back in dominating fashion against the Heat in their last outing. The Nets, too, are coming off a big win, having dismantled the Jazz to the tune of 33 points, but that does little to change the fact that they are no more than a middling team in the Eastern Conference. In fact, prior to the two wins they have enjoyed in their last two games, they had lost 12 of their last 14 to fall outside of the top ten in the East, while the Suns have crawled into the top six in the West with their strong run of form. The Suns are a far better team than the Nets on talent alone, and notwithstanding the last couple of games, they have also been playing very well for an extended period while the Nets have been doing the opposite. The Nets will play this one at home, but they are only .500 on their home floor while the Suns have actually been better on the road than in Phoenix. This should be a comfortable win for the Suns, and the 3.5 point line set by betting agencies should be small enough for them to cover. 

Suns -3.5 @ Nets @ $1.91

Dallas Mavericks @ Minnesota Timberwolves

Mavericks under 105.5 total match points | $1.90 with PlayUp 

The Mavericks don’t often go under this points total – in fact, the last time they did was back on the 10th of January – but they also typically have one of the most remarkable offensive players in the game’s history putting up absurd numbers to help them to a big total. Luka Doncic, however, will sit out from this game with an ankle injury, joining the other half of this wildly talented back court in Kyrie Irving on the sidelines. That means that this will be a Mavericks side without a whole lot of offence – the ball handling and scoring duties will fall to the likes of Jaden Hardy, Tim Hardaway Jr and Seth Curry, who can be handy enough role players on their day – particularly the latter two – but aren’t really an NBA quality offence on their own. What’s more, they have been playing alongside a justifiably ball dominant Doncic, and are accustomed to basically serving a role as a finisher alongside him. This will be a totally different task and one that they are not at all used to, and making matters worse they have to do it against the league’s best offence. The Wolves pretty regularly keep teams below this total, having done it basically every second game harking back quite a long way in this season. Against a team that has very little offensive firepower and which is not at all used to playing without perhaps the most ball dominant player in the league, it’s hard to see the Mavericks even cracking 100. Certainly guys like Tim Hardaway Jr could get hot and help them to a bigger total, but the odds definitely seem to be on the side of the under here.  

Mavericks under 105.5 total match points @ Timberwolves @ $1.90

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James is a sports writer from Melbourne, and has contributed to a variety of publications covering a range of sports including basketball, cricket, Australian Rules, golf and surfing to name a few. An avid fan of all of the above and more, James’ downtime is spent falling ungracefully off his surfboard, turning over footies and playing an out of tune guitar.