NBA Expert Tips and Best Bets | January 19

James Salmon
NBA Tips, Predictions & News
NBA Tips & Best Bets
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Just five NBA games will take us through to the weekend down under, with Friday’s action kicking off at 11:30am AEDT with the Raptors hosting the Bulls, before wrapping up with a clash between the Grizzlies and the Timberwolves. The slate of games isn’t exactly anything to write home about, but we have managed to seek out a little bit of value throughout the course of the day. 

Chicago Bulls @ Toronto Raptors

Raptors to win outright  | $2.10 with GetSetBet 

Both of these teams are a little tough to pick at the minute, but the Raptors have opened as slight underdogs with NBA betting sites on their home floor, and to me that represents a little bit of value. The Bulls, since Zach LaVine got injured, have actually been consistently pretty good, but he’s now back and though it’s not entirely due to that, their form has begun to wobble once again. They’ve lost two of their last three, one to the struggling Warriors and the other by a big margin to the Cavaliers, while their win was only by six points against the 7-32 Spurs. The Raptors, meanwhile, underwent a big change after losing four games on the trot by sending Pascal Siakam to Indiana, and while that will likely make them even less of a playoff threat than they already were, their first game without him seems to suggest that it has at least shaken things up a bit. They jumped out to a huge early lead against the Miami Heat and didn’t give it up, ultimately winning 121-97 on the back of a well-rounded team performance. They’ve been a fair bit better at home than on the road this season, while for the Bulls the difference is even more stark – while they’re 13-10 in Chicago, they are just 6-13 when playing away from home. It’s worth noting that the Raptors are on the second leg of a back to back, but both games were at home and given the shellacking they gave the Heat, their starters were able to rest for much of the final quarter. This may very well be a close game, but given the indifferent form of the Bulls and that the Raptors are coming off a strong first performance since Siakam departed, and that the game is being played in Toronto, it feels as though they should be favourites.

Raptors to win outright vs Bulls @ $2.10

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Utah Jazz

Jazz +3.5 | $1.90 with BlueBet

Everything about this feels wrong, but what the Utah Jazz are doing at the moment is oh so right. Their makeshift roster consisting of a bunch of okay but not that good players from other teams is, somehow, playing like one of the best teams in the league at the minute, having won six games in a row, nine of their last 10, and 12 of their last 14. What’s more, they haven’t just been beating up on poor teams. Included among their current six-game winning streak are victories over the Lakers, Nuggets, Bucks, Sixers – three of those by double figure numbers – while the other two were a 32-point victory over the Raptors and a 27-point win over the Pacers. That is some seriously good form. Will Hardy has them playing a level of basketball which is proving difficult to match for even the best teams in the league – a category the Thunder can very much put themselves into. This will be another tough one for the Jazz – OKC are sitting in second in the West and have established themselves as a legitimate contender this season, but so too are the Sixers, Bucks and Nuggets – each of whom the Jazz have beaten in recent games. What’s more, the Thunder are on the third leg of a tough road trip, having already faced and lost to both Los Angeles based teams in their last couple of games. They’ve been decent on the road this season, albeit a level below their home form, but the Jazz in Utah have been terrific, particularly during this current run. They’re 15-5 for the season and have won their last nine on their home court, so as 3.5-point underdogs they look like clearly being the value selection in this game. 

Jazz +3.5 vs Thunder @ $1.90

Indiana Pacers @ Sacramento Kings

Under 245.5 total match points | $1.90 with PlayUp 

The Pacers and the Kings are both typically pretty high scoring teams, the Pacers sitting atop the league for points scored and the Kings back in eighth, but they have each slowed down both in terms of their own offence and their restriction of opposition scoring recently. The Pacers have surpassed the 245.5 over/under match points set by betting agencies for this game just once in their past six games, with none of the others getting over 237. A lot of that is due to Tyrese Haliburton’s absence, and he is questionable for this game – if he returns it probably increases the chance of more scoring, but even so he has been absent for most of the past five games so may well be on some form of minutes restriction. Hopefully for the sake of this bet he doesn’t play, but even so, with the Kings having also been rarely surpassing this total this looks like a good bet. Just like the Pacers, they have only passed this total once in their past six games, and a couple of their last few games have gone a long way under. If Haliburton plays, with Fox and him running their respective teams’ offence this will likely be a high octane, fast paced games, but even so the total is set really high. One out of each teams’ past six games going over this total certainly points in one direction; even if they both score higher than what they have been in recent games – which is very possible due to the probable pace of the game – there is still plenty of room for this one to squeeze under this high total.  

Pacers @ Kings Under 245.5 total match points @ $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.