NBA Expert Tips and Best Bets | Dec 19

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

Tuesday will see the majority of NBA teams take to the floor, with 11 games and 22 teams set to duke it out over the course of the day. There looks to be a few good pieces of value floating around, so read on to see our three best bets of the day, kicking off with a tip for the Rockets’ woeful road record to continue. 

Houston Rockets @ Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavaliers -5.5| $1.96 with PlayUp 

The Cavaliers have been far from their best this season and there are rumours circulating about whether they will keep their current band together, while Evan Mobley’s mid-length absence is adding further to their troubles. But despite those concerns, they are a good team, and against a Rockets team which has been really bad on the road this season, they look like a good bet to cover their line in this game. Houston has been one of the success stories of the season to date, improving drastically to become a genuine playoff contender, but that improvement has by and large been on their own home court. On the road they have been a different team entirely, winning just two of their 11 away games to date. It is worth noting that those two wins have come in their last three away games, but still – a record of 2-9 does not instil a great deal of confidence in their ability to compete against a good team in this game. What’s more, this will be the third game of a road trip which has thus far sent them to Memphis and Milwaukee, and will be the second leg of a back to back after a tough game against the Bucks yesterday. There is a lot going against the Rockets in this game, and the Cavs, after a strong nine-point defeat of the Hawks in their last outing, should be able to get this done by more than the six points required to cover the line set by NBA betting sites.

Cavaliers -5.5 vs Rockets | $1.89

Los Angeles Clippers @ Indiana Pacers

Clippers -2.5 | $1.88 with GetSetBet 

I like this one a lot. The Pacers have been another much improved team this season, with their borderline historic offence led by the unstoppable Tyrese Haliburton helping to lead them to a 13-11 record at the time of writing. But things are beginning to unravel for the In-Season Tournament runners-up, who have now lost three games in a row. The last of those was by 18 points to the Timberwolves without Haliburton after he suffered an injury, and if he misses this game too then this bet gets a hell of a lot better (he is currently listed as questionable to suit up). Even if he does play, however, there is good reason to think that the Clippers should be relatively comfortably too good, most notably that they are arguably the best team in the NBA right now. That might not be the case in a general sense, but at the moment at least they are playing like a legitimate championship contender. With Westbrook having voluntarily headed to the bench, the triumvirate of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and James Harden has been unstoppable, while Westbrook has provided valuable punch off the bench. That combination – and plenty of other useful pieces – has helped them to win seven games in a row, and they’re impressive wins, too. Their latest was a 22-point drubbing of the Knicks, while prior to that they beat the Warriors by eight and the Kings by 20. They are a better team than the Pacers by some margin to start with, so when each of these teams’ respective form lines are added to the equation, the line of 2.5 points set by betting agencies looks like one the Clippers should cover with relative ease.  

Clippers -2.5 @ Pacers | $1.90

Los Angeles Clippers @ Indiana Pacers

Over 240.5 Total Match Points | $1.90 with BlueBet

Sticking to the same game now, and to a bet type which has given us plenty of success so far this season – the Pacers over. Granted last game it didn’t quite get up, falling just a couple of points short, but that was against the number one ranked defensive team in the league, and even still that game saw 236 points scored. This time around, the highest scoring team in the NBA by some margin is coming up against another team which has been putting up some big totals of late in the Clippers. The latest of the Clippers game saw a huge 266 points scored, 144 of them by the Clippers, while a couple of games before that saw 259 scored when they faced the Blazers. The two games in between failed to go over this total, but one went very close at 234 points, and when teams play the Pacers you can generally count on a hell of a lot more total match points being scored than what their opposition usually manages. Given the Clippers have been right around this total pretty often of late, that they are now coming up against a Pacers team which has flown past it a lot more often than not this season suggests that this should be a super high scoring game. Very few Pacers games have total match points set at less than this – the same line was set when they played the best defensive team in the league in the Timberwolves last game – and the Clippers are far from the lowest scoring team in the league. All signs point to this one zooming over the match points line set by betting sites of 240.5 points. 

Clippers @ Pacers Over 240.5 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.