NBA Expert Tips and Best Bets | Dec 20

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

After a big day of games on Tuesady, Australia time, Wednesday will play host to only four games in the NBA. It isn’t exactly the most enthralling slate of games either, but despite that we have managed to eke out a bit of value across the day. Check out our three best bets for Wednesday’s NBA action below. 

Memphis Grizzlies @ New Orleans Pelicans

Pelicans -6.5 | $1.90 with PlayUp 

It’s been a really rough start to the season for the Grizzlies without Ja Morant, going 6-19 across his 25-game absence. But at long last, he will return for their next game, and the NBA betting sites have adjusted the line as a result – too much, in my view. The Grizz are coming off a five game losing streak, the latest of which was a 19-point thrashing at the hands of the Thunder. With Ja Morant back in they will be a substantially better team, but given they have been playing without him for so long it’s not going to be an immediate panacea for the team. What’s more, the Pelicans are starting to play some really good basketball, recovering from their In-Season Tournament thrashing at the hands of the Lakers by winning four consecutive games – including one against the Timberwolves, and their latest by a huge 36 points against the Spurs. With Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum as their core, Herb Jones one of the best defenders in the league, Jonas Valanciunas playing solid ball at centre and Trey Murphy III providing plenty of spark off the bench, this is a quality unit, and at home they’ve been particularly strong this season, winning nine of 13. If Ja Morant wasn’t back this line would likely be in the double figures, and though he will help the Grizzlies, they will still likely struggle on the road against a playoff quality team. 

Pelicans -6.5 vs Grizzlies | $1.90

San Antonio Spurs @ Milwaukee Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo to score 40+ points | $3.40 with BlueBet

Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the game’s absolute best and is an elite scoring threat no matter who he is playing against, but the way he plays means that there is generally an element of predictability to when he is going to put up big numbers. Teams which really lack rim protection can’t build the wall in front of him which is required to stop him, and the Spurs well and truly fit into that category – at least they will in this game. Normally, they have Victor Wembanyama, who just a quarter of the way into his rookie season is already one of the best rim protectors in the league, but he will miss this game with an ankle injury. That leaves very little interior defence for the Spurs, with Zach Collins likely to line up at centre and not a whole lot else in the way of size and athleticism to stop the Greek Freak getting to the basket at will. He’s scored 40 four times in 25 games so far this year – not a seemingly great strike rate for a bet at $3.40, but a closer look at those teams reveals what I just talked about. He had those games against Indiana, who give up heaps of points to everyone, the Mavericks and Wizards in back to back games, each of whom seriously lacks an ability to stop interior scoring, and then the Pacers once again. The main problem with this bet will be the fact that the Bucks will likely win by so much they may not need Giannis in the last quarter, but even notwithstanding that fact he is a good chance to get this number at good odds with most betting agencies

Giannis Antetokounmpo to score 40+ points | $3.40

Boston Celtics @ Golden State Warriors

Klay Thompson Over 19.5 Points | $1.89 with GetSetBet 

Sticking with the player props, let’s now take a look at the second half of the Splash Brothers in Klay Thompson. It’s been a seriously tough season to date for Thompson, who has struggled enormously and subsequently been on the receiving end of plenty of criticism. That criticism is not generally sent with much venom given he has long been one of the more popular players in the league, but he has looked a shadow of his former self this season and with so many seemingly talented young bench players on the Warriors, questions have been asked about whether they should get more minutes when Thompson is struggling. But as all champions do, Thompson has responded in kind with his spot in the Warriors’ finishing lineup being questioned. After a disastrous performance against the Suns in which he went 2-10 for seven points, he has finally recaptured his groove over the last three games, scoring at least 24 in each, averaging over 27 points, and shooting 54% from the field and nearly 55% from three – hitting a huge 17 in those three games. He has well and truly found his feet and is clearly feeling himself, and when Thompson gets in a mood he is hard to stop. He’s passed this total in his past three games and four of his last five, and though every game is different with him, he does appear to be playing like the Thompson of old at the time being. Entering the game with plenty of confidence, he should get a lot of shots up, and hit enough of them to pass this total.  

Klay Thompson over 19.5 points | $1.89

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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.