NBA Expert Tips and Best Bets | January 23

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

Wednesday Australia time will play host to a pretty small slate of NBA action, but included among those matchups are a couple of big rivalries. After the Pacers and the Nuggets kick things off, the New York Knicks take on the Brooklyn Nets while later in the day, the battle of LA will see the Lakers take on the Clippers. One of those games in particular looks to offer up a fair bit of value, while a couple of player props make up our other best bets of the day. Check them out below.  

Denver Nuggets @ Indiana Pacers

Michael Porter Jr over 16.5 total match points | $1.90 with PlayUp 

The Nuggets are as well-oiled a machine as there is in the NBA, which generally makes them relatively to difficult to bet on from a player prop perspective as there isn’t a huge amount of variance in what a lot of their players do on a nightly basis. Michael Porter Jr, however, has hit a rich vein of form which has seen his contribution skyrocket over the past few games. The 16.5 points set as his line by NBA betting sites is right on his season-long average of 16.4 points, but since 2024 began his production has risen fairly significantly. In the ten games this year he has surpassed this number on seven occasions, including in four of his past five games and six of his last eight. What’s more, he’s regularly been doing it relatively comfortably, scoring at least 20 in five of those games this year. He’s only averaging 17.2 points in that time – just slightly above his average – but that’s with games of 5 and 8 points in there. He’s certainly at risk of an off shooting night and his inability to find buckets himself that aren’t jump shots means that typically that will result in a low points game, but for an extended period of time now that has not been happening all that often. Already, having passed this total in four of his past five games and six of his past eight makes it a pretty good bet, but adding further to my confidence is the fact that they are playing the Pacers, who score the most and concede the second most points in the league. Their games are played at breakneck speed and invariably result in a few extra shots for the opposing team, so Porter Jr’s prospects of scoring at least 17 look a lot better than the near even money on offer for him to do it. 

Michael Porter Jr over 16.5 total match points @ $1.90

Portland Trail Blazers @ Oklahoma City Thunder

Jalen Williams over 23.5 total match points + assists | $1.90 with BlueBet

The Oklahoma City Thunder have emerged as legitimate championship contenders this season. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander developing into an MVP candidate is certainly a major reason why, but so too is the rapid ascension of both Chet Holmgren, and our guy Jalen Williams. Williams is a gun, and recently he has been electric. His assist numbers have gone through the roof while he’s also been scoring more and taking more shots. Each of the points over and the assists over look tempting enough, but combined they look even better. He has surpassed his points total of 19.5 in his last four games and eight of his last ten (though a few of them have been marginal), while he’s passed his 4.5 assists total in seven of his last ten games, averaging 6.3 in that time. All up, he has only failed to pass 23.5 total match points + assists twice in his last ten games, including in the Thunder’s most recent outing when he had exactly 23. It’s also worth noting that instance came against the Timberwolves, one of the best defences in the league. The Portland Trail Blazers are certainly not that. They give up heaps of points and the Thunder should be able to slice them up, and with Williams playing the way that he is he should be able to comfortably surpass this total. 

Jalen Williams over 23.5 total match points + assists @ $1.90

New York Knicks @ Brooklyn Nets

Knicks -3.5 | $1.89 with GetSetBet 

The Knicks are a much better side than the Nets this season, but they have only been installed as relatively slight favourites by betting agencies for this game. Behind Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle, with OG Anunoby having recently joined the fray and Isaiah Hartenstein capably filling in for Mitchell Robinson, they’ve been in great form since the start of the year, winning nine of their 11 games in 2024 – all, of course, under the watchful eye of Tom Thibodeau. They are in the conversation for the best team in the Eastern Conference outside of the big three of Milwaukee, Boston and Philadelphia, a conversation the Nets are not a part of. Their mish-mash team is plodding along at 17-25, in with a chance to make the lower end of the play-in tournament but not a whole lot else. Their form is almost the exact reverse of the Knicks – they are 2-10 across their last 12, and in the past couple of weeks have lost twice to the Trail Blazers. It’s not a great form line, and one which suggests that they will really struggle against the Knicks. Hartenstein is questionable for the game which would leave the Knicks thin at the five, but while Nic Claxton is a capable young player he’s not exactly the type who is going to dominate if given a smaller matchup, particularly with the strong team defence which Thibodeau installs in all of his teams. This is technically a home Brooklyn game but obviously the Knicks don’t have to travel for it, and they should be able to cover the line relatively comfortably.

Knicks -3.5 @ Nets | $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.