NBA Expert Tips and Best Bets | January 25

NBA Tips & Best Bets
Best Bets 2023 / 2024

There is a solid amount of NBA action to get you through your Thursday in Australia, with eight games scheduled for the final day of a shortened working week. It kicks off at 11am AEDT with a couple of very uninspiring games involving each of the Hornets, Pistons and Wizards, though a couple of more exciting games later on include the Cavs taking on the Bucks and the Suns facing off against the Mavericks. These are our three best bets for the day’s action. 

Charlotte Hornets @ Detroit Pistons

Brandon Miller over 17.5 total match points | $1.90 with PlayUp 

Brandon Miller was drafted with the second pick behind a big Frenchman by the name of Victor Wembanyama in the 2023 draft, and while he hasn’t been able to put his name into contention for the Rookie of the Year Award behind that man and Chet Holmgren, he has been pretty damn impressive himself. For the season he has averaged a solid 14.9 points on decent shooting percentages, but he appears to be very quickly learning how to become even more effective in the NBA. Since returning from a two-game absence last week he has played three games, averaging 24.7 points in those and scoring at least 23 in each of them. And it’s not just a result of some unsustainable shooting streak – certainly in his most recent outing he was stroking it, going 11-13 from the field and 3-4 from deep, but in the two games prior he shot just over 50% from the field and 35.3% from long range – good but not unbelievable numbers, indicating his scoring spike is more a result in looking for and taking more shots. We like that, because it means that he will likely get plenty of opportunity to surpass this points total. What’s more, he’s playing against the might, or lack thereof, of the Detroit Pistons. I always like that for rookies – they are used to playing against teams worse than those that they face in the NBA, so when they come up against the worst teams in the league it’s much closer to what they are used to and they, more so than their more experienced counterparts, are likely to fluctuate a lot based on their opposition. All of that points to another nice Brandon Miller game in which he will surpass this points total set by NBA betting sites

Brandon Miller over 17.5 total match points @ $1.90

Oklahoma City Thunder @ San Antonio Spurs

Thunder -6.5 | $1.90 with GetSetBet 

The Thunder didn’t do things quite as easily as they would have expected to against the Blazers in their most recent outings, but they did what they needed to in order to get their win and their reward was that they jumped past the Timberwolves into top spot in the Western Conference. That is some effort for a team as young as they are, but it’s certainly no fluke. They are super talented and will only get better, and are going to prove an absolute handful for anyone they take on in the postseason. The Spurs are hoping to get there one day largely on the very long back of Victor Wembanyama, but they are a hell of a long way off it at the minute. They sit at the exact other end of the Western Conference standings, and by some margin too, with an 8-35 record putting them four games clear in last place. They’ve won four games since mid-December, and those have come against the Blazers, Pistons, Hornets and Wizards – the only teams vying with them for the title of worst in the NBA. They’ve put in a few more competitive performances of late, but a 6.5 point line is still very slim for a team as good as a Thunder, even if they are on the road and even if it is the second leg of a back to back. In their last five games, their four losses have been by 10 points, 4 points, 19 points and 10 points, with that 4-point loss coming against the hapless Hornets. Against the Thunder, a double digit loss looks to be on the cards once again. 

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Thunder -6.5 @ Spurs @ $1.90

Phoenix Suns @ Dallas Mavericks

Suns -1.5 | $1.90 with BlueBet

The Suns and the Mavericks sit very close to one another in the Western Conference standings, with just one game separating the two more than halfway into the season. But while the Suns have been hitting their best form of the year, the Mavericks have been trending in the opposite direction. In fairness that has been largely on the back of a run of really tough games, but nonetheless they have lost four of their last six to fall back to eighth, the last two of which came by nine points to the Mavs and 17 points to the Lakers with both Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving playing. The Suns, meanwhile, are at long, long last getting an extended run with their wildly talented Durant, Booker, Beal trio, and surprise surprise, they are suddenly winning games. Six of them in a row, in fact. A couple of them have been tight ones, but nonetheless they’ve continued to find a way, and they’ve done it against some pretty good teams. Granted they have had some otherworldly performances of late – last game, KD scored 43 points while the game before that he had 40, and the game before that Booker had 52. But while that 52 might be a bit out of the box, 40-point performances from this team can’t exactly just be written off as a fluky, once-a-season occurrence. They have two of the best offensive players in the league and another very, very good one in Beal, so yeah – they’re going to score a lot of points. This is a team which I had as a very real championship contender entering the season and I’m not willing to write them off just yet, and their recent form is something that will not be lost on the NBA world. The Suns might tail off after their top three, but the Mavericks do so after just their top two – even on the road, the Suns should be able to get the job done here, and can cover the very short line set by betting agencies.  

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Suns -1.5 @ Mavericks @ $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.