NBA Expert Tips and Best Bets | Dec 29

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

Eight games will take place across the NBA on Friday, Australia time, kicking off with Detroit trying – most likely unsuccessfully – to end their extraordinary losing streak against probably the best team in the league in the Celtics. We’ll steer clear of that one from a betting perspective, but have managed to suss out some value across the rest of the association. These are my three favourites. 

Miami Heat @ Golden State Warriors

Warriors -3.5 | $1.90 with GetSetBet 

After a tumultuous first 20 or so games of the season, the Warriors are beginning to recapture their groove. They may not be quite the force that they have been for so much of the past decade, but their old timers – minus the indefinitely suspended Draymond Green, of course – still have a lot to offer and the newer faces are beginning to show their talent, too. They’ve won five of their last six games, the solitary loss coming in their most recent games by just six points to the reigning champions in the Nuggets. Incidentally, they have also now won eight games on the trot on their home floor, but despite that NBA betting sites have only installed them as relatively marginal favourites against the Heat. In fairness, the Heat have been playing good basketball too, managing reasonably well without Jimmy Butler – who is questionable for this game – over their past few outings, thanks in no small part to the impressive form of Tyler Herro since his own return from injury. They have now won three games on the trot, but will have their work cut continuing that streak given the form the Warriors have displayed of late, in particular on their own home floor. With just a 3.5-point handicap given to them, Golden State should be able to cover the line in this one. 

Warriors -3.5 vs Heat @ $1.90

San Antonio Spurs @ Portland Trail Blazers

Anfernee Simons to score 30+ points | $2.10 with BlueBet

Anfernee Simons has been given a whole lot more responsibility this season with Damian Lillard out of the equation, and though the Blazers are not winning many games, he is certainly not the reason why. He’s averaging a career high 27.1 points per game on solid shooting percentages, and has been particularly damaging of late. Over the Blazers’ last ten games, excluding one in which he only played half a game, he has averaged a tick over 30 points per game, and importantly is taking plenty of shots. In that time he’s scored at least 23 points in every game, and though he has only hit 30 on four of those occasions he’s been very close virtually every outing. That might suggest that the betting sites’ odds for this market are on the money, so to speak, but the Blazers are welcoming one of the worst teams in the league to their home floor. They will have an easier time putting up a score than they normally do, and with the likes of Tre Jones guarding him Simons should be able to do what he wants out there. Another thing I like about this one is the huge volume of shots our guy is taking – he took 25 last game and 28 a couple of games before that, and with a lot of those three-point attempts – and 40% of those going down – that should be enough shots against a bottom team to crack the 30 mark. 

Anfernee Simons to score 30+ points vs Spurs @ $2.10

Charlotte Hornets @ Los Angeles Lakers

Anthony Davis over 28.5 points | $1.90 with PlayUp 

For all of the criticism that he receives, Anthony Davis has actually been in terrific form of late. Often those criticisms centre around his inability to bring the same level of dominance of which he is so capable on a nightly basis, but in recent times that has not been such an issue. Since his dominant 41-point performance in the In-Season Tournament final, Davis has been a one-man wrecking ball nearly every game, scoring at least 31 points in six of eight games inclusive of that final. He’s getting 20 or more shots up per game and is averaging 32.88 points. Six out of his last eight is a pretty good strike rate for an even money bet, particularly since he’s not coming up the strongest defence in the world in the Hornets. The main concern with this one may be the Lakers winning by too much and him not having to play too much in the final quarter, but even if that does happen hopefully Davis will have been a primary reason why. He’s more than capable of chasing down this number even if he does play reduced minutes, and if he stays out there for the whole game it seems likely that he will be putting in some more big numbers. 

Anthony Davis over 28.5 total match points vs Hornets @ $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.