NBA Expert Tips and Best Bets | Dec 30

NBA Tips & Best Bets
Best Bets 2023 / 2024

The second last day of 2023 in Australia will bring with it nine NBA games, a couple of which will pit some of the best teams in the business against one another. It kicks off at 11am AEDT, and these are our three best bets to take you through the day. 

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Denver Nuggets

Nuggets -3.5 | $1.85 with GetSetBet 

The Nuggets are beginning to fire on all cylinders, with a near-full team to choose from leading to six straight victories and nine wins in their last ten games. Nikola Jokic is doing what Nikola Jokic does, Jamal Murray is playing his best basketball for the season, and the rest of their very well-rounded team is continuing to play its role to perfection. Aaron Gordon is a significant loss after he suffered an injury, bizarrely, from a dog attack, but his teammates managed okay without him in their first outing, beating the Grizzlies by a casual 37 points. On Saturday they’ll welcome a very, very good OKC Thunder side, but given that Denver in Denver is perhaps the toughest trip in basketball, the 3.5-point line set by NBA betting sites seems a little low. The Nuggets are 13-2 on their home floor this season after going 34-7 there last season, so whoever they play there is good reason to think that they will cover such a short line. Granted, as mentioned the Thunder are really good, and they are incidentally one of the two teams to have beat Denver in Denver this season, having won by one point there last time these sides met. But as good as the Thunder are, the chances of that happening again are slim, and with such a small line the Nuggets look like good value to cover in this game.

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Nuggets -3.5 vs Thunder @ $1.85

Milwaukee Bucks @ Cleveland Cavaliers

Bucks -5.5 | $2.00 with PlayUp 

The Cavaliers have not had the best of luck from an injury standpoint thus far this season, and though they have generally weathered the storm really well it’s hard to see them being overly competitive against the Bucks in this game given the lineup they’re likely to have to throw out there. Both Darius Garland and Evan Mobley will be absent, as they will be for multiple weeks, while a lot will hinge on the health of Donovan Mitchell, who is questionable with illness. They’ve been excellent so far without them, winning three of their last four games with all of those guys out, but the Bucks are the best team they will have met in that time by some margin. In their latest outing, the Cavs were down comfortably against the one-man Mavericks before charging home with a vengeance led by Caris LeVert, but those LeVert performances, impressive though they are, are generally a one-game affair. This is going to be a relatively lopsided affair from a talent perspective; the Cavs may have Mitchell out there, but even if they do he may still be affected by illness. Jarrett Allen is a good NBA centre, and Max Strus, LeVert and Isaac Okoro can all provide valuable contributions, but that ability pales in comparison to Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, a Khris Middleton getting back to his best, and Brook Lopez. The Bucks have won nine of their last ten games and they have all been by a minimum of four points, while seven of those nine have been by well over this line. They are one of the championship favourites for a reason, and against a depleted Cavs team should be comfortably too good. 

Bucks -5.5 vs Cavaliers @ $2.00

Sacramento Kings @ Atlanta Hawks

Under 250.5 total match points | $1.90 with BlueBet

The Kings and the Hawks both like to play at a fast pace, led by their respective point guards in De’Aaron Fox and Trae Young. At their best they are high scoring teams which put up and concede big scores, but the line for this game is set really, really high by the betting agencies. In each of their last three games, neither of these teams has got particularly close to this total; the Kings’ totals are 243, 208 and 225, while for the Hawks it’s 244, 241 and 235. Those are reasonably high scoring games but still fall short of this total set, and while it’s tempting to anticipate a whole lot of points in a game such as this, there is plenty of scope for it to be the fast-paced game many expect and still fall short of this total. The Hawks, incidentally, have lost their last three games, while the Kings have lost three of their past four, too, and while a couple of those results have been the product of poor defence, a lot of it has been as a result of inefficient scoring as well. I fully expect this to be an up and down game with a lot of transition scoring and plenty of short possessions, but that doesn’t mean it will get past this total. This is about as high as a total over/under will get, and so far this year a number like this has generally been reserved for the historically high scoring matchups of the Indiana Pacers. Expect plenty of points and an entertaining game in this one, but it should still fall short of this very high total. 

bluebet Betting Site
Kings @ Hawks under 250.5 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.