We have a massive NBA slate of games on deck for Wednesday. 26 of the 30 teams will be in action with 13 games scheduled across the evening. Basketball Insiders takes a look at the NBA best bets and picks for the January 19th NBA betting slate. Odds for the picks can be found at BetOnline Sportsbook.
NBA Best Bets and Picks Tonight, 1/19
76ers (-12) vs Magic (-115)
It probably comes as no surprise that this NBA best bets selection is a fade of the Orlando Magic more than anything. The team with the worst record in the league just lost by double-digits at home to a shorthanded Portland Trail Blazers outfit on Monday night. While the Philadelphia 76ers will also be without some players in tonight’s game, the market has not been shy about moving the spread in their favor.
Perhaps part of the reasoning stems from the fact that none of the Sixers players who will be unavailable tonight constitute the team’s primary core. The absence of standout defender Matisse Thybulle will be minimized in a matchup against an awful Orlando offense. The Magic come into Wednesday’s contest ranked 29th in offensive efficiency, averaging only 100.0 points per 100 possessions. Philadelphia averages nearly nine points more at 108.7. Given that each of Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey are available tonight, the 76ers should have little trouble breaking down the shaky Magic defense.
One potential key to this NBA betting ATS prediction could be the performance of backup point guard, Furkan Korkmaz. With Shake Milton out injured, Korkmaz has been thrust into a larger role for Philly recently. He has struggled mightily with his shot, but perhaps a favorable defensive matchup will help jumpstart him tonight.
On the Orlando side, Wendell Carter Jr. is likely to remain sidelined with a nagging hamstring injury. Embiid figures to have his way inside against Mo Bamba and Robin Lopez. The talent disparity will simply be too much for the Magic to overcome in this matchup. After the 76ers suffered a blowout road loss to Washington two days ago, Doc Rivers’ team will be hungry to get back on track tonight.
Thunder (+7) at Spurs (-105)
It was rather surprising to see the NBA betting spread open at a full six points for tonight’s matchup between the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs. It is even more shocking to note that the line has since moved even further in the Spurs’ favor. Aside from this game taking place on their home floor, the gap between these two teams simply is not that great.
The Thunder have been one of the most feisty teams as an ATS underdog recently and all season long. A 28-14-1 ATS mark on the season ranks second only to Cleveland for the best record against the number. Oklahoma City is as healthy as they have been in some time and have played multiple quality opponents extremely tough over the past week. The Thunder’s last five results include back-to-back four-point losses to Denver and Washington, a road win over Brooklyn, a five-point home loss to Cleveland and a two-point loss on the road against Dallas on Monday.
OKC’s young star, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, has been on fire of late. The return of Luguentz Dort to the lineup cannot be overstated. The Thunder now have a reliable second-scoring option behind SGA. The young supporting cast around them including rookie Josh Giddey continues to play hard. While the Spurs have also gotten healthier over the past few days after seeing several players sidelined in virus protocols, laying such a massive number with this team is far from appealing.
The Thunder and Spurs have matched up once so far this season. That game wound up as a four-point victory for the Thunder. Winning on the road will be much tougher, but backing OKC to continue their terrific run ATS against a below-average opponent is well worth it.
Rockets-Jazz Under 230.5 (-110)
The opening total of 235 for tonight’s game between the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz has plummeted to a consensus line of 230.5. The difference in Utah’s play on the defensive end with center Rudy Gobert on the floor compared to without him is night and day. In addition to this being Gobert’s third game back, the Jazz will also be playing without Donovan Mitchell. This set up a positive outlook for Utah defensively. The absence of their top scorer also figures to negatively impact the offense to a certain extent.
That being said, it should be noted that the opposing Rockets are the worst team in the NBA on the defensive end. Houston ranks dead last in points allowed per game (116.7) and defensive efficiency (112.7 points allowed per 100 possessions). The Rockets also average the third-most possessions per game of any team. However, Houston’s fast pace of play and horrendous defense are likely to be negated somewhat by the Jazz side of the equation in tonight’s matchup.
One final point to keep in mind is that the over/under for Utah’s game against the L.A. Lakers on Monday was set at 230.5. The Lakers average an even faster pace of play than the Rockets and are also a bad defensive team. After that under wound up as a rocking-chair winner (196 total points scored), it makes sense to pursue a similar route for tonight’s game.
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