NBA picks: Best bets for Thursday night
Mike Ortiz Jr. makes his NBA picks and predictions for Thursday night, with three best bets.
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Best NBA Bets for Thursday 1/12/23: Odds, Picks and Predictions
Celtics vs Nets Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under - NBA Betting Lines 1/12Moneyline: Boston Celtics (-150), Brooklyn Nets (+130)
Spread: Boston Celtics -3, Brooklyn Nets +3
Total: Over/Under 228 points
Celtics vs Nets Predictions and Pick
With Kevin Durant expected to be out for at least a month with a knee injury, the Nets will get their first taste of life without their biggest star.
Despite having a rough December as they lost six of their 12 games and started the new year off 0-2, the Celtics have regained control as they enter this primetime TNT matchup on a four-game winning streak.
While the Nets enter this matchup as the second best seed in the Eastern Conference and sit just two games behind the Celtics, the gap between these two is significant. Despite not having Ben Simmons in the first matchup between these teams, the Celtics still won 103-92. Simmons will be present in this matchup, but without Durant offensively this Nets team will again struggle to keep pace.
Yes, the Nets are fifth in the NBA in opponents' points per game this season, but without Durant, their 13th-ranked offense will struggle. This spread certainly comes to me as a shock as three points without Durant doesn’t make any sense.
This isn’t a trap game either, this is what we call a free play. So, cash in your tickets and take the Boston Celtics as they’ll win big in this one.
The Pick: Boston Celtics -3 (-110)
Mavs vs Lakers Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under - NBA Betting Lines 1/12
Moneyline: Dallas Mavericks (-155), Los Angeles Lakers +135)
Spread: Dallas Mavericks -3, Los Angeles Lakers +3
Total: Over/Under 233 points
Mavs vs Lakers Predictions
When these two teams met back on Christmas Day, despite not having Anthony Davis, the Lakers had complete control of the game. They led 54-43 at halftime and were playing lockdown defense. However, they completely fell apart in the third quarter as the Mavericks outscored them 51 to 21 and took complete control of the game.
In that game, Mavericks’ Luka Doncic finally got some help from his teammates on the scoring end as Christian Wood had 30 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 26 points. While Wood had his way with the Lakers from start to finish, Hardaway only had three points in the first half as the Lakers played great defensively.
Doncic is going to get his, but if the Lakers can keep his teammates in check like they did in the first half of that first meeting, then you’ll see this Lakers team cruise to their sixth victory in seven games. But allowing 117.8 points per game to their opponents, which ranks 27th in the NBA, isn’t that encouraging.
Luckily for the Lakers, they’ll get a Mavericks offense that ranks 21st in the NBA in points per game. Defending their role players and attacking the paint is the key to the Lakers success.
The Mavericks spoiled their Christmas but the Lakers will get revenge at home as the Mavericks role players come back to earth in this one.
The Pick: Los Angeles Lakers +3 (-110)
Cavaliers vs Trail Blazers Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under - NBA Betting Lines 1/12 Moneyline: Cleveland Cavaliers (-140), Portland Trail Blazers (+120)
Spread: Cleveland Cavaliers -2.5, Portland Trail Blazers +2.5
Total: Over/Under 223 points
Cavaliers vs Trail Blazers Predictions and Pick The Cleveland Cavaliers' collapse against the Utah Jazz will certainly keep them hungry as they travel into Portland on Thursday night. Leading Utah 107-102 with 1:23 left, due to a flagrant foul and two three pointers the Jazz regained the lead essentially on one possession. While the “flagrant foul” rule on three pointers certainly needs to be discussed, the Cavaliers are focused on getting back on track Thursday night against Portland.
Portland comes into this game losing four of their last five, with their only win coming against the Detroit Pistons, and will also look to get back to their winning ways. In their first matchup, the Cavaliers won 114-96. It’s worth noting that Blazers’ Damian Lillard didn’t play in that game, but it was still a significant margin.
Lillard is expected to play in this game but that still won’t be enough as the gap between these two teams is significant. The Cavaliers are the best defensive team in the NBA and only allow 106.8 points per game, which is a league best. Their weak spot defensively is on the fastbreak, and the Blazers rank ninth in the NBA in fastbreak points. The Cavaliers also allow the seventh most three point attempts per game, and they’ll have to try and shorten that gap as the Blazers are seventh in the NBA in three point percentage.
If the Blazers can push the tempo and find success from behind the arc then they could play spoiler on Thursday night. However, after playing a terrible game in Utah on Tuesday night, the Cavaliers will tighten up defensively and sweep the season series.
The Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers ML (-140)