The Tuesday night NBA slate is limited to only five games, but there's still plenty of betting value on the card.
I have three bets on the ledger for the Tuesday card, including a look at how the new-look Raptors will fare in Los Angeles against the mercurial Lakers after some fine play with former Knicks contributors Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett. On the other side of the coin, the Knicks have also been in good form since the trade with Toronto, acquiring OG Anunoby to spark strong play from New York. Can the team get it done at home as a double-digit favorite against the lowly Trail Blazers?
Here are three best bets for Tuesday's slate:
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Best NBA Bets for Tuesday, January 9th
- Timberwolves vs. Magic (+5)
- Trail Blazers vs. Knicks (-12)
- Raptors (+4.5) vs. Lakers
Timberwolves vs. Magic Prediction and Pick
The first-place team in the Western Conference is quickly becoming one of the most overvalued ones in The Association.
While the T'Wolves have been guided by the league's best defense in terms of points per 100 possessions, we are starting to see this team come back down to Earth on that side of the ball. Since Christmas, Minnesota is down to 11th in that metric. In that span, the team is 3-4 and is riding high on an insane start to the season.
The team travels to Orlando on Tuesday night, which is fourth in defensive rating this season and ninth in that same smaller sample, about two points worse on that side of the ball. A step back, but more sustained.
It's time to start fading Minnesota, and I'll do it with a team that can match them on the defensive side of the ball and keep this game close throughout, possibly even sparking a victory.
PICK: Magic +5
Trail Blazers vs. Knicks Prediction and Pick
The Knicks made waves right before the calendar flipped to 2004, trading Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett for OG Anunoby, among others. While the aforementioned two were key cogs to the Knicks playoff roster, the new-look Knickerbockers have been a terror since the trade.
New York is 4-0 since the trade while posting a +17.7 net rating in that span.
The team has won all but one game by double digits and I see little reason why the team can't blast the Blazers on Tuesday night at home as big favorites.
Portland's offense has been a disaster this season, 28th in points per possession while posting a net rating of -7.4 on the year. Overall, this is a 10-25 team at the onset of a rebuild, not someone to put up a fight amid an East Coast trip.
Further, the Knicks have destroyed inferior competition. New York is 6-2 against the spread as a double-digit favorite this season, and see no reason to step in front of them now.
PICK: Knicks -12
Raptors vs. Lakers Prediction and Pick
Like the Knicks, who have been on fire since the Anunoby trade, the Raptors are quickly reaping the benefits of the move. Toronto has improved its net rating from -1.0 (22nd in the NBA) to +4.7 (10th) in an admittedly small sample size of four games. Toronto is 3-1 in those games.
RJ Barrett poured in 37 points on Sunday against the Warriors and Immanuel Quickley is posting 17.3/4.8/6.5 since joining the Raptors, I believe the team's offensive explosion is going to keep this one close in Los Angeles.
While the Lakers have high-end talent in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the team is short on the requisite depth to handle a team like Toronto. Look under the hood and you'll see this is a pedestrian Lakers team, just 20th in net rating on the year, worse than the Raptors over the balance of the season.
LA is 5-9 against the spread since the In-Season Tournament Championship win, I'll keep fading them.
PICK: Raptors +4.5
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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