We have a nine-game NBA card on Wednesday, headlined by ESPN and ABC nationally televised games.
However, I'm going a bit deeper down the card to find some betting value in the likes of the projected blowout between the Celtics and Spurs as well as the Knicks and Rockets from Madison Square Garden. Houston has had massive struggles on the road and I'm not sure it's going to get any better on Wednesday.
Find out how I'm attacking the Wednesday slate with my three favorite bets below. If you are tailing make sure to do it at BETMGM, which is giving new users $158 in bonus bets when they make a first wager of just $5! Get started below!
Best NBA Bets Today, January 17th
- Celtics -9.5 First Half vs. Spurs
- Rockets vs. Knicks (-6)
- Cam Johnson OVER 2.5 Three's
Spurs vs. Celtics Prediction and Pick
The Celtics are the best first-half team in the NBA, like plenty of statistics that show the top team in the league is elite. Boston is +7.2 in the first half this season, routinely building an early lead and racking up wins in the process. Now, the team draws the Spurs, who are 25th in average first-half margin, sitting at -3.2.
While San Antonio scored two wins last week against the lowly Pistons and Hornets, the team is routinely getting blasted by better competitions, fresh off a double-digit loss on Monday to the Hawks in which the team was down 35 at halftime.
Boston is one of five teams that has an effective field goal percentage north of 60% and the Spurs' hapless defense won't be able to hold up. On the other end, the Celtics' ability to shut down opponents should leave San Antonio, who is 26th in effective field goal percentage, down big early.
I'll take the Celtics to keep it rolling in the first half and build a comfortable lead before extended garbage time. Take Boston to cover the first-half number.
PICK: Celtics 1H -9.5
Rockets vs. Knicks Prediction and Pick
The Rockets' home/road splits are quite staggering. The team is 5-10-1 as a road underdog this season and is 1-4 straight up amid this road trip. The team shoots nearly six percentage points worse from three when it hits the road and the oddsmakers can't catch up.
Houston is eighth in net rating at home while posting the second-best defensive rating in the league in home games, but on the road, the team falls off a cliff. The team is 22nd in net rating away from home, same for defensive rating which falls 20 spots in the league rankings.
The team travels to face the Knicks, who are a strong home team as well, 10th in net rating at MSG this season while going 11-5 straight up. The team isn't as successful ATS at home, just 7-5 as a favorite, but I believe the team is in line to hand the road-weary Rockets another loss -- and noncover -- outside of Houston.
Lay it with the Knickerbockers.
PICK: Knicks -6
Nets vs. Blazers Prediction and Pick
Johnson has been struggling quite a bit as the Nets record has plummeted over the last month. The wing is shooting 33% from the field on a healthy volume of perimeter shots, taking nearly eight threes per game and hitting only 32%.
The Nets offense is stuck in the mud, lacking ball handlers to create advantageous situations and easy looks from high-percentage areas, and the team has upped its three-point rate. The Nets are fourth in three-point attempts per game since the start of 2024, taking more than 40 per game, and a lot of those come from Johnson, who shot 45% from beyond the arc in December.
Johnson is off a pair of dismal outings, including the Nets game in Paris last week. He has played 23 minutes in each of the last two and combined to hit only one of 13 threes. However, I'll back him to bounce back here.
This is right around his range of outcome, and all we need is some better bounces to get him to his median of three threes. Johnson enjoyed at least three makes from beyond the arc in the prior four January games, including three of eight against the Blazers on January 7th.
Portland's defense has fallen off a cliff, 28th in defensive rating in the month of January, and the team is allowing a ton of threes. This could be a perfect storm for Johnson to get back on track.
PICK: Cameron Johnson OVER 2.5 Three's
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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