NBA Best Bets Today: Predictions for Caris LeVert, Scottie Barnes and Raptors-Knicks

Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes.
Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes. / John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Caris LeVert has entered the league's health and safety protocols and will miss Sunday's game.

Do we have any New Year’s resolutions in the NBA Best bets column?

It’s quite possible. Fading the New York Knicks without Julius Randle sounds like a nice plan, but there are a few other picks I have for tonight’s slate as well. 

As more players return from the NBA’s health and safety protocols, I think we’re going to see some adjustments in the prop market at WynnBET. 

But, for now, here are my three favorite picks for Sunday’s slate. 

All odds courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook.

NBA Best Bets Record to Date

  • NBA Best Bets Record: 72-80-2

NBA Best Bets Today

  • Toronto Raptors -8 vs. New York Knicks (-110)
  • Scottie Barnes OVER 12.5 Points (-125)
  • Caris LeVert UNDER 24.5 Points (-135)

New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors: Raptors -8 (-110)

The New York Knicks are down Julius Randle, and they were blown out by the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday without him. 

This afternoon, the Knicks face the Toronto Raptors, who may be as healthy as they’ve been all season in this game. 

New York has been better against the spread on the road than at home this season, but I can’t trust this Knicks team with Randle, Mitchell Robinson, Kemba Walker and Derrick Rose all out of the lineup. 

RJ Barrett led the way for New York against the Thunder, but I don’t see him doing enough for the Knicks to beat the Raptors in Toronto. New York hasn’t beat the Raptors on the road since 2015, and I think this could be a rough game with so many important players out. 

Scottie Barnes OVER 12.5 Points (-125)

Sticking with the Knicks-Raptors game, I love this discounted number for rookie Scottie Barnes in his return from the league’s health and safety protocols. 

Barnes had gone over this number in four of his previous five games and is averaging 15.6 points per game on the season. While there will be more mouths to feed in Toronto, Barnes has proven he is already one of this team’s best players. 

I’ll back Barnes to have a strong return with his number lower than we normally see it. 

Caris LeVert UNDER 24.5 Points (-135)

Indiana Pacers wing Caris LeVert has been on fire as of late, scoring 24, 27, 27 and 27 points in his last four games, but I’m going to fade him in this prop against the Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavaliers are struggling offensively at the guard position, but Jarrett Allen, Isaac Okoro and Evan Mobley are all still in the lineup for Cleveland. The Cavs are third in the NBA in defensive rating, and while LeVert has been hot, he still is averaging just 17.8 points per game this season and shooting just 31.0 percent from 3. 

LeVert may have another solid performance, but I think he’s due for a little regression against one of the NBA’s best defensive units.