NBA Best Bets Today (Predictions for Nikola Jokic, Kings-Lakers & Cavs-Warriors)

Nov 9, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) dribbles the ball
Nov 9, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) dribbles the ball / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Last night was a great debut for me in this column. We hit Kyle Kuzma’s over on points, Blazers +7 and even got the moneyline upset with the sprinkle.

Tonight, we’re going with two plays on a side and just one player prop, but we’re feeling good and looking for another big night. 

Overall, this column is 42-29 on the year. Let’s keep the good wins rolling.

NBA Best Bets Today

  • Nikola Jokic OVER 23.5 Points
  • Kings -3.5 vs. Lakers 
  • Cavaliers (-130) vs. Warriors

Nikola Jokic OVER 23.5 Points

After about a week of low scoring games, Jokic is back to his normal self. He’s cleared this line in his last two games, and I’ll back him to go for a third. The Celtics’ frontcourt rotation of Al Horford, Noah Vonleh, Luke Kornet and Blake Griffin will provide little to no resistance for Jokic. Without Robert Williams in the lineup, the Celtics just aren’t the same on defense – leading to their 22nd ranking in defensive rating.

Kings -3.5 vs. Lakers

Without LeBron James in the lineup, there’s no way that I’m backing the Lakers tonight. We’ve seen plenty of examples over the last week of why you should underreact to players being out, but that’s not the case here. 

Los Angeles still has the worst offense in the league. The Lakers had chances in games because their defense was elite. It has now become an average unit for them. 

With no LeBron, terrible offense and a Kings team that is ready to attack a weak defense, I just can’t bring myself to back the Lakers tonight. 

Cavaliers (-130) vs. Warriors

The Warriors are 1-5 SU in their last 6 games. They needed 47 points from Stephen curry to beat the Kings by three. This is a team that is currently 27th in defensive rating. The only teams with worse defenses are the Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons. 

Meanwhile, the Cavs are third in offensive and defensive rating, combining for the second-best net rating in the league. Cleveland is legitimately a contender in the Eastern conference and will beat the Warriors tonight. 

Golden State’s perimeter defense has been atrocious this season, so I’m expecting a big night from Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland tonight as well. 

You can find Donnavan Smoot’s full betting record here.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.