Peter’s Points: NBA Best Bets Today (Expert Predictions, Picks for Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo)

BetSided's Peter Dewey breaks down his favorite bets in the NBA for Thursday, Jan. 4.

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Don't look now, but we've been hot this week in our NBA best bets, going 5-1 on Wednesday night's loaded slate!

That takes us into Thursday's two games, both on national television with some of the most talented players in the league in action.

Two of those players -- Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo -- are among my favorite prop targets tonight, and there's a Denver Nuggets bet that I can't get enough of tonight. Let's break down the plays and keep this hot streak going!

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NBA Best Bets Record to Date

  • 2023-24 season record: 128-106-6 (+3.78 units)
  • Overall record (last 2+ seasons): 753-664-15 (+44.72 units)

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on  BetStamp here.

NBA Best Bets Today

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo UNDER 54.5 Points, Rebounds and Assists (+105)
  • Denver Nuggets First Quarter Moneyline (-135) vs. Golden State Warriors
  • Nikola Jokic OVER 38.5 Points and Rebounds (-120)

Giannis Antetokounmpo UNDER 54.5 Points, Rebounds and Assists (+105)

Giannis Antetokounmpo has cleared 54.5 points, rebounds, and assists just seven times all season, and I took the UNDER on this prop back in December when these teams faced off for the first time. 

Giannis had a triple-double in that game, but he still finished with just 41 PRA. 

In the games that Giannis has gone OVER this number, he’s scored 40 or more points in four of them. He did clear this twice in his last three games, but I think Milwaukee could win big in this game and potentially sit him down the stretch – especially on the second night of a back-to-back. 

Considering Giannis is averaging 30.8 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game (47.9 PRA), I think we’re getting pretty good value on Thursday night. 

Denver Nuggets First Quarter Moneyline (-135) vs. Golden State Warriors

You knew this one was coming… bet Denver to win the first quarter!

Denver has the second-best first quarter net rating (+15.3) in the NBA this season, and the team is sixth in net rating in the opening period on the road (+8.5). 

While this may not seem like a favorable road matchup against a Golden State team that is famous for being great at home – the numbers tell us otherwise. 

The Warriors are 10th overall in first quarter net rating this season (+2.9), but that number falls off hugely at Chase Center. At home, Golden State ranks 23rd in the league in net rating in the opening frame at -2.7. 

Denver won the first quarter in both of the first two meetings between these teams this season, and I see another win coming on Thursday night. 

Nikola Jokic OVER 38.5 Points and Rebounds (-120)

The two-time MVP has dominated Golden State this season putting up 26 points and 14 rebounds on Christmas Day and 35 points and 13 rebounds in the first meeting of the season between these teams. 

Golden State does not have the size to deal with Jokic, and rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis should have a “welcome to the NBA” moment when he gets the start tonight. 

On the season, Jokic is averaging 25.7 points and 12.3 rebounds per game. After a couple of down scoring nights, I’ll buy low on him to keep dominating Golden State.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.