NBA Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Thursday, December 8th

By Jonathan Von Tobel  (Senior NBA Analyst) 

December 8, 2022 09:53 AM

Welcome to the daily NBA best bets page, your source for analysis on the betting lines for the day in professional hoops. For updates throughout the day follow me on Twitter, and make sure to subscribe to the Hardwood Handicappers podcast!

All game lines via the VSiN NBA odds page

*Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back

**Lines are opening numbers

Best Bets

Record: 25-31 | Units: -7.02 | ROI: -12.97%

There are best bets as of this morning. I am monitoring the injury situation with Los Angeles and will look to play the Clippers should Paul George and John Wall take the floor tonight.

The Rest

*Los Angeles Clippers at Miami Heat (-5, 215.5)

Los Angeles blew a 17-point third quarter lead in Orlando last night to fall to 3-5 SU/2-6 ATS in its last eight games. The Clippers will play on no rest in Miami tonight, so it is expected that Kawhi Leonard will sit, but John Wall should be back on the floor after taking the night off in the Magic City and Paul George told the media last night that he will play tonight. If that is the case this number will likely come back toward the opening line. Miami is not in the best form at this point right now either with a 1-3 SU and ATS record in its last four games. Jimmy Butler returned from injury for two games, but sat out the second leg of a back-to-back against Detroit on Tuesday and he is questionable to play tonight due to conditioning issues. 

The mystery surrounding the Clippers’ injury report and Jimmy Butler’s status make this game a challenge to handicap early in the day. George telling the media he will play is one thing, but he does not have the final say on his status and could definitely still sit this game out. Should he sit and Butler play this number could close even higher than the current line of -6.5 that is up this morning. 

Houston Rockets (-1, 233.5) at San Antonio Spurs

There seems to be no end in sight for this losing streak in San Antonio. Since Nov. 1 the Spurs are 1-16 SU/4-13 ATS and failing to cover by 10.4 points per game, and clearly their rating is at an all-time low. Houston is 6-4 ATS in its last 10 games, but they closed as underdogs in each of those contests, catching an average of 8.6 points per game. This is obviously a massive change in role for the Rockets, especially with homecourt being valued at 3.5 points this season. Houston has been playing better basketball during this stretch, putting up 113.5 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time compared to the 108.0 offensive rating the team put up in the first 14 games of the season. Playing against San Antonio is not something I blame any bettor for, but this one is a clear indication that you are selling at the bottom of the market with the Spurs.

Denver Nuggets (-1, 226) at Portland Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard made his return from a seven-game absence on Sunday against Indiana, and he does not have an injury designation for tonight. In fact, it is as clean an injury report for Portland as we have seen in a long time, and that is great that is working its way back from a rough end to November in which it went 2-7 SU/3-6 ATS with a -6.5 net rating. The Trail Blazers’ defense was a major problem during that slide, and it is going to be an issue once more tonight against Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets. Denver is coming in on an 0-3 SU and ATS slide in which they have allowed 1.2 points per possession, but this is still the second best offensive team in non-garbage time this season (117.5). It is why we’ve seen this total bet up to 227.5 consensus.

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