NBA Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Tuesday, January 17th

By Jonathan Von Tobel  (Senior NBA Analyst) 

January 17, 2023 07:32 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. Stay up to date on injury news with our injury report page as well.

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

**Lines are opening numbers

Best Bets

Record: 39-45 | Units: -7.74 | ROI: -9.42%

*Toronto Raptors at *Milwaukee Bucks (-6.5)

Despite being listed as probable yesterday, Giannis Antetokounmpo missed his third consecutive game with lingering knee soreness. Perhaps the Bucks believed they could get by without him against a lesser opponent missing its best player and are going to play him tonight, but at this point, nothing is certain unless he is on the floor at tipoff. They will need Antetokounmpo against Toronto, which has put things together and is 4-1 SU and ATS in its last five games. However, it is not an advantageous situation for the Raptors, who needed overtime yesterday to take out the Knicks. Fred VanVleet was questionable to play in that game but ended up playing 45 minutes and scoring 33 points. He could potentially sit in this scenario for Toronto. In other words, this game is all about the injury report.

Brooklyn Nets (-6, 235) at San Antonio Spurs

In two games without Kevin Durant, we’re starting to see a troubling trend emerge for Brooklyn: Their offense stinks. The Nets have averaged just 104.2 points per 100 possessions while shooting 44.0% from the floor in those games, and Kyrie Irving has been wildly inefficient. Moving forward, this is going to be an issue for Brooklyn, but this has the potential to be a get-right spot for the offense. San Antonio has been a covering machine lately, posting an 8-3 ATS mark in its last 11 games. However, the Spurs have allowed 123.4 points per 100 possessions over that span, staying inside numbers because of an offense that has averaged 114.0 per 100 possessions. The betting market has dropped this total down to 232 at some shops, but that might have more to do with the potential absence of Doug McDermott for a team already missing Devin Vassell.

Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets (-7, 233.5)

Denver improved to 16-3 SU/13-5-1 ATS when it won, but failed to cover, against Orlando on Sunday. Over the course of this run, the offense has been everything it was expected to be, it is the defense that has really stolen the show. Opponents have averaged just 113.3 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time against the Nuggets, a far cry from a team that is up to 20th in non-garbage time defensive efficiency on the season. That improved defense will be tested against Portland, which broke out for 276 points on 1.471 points per possession in the last two games. That offensive production is clearly unsustainable, especially as most of it was generated from the 3-point line, but the Trail Blazers are a team that relies heavily on that shot and they will test a Nuggets defense that has all the sudden seen opponents shoot 34.3% from distance over the course of this winning streak. 

Philadelphia 76ers (-1, 225) at Los Angeles Clippers

Paul George was upgraded to questionable for this game, so there is certainly a chance he returns after missing the last five games for Los Angeles. George’s presence obviously reunites the Clippers’ core pairing of him and Kawhi Leonard, which has been solid the few times on the floor. When both Leonard and George play, Los Angeles is 9-6 SU/8-7 ATS, and when they are on the floor together, they outscore opponents by 8.7 points per 100 possessions. One of those few games was against this 76ers team in Philadelphia, where the Clippers blew a 20-point lead in what would eventually be a loss. Philadelphia has been playing good basketball, but it's clear the market is at the peak with its rating, as it is 7-2 SU/4-5 ATS in its last nine. Los Angeles has the potential to win this game outright if George plays, and should he play, this line will likely flip.

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