NBA Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Wednesday, December 14th

By Jonathan Von Tobel  (Senior NBA Analyst) 

December 14, 2022 07:28 AM
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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: 29-32 | Units: -3.84 | ROI: -6.49%

*Golden State Warriors (-1.5, 235.5) at Indiana Pacers

Betting on Golden State preflop this early in the day when the team is on the second leg of a back-to-back on the road is a big risk. Steve Kerr has shown a tendency to sit players in these situations, but this one is different. The Warriors were smoked by the Bucks last night in Milwaukee, and with the team down 21 points Kerr pulled the plug on his starters, meaning Steph Curry only played 27 minutes and Draymond Green played just 23 minutes. Add to the equation that this team is now 2-12 SU/3-13 ATS on the road this season and is just on the second game of a six-game road trip it would seem that this is a team somewhat desperate to keep this road trip on track. I am going to assume that Curry and Green play tonight, along with the rest of the healthy Warriors outside of Klay Thompson who has always sat out back-to-backs this season. 

If we do get the full version of Golden State this number should start to climb, and it should. Miami was just in Indiana on Monday and it opened as 2.5-point favorites here. The Warriors have struggled on the road, but they are not a point worse than the Heat, so there is some line value here. On top of that, the Pacers are struggling in their own right. Indiana comes into this game 2-6 SU and ATS in its last eight games with -6.8 net rating and a defense giving up 115.6 points per 100 possessions. It is a risk considering Kerr has not really cared about current form when deciding to rest players, but this situation is different. Give me Golden State at a cheap number tonight.

Play: Warriors (-1)

Cleveland Cavaliers at Dallas Mavericks (-1.5, 213.5)

These teams are much closer than the opening number would indicate, and the betting market is moving in the right direction this morning. Cleveland is coming off an outright loss to San Antonio in which it allowed the Spurs to put up 1.167 points per possession, and the Cavaliers are now 5-5 SU/4-5-1 ATS in their last 10 games. The problem has not been their defense so much as it has been their wildly inconsistent offense. Over the course of these 10 games Cleveland has averaged 108.4 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time, the third-worst offensive rating in the league over those 10 games. 

Dallas has slipped defensively to 17th in non-garbage time (113.2) so I would expect a better offensive showing from Cleveland tonight. This play is more about Luka Doncic and the Mavericks’ offense. As we know, Doncic is a matchup hunter who will go after the weakest link on defense consistently, forcing teams to try to trap, or double him which leads to great ball movement and 3-point shooting from Dallas. Doncic has two smaller and weaker defenders to go after tonight in Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland. This is also a number play. My numbers have barely a point of separation between these two teams, but the opening line would indicate more of a two point difference between them. This number should be about Dallas -3.5 by my measure, so let’s ride with Doncic tonight.

Play: Mavericks (-2)

Minnesota Timberwolves at Los Angeles Clippers (-6, 223.5)

This is the time to start buying in on Los Angeles. After dismantling the Celtics on Monday night the Clippers are now +18.3 per 100 possessions with a defensive rating of 99.3 when Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are on the floor together. Leonard is starting look more like the dominant player he was before injury, and he is coming off an incredible performance in which he scored 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the floor to go along with nine rebounds and six assists. They are also perfectly constructed, as seen in the past, to eliminate Rudy Gobert from contests with their ability to go small and play a five-out style of basketball. The market is moving in their direction already and rightfully so. 

Play: Clippers (-6)

Best Bet Recap

Warriors (-1)

Mavericks (-2)

Clippers (-6)

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