NBA Expert Picks and Best Bets | December 15

darren cooper
By:
Darren Cooper
15/12/2023/
NBA
NBA Best Bets 2023-2024

The Pacers have been the best bet in the NBA over/under this season. Is that the play again when they travel to Washington to face the woeful Wizards? Speaking of terrible, the Pistons have lost 21 straight and take on the beastly Sixers for the second time in three days.  Michigan sportsbooks are giving the Pistons a lot of points for the night. Plus a look at a good Eastern Conference battle between the Magic and Celtics.

Detroit Pistons at Philadelphia 76ers Best Bet

Pistons +16 (-112) at FanDuel

21 and counting?

We’ve veered off into sad and bizarre for the Detroit Pistons who have now tied a franchise record with 21 straight losses. It’s now the eighth longest streak in NBA history.

The Pistons have played hard, but they just don’t have the shooting and perimeter defense, or interior defense to compete at a high level in the NBA right now. Tonight they take on the Sixers for the second time in three nights. Philly pounded Detroit 129-111 Wednesday. Joel Embiid had 41 points and no one on the Pistons can stop him man to man.

It is time to start worrying when the Pistons will win a basketball game. The schedule isn’t easy through Christmas. Is first-year coach Monty Williams in trouble?

I don’t think anyone believes Detroit will win the basketball game tonight, but I’ll take the 16 points because I don’t think the Sixers want to embarrass Detroit, who will score plenty in the fourth to make it look respectable.

fanduel sportsbook
Pistons +16 (-112)

Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards Best Bet

Over 258.5 (-110) at BetMGM

Maybe 258.5 isn’t too many points. Wednesday night I thought the Pacers/Bucks game wouldn’t go that much over, then Giannis scored 64 points and it hit the over big and easy.

Indiana is 18-4 over/under. 18-4! It’s got to be the play at Michigan sportsbooks. I’ve learned my lesson.

Washington is bad. They’ve lost six in a row – their last win came against the Pistons (see above), but they can score. They’ve scored over 120 points in four of their last six games. They play horrible defense, letting teams shoot over 50 percent.

That’s music to the Pacers ears. Indiana still leads the NBA with 128.5 points a game, and they’ll be mad after losing to the Bucks. Eight different Pacers average over 10 points. Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton has cooled off a little in his last three games, but he and the Pacers will score plenty tonight.

betmgm sportsbook
Over 258.5 (-110)

Orlando Magic at Boston Celtics Best Bet

Over 222.5 (-110) at DraftKings

I like another over in this match-up of Eastern Conference powers. Boston has won 12 straight at home, but the Magic have beaten Boston four straight times.

Orlando is six-point underdogs at DraftKings and I lean that way, if asked, but I think the better bet is the over. Jayson Tatum had 27 Thursday night in a win over the Cavaliers. Boston is playing great basketball offensively.

But they don’t match up super well against the Magic. Orlando’s power is inside with Moritz Wagner and Paolo Banchero, each averaging over 20 points.

So that tells me Orlando will score a lot of points and force the Celtics to try to keep up.   

draftkings sportsbook
Over 222.5 (-110)

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Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.