NBA Expert Picks and Best Bets | January 12

darren cooper
By:
Darren Cooper
12/01/2024/
NBA
NBA Best Bets 2023-2024

These NBA picks are on fire for a big Friday night of action. The Bulls have won their last two games in overtime, and now get the Golden State Warriors in town, can the Bulls keep it running? The late night Friday game sees the hot New Orleans Pelicans take on the defending NBA champs in Denver, but injuries are a key factor before making your bet in this one.  

Houston Rockets at Detroit Pistons Best Bet

Rockets -7.5 (-112) at FanDuel

There hasn’t been a rumble in Detroit about firing new coach Monty Williams, but things still look bleak in Motown. Detroit ended its long losing streak with a win over Toronto, but now have lost six in a row and have not been competitive. Without star Cade Cunningham, they have no offensive weapon and the defense has vanished. At what point is Williams accountable for this?

Houston is a .500 team on a long road trip. They’ve lost three of four and after this they go to Boston, Philly and New York. They need this win. They’re healthy and center Alperen Sengun has averaged 26.2 point in his last 10 games.

The Pistons have now lost 34 of their last 35 games. They are 8-1-1 in their last 10 over/under. They show no life without Cunningham. They could make some trades at the deadline, but for what? To win 20 games this season and miss the playoffs? From a  Michigan sports betting standpoint, keep thinking the Pistons will get blown out.

fanduel sportsbook
Rockets -7.5 (-112)

Golden State Warriors at Chicago Bulls Best Bet

Bulls -3.5 (-110) at BetMGM

If the playoffs started today, Golden State wouldn’t make it. Currently, they’re 12 th in the Western Conference and coming off two blowout losses to the Raptors and Pelicans. The Warriors expect troubled star Draymond Green to come back in the next few days, but Chris Paul is still out for a while.

Golden State has lost its swagger. They aren’t a good defensive team and they don’t shoot the ball as well as they did to cover for it.

Chicago is 18-21, but 13-9 at home and 12-9-1 at home. They’ve won three in a row. We’ve got a great betting nugget for you, DeMar DeRozen has hit the under on the point total nine of his last 10 games. But the Bulls have some weapons. Coby White is playing real well, and when Zach LaVine wants to play, he’s a star. Chicago has too much for Golden State at home.

betmgm sportsbook
Bulls -3.5 (-110)

New Orleans Pelicans at Denver Nuggets Best Bet

Pelicans +8.5 (-110) at DraftKings

The first thing you do here is look at the injury report. The 23-15 Pelicans list just about their entire starting line-up as questionable, including CJ McCollum, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. The truth is, they all had the same designation before Wednesday night’s game with Golden State and they all played in a big win.

When the Pelicans share the ball, they are a good team. They’ve won six of their last seven. They also beat the Nuggets earlier this season at home.

Denver is still the champs, the class of the Western Conference, but they do have a tendency to drift at times. They’re 17-21-1 against the spread and lost by 13 to the Jazz Wednesday night. Nikola Jokic is still a walking triple double. Check the most recent injury report before you place your bet, but take the Pelicans plus the points.

draftkings sportsbook
Pelicans +8.5 (-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.