We’ve got a Western Conference showdown in LA as the Mavericks come in to take on LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers. Kyrie Irving loves to play in LA. The Magic are starting to get healthy and they take on the Hawks in Atlanta. The Hawks are trying to get in the playoff hunt. In Detroit, the Pistons are coming off a rare win (hooray!) and now they get a test from the T’Wolves.
NBA Expert Picks and Best Bets | January 17
Minnesota Timberwolves at Detroit Pistons Best Bet
So we know now what the Pistons game plan is before the trade deadline.
Sell. Get room under the cap. And hopefully, make a run at a big free agent in the off-season.
Detroit swapped out Marvin Bagley, Isaiah Livers and a few second round picks to the Wizards for Danila Gallinari and Mike Muscala on Sunday. It was part salary dump, part immediate improvement. Gallinari has been a quality shooter in the past. Both Gallinari and Muscala could play tonight against Minnesota.
The Pistons need someone to step up. Cade Cunningham is still out with a knee injury. Alec Burks had a career high 34 points in the win over Washington. That win makes the Pistons 4-36.
This is a big spread, but not even the highest in the NBA tonight (peep the Celtics-Spurs). Minnesota is much better inside and will cruise.
Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks Best Bet
Michigan sports bettors should keep coming back to the Hawks when they play. Atlanta is 10-29 against the spread this season. On the floor, they’ve lost four of six. Dejounte Murray is the subject of a lot of trade rumors. The Hawks are still a fun watch. Trae Young can go off for 40 any night, but lately, he’s been one good game followed by one bad game.
Orlando has fallen back in the East a little bit. Injuries have been the big issue. Franz Wagner will miss this one with a right ankle sprain. Gary Harris has a calf injury. Paolo Banchero is still a stud. He’s scored 27.7 over his last 10.
The Hawks aren’t scoring like they were (the under is a good bet here too) and two of the last three meetings between these two were decided by a point. When a game projects close, take the points.
Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Lakers Best Bet
Mavs superstar Luka Doncic has missed the last three games with an ankle injury and is questionable for this one. Dallas didn’t miss him their last time out against New Orleans. Kyrie Irving had 42 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 41 in a win.
The Lakers are 20-21, 17-24 against the spread. They are - at the moment - a .500 team. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear they are just coasting through the regular season, happy to get in the Play-In Tournament when they can elevate their game. LeBron is questionable for this one. Anthony Davis is probable.
I like the Mavs here because I think Kyrie will always try to show off against his former Cavs teammate. This is another case where I think the best bet is the points.
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.