NBA Expert Picks and Best Bets | January 26

darren cooper
By:
Darren Cooper
26/01/2024/
NBA
NBA Best Bets 2023-2024

Let’s talk some totals on a good Friday night of NBA action. It’s the second game of a back-to-back for Indiana, and now they get the red-hot Phoenix Suns in town. If you’ve been watching any NBA lately, you know the Clippers have been one of the best teams in the league for the last month. Plus, we have a battle of bad defenses in San Antonio, so which way should you go?

Phoenix Suns at Indiana Pacers Best Bet

Under 243 (-110) at FanDuel

We had a good read on the Suns Wednesday night as they blew out the Mavericks in a game that was feisty and controversial.

Phoenix has won seven in a row, and now heads to Indiana to play the Pacers who are on the second game of a back-to-back after beating Philly Thursday.

The Pacers had been one of the best over bets in the NBA, but are different now that they’ve traded for Pascal Siakam. Seven of their last nine games and hit the under, even so, they’re still 26-19 over/under this season.

During this win streak, the Suns have scored an average of 123 points. I make this call with some worry, because both teams can really score. They just met two weeks ago and combined for 227. The Suns last five games have hit the under. I’ll ride the under trend.

fanduel sportsbook
Under 243 (-110)

LA Clippers at Toronto Raptors Best Bet

Clippers -7.5 (-110) at BetMGM

Quietly, the Clippers have really made a move in the Western Conference. They’re 28-14 overall, but just 9-10 on the road, but what I like about the spread here is when the Clippers win, they usually win big.

LA has won six of their last seven and their margin of victory in those games is 12.5 points. LA has had two days of rest after beating the Lakers on Tuesday. Paul George is dealing with a groin injury, but is probable to go. Remember, this is always emotional for Kawhi Leonard to go back to Toronto where he helped the Raps win the NBA title.

Toronto traded away some assets and is still figuring things out. They’ve lost seven of their last eight. Newcomer RJ Barrett has scored 21.8 in his last 10 games. They don’t have the firepower to match the Clippers.             

betmgm sportsbook
Clippers -7.5 (-110)

Portland Trail Blazers at San Antonio Spurs Best Bet

Under -231.5 (-115) at DraftKings

This total opened at 234.5 and has dropped in just a few hours.

This is one of those good offense vs. good defense games. Neither the Spurs of the TrailBlazers are good defensively. The Blazers allow 122.1 a night, the Spurs give up 117.

But offensively, both teams are also dreadful. The Blazers are the worst shooting team in the NBA at 43.6 percent. Anfernee Simons leads them in scoring at 23 a night.

San Antonio has lost six of their last seven, and their last four games have all hit the over. Star rookie Victor Wembanyama has been OK. Has he been generational? Not yet.

Neither team plays great defense, but if you can’t shoot, you can’t shoot. I think the under is the move.

draftkings sportsbook
Under -231.5 (-115)

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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.