NBA Expert Picks and Best Bets | November 21

NBA Picks and Best Bets
NBA Best Bets 2023-2024

We’ve got a solid slate of NBA action Tuesday night including a key In-Season Tournament game for LeBron and the Lakers against the Jazz. Undermanned Cleveland looks for its fourth win in a row against the always-tough Sixers, while the total number of points for Hawks and Pacers is super high, but is it too high?

Cleveland Cavaliers at Philadelphia 76ers Best Bet

Cavaliers +7.5 | (+112) at FanDuel

Cleveland will be without top scorer Donovan Mitchell for this one and super sixth man Chris LeVert, but maybe it doesn’t matter. The Cavs played without them against the defending NBA champs Sunday and prevailed behind a big game from Darius Garland.

The 10-3 Sixers have the second-best record in the NBA. You know Joel Embiid will get his points. He’s scoring over 30 a night, but Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey has been en fuego, averaging over 28 points his last five games. Suddenly, the Sixers have a great inside-out combo.

This looks like a big number on the best Michigan sportsbooks. The favorite has covered the last three meetings, but I don’t think the Sixers blow the confident Cavs out, so I’ll take the points.

fanduel sportsbook
Cavaliers +7.5

Indiana Pacers at Atlanta Hawks Best Bet

Pacers at Hawks | Under 251 (-110) at DraftKings

When I first saw this total, I did a double take because this is a super high number, but some quick research shows why. The Pacers are 11-1 this season over/under and the Hawks are 8-4.

Indiana is averaging 125.7 points a game and giving up 123. Tyrese Haliburton leads the Pacers with 23.5 a night and eight different Pacers are averaging double digits.

Atlanta has lost two in a row and they love to get up the floor and go with Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. Last March they played a game with a combined 273 points.

So take the over? No. I won’t take the bait. I know what the number say, but I like Atlanta to play a little bit better defense tonight and I can’t see this  DraftKings total going over. It’ll be close, but I will take the under.

draftkings sportsbook
Under 251

Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Lakers Best Bet

Jazz at Lakers | Lakers -7.5 at BetMGM

The late game on TNT has the 8-6 Lakers hosting the 4-9 Jazz. These two teams split four games last year. This is an NBA In-Season Tournament game and BetMGM has a big market of offerings.

LA has won five of their last six. It’s funny, LeBron James is still listed as questionable, but you know after a day off he’s going to play. LeBron had a vintage performance in a win over Houston Sunday and now has 109 games with over 30 points just as a Laker. We just need to sit back and enjoy every LeBron game we can, because the end will come sooner or later.

Utah is coming off back-to-back losses to the Suns, including a double OT heartbreaker. They don’t have the horses to run with the Lakers who are stacking up wins. The Lakers haven’t been great against the spread this season, but I think they cover in this one.

betmgm sportsbook
Lakers -7.5

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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.