NBA Picks & Parlay of the Weekend | January 6

darren cooper
Darren Cooper
NBA Parlay of the Weekend
NBA Picks and Parlay of the Weekend

Last week our Pistons parlay hit it big, and this weekend we’re focused on a showdown of two of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference when the Indiana Pacers host the Boston Celtics. Indiana’s high-flying offense has helped them win six straight, while the Celtics have won seven of their last eight. We break it all down and tell you which way to go.

Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers Best Bet

Pacers +5.5 (-112) at FanDuel

My picks Friday night went sideways and all wrong. My apologies. You have to consider so many different factors and prioritize what is important to you, but my biggest factor is who’s playing well?

The Pacers are playing well. They have won six straight. Remember, they were in the NBA Cup final and lost to the Lakers. I think that was a bit of a letdown, but that’s over now.

Boston has the best record in the NBA at 27-7. Indiana is 20-14. Both won big Friday night. Boston is 4-1 on back-to-backs, while the Pacers are 1-4. This will be the third meeting this season, and they split, with the Pacers winning at home.

Indiana has one of the few real home court advantages in the NBA, and while the Celtics are great, they are only 10-7 on the road.

I toyed with the Pacers moneyline, because there may be great value there, but instead I will take the points to kick off our parlay.

Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers Best Bet

Over 248 points (-110) at FanDuel

The Pacers over bet has been one of the best in the NBA this season. Indiana is 23-11 over/under this season while the Celtics are 18-15-1.

In Friday night’s win over the Hawks, 14 different players scored for the Pacers. I don’t know that I have ever seen that before. They had 78 points at halftime. Myles Turner had 27 points. Bennedict Mathurin came off the bench to score 21.

In their last five games, the Pacers are averaging 134 points. In four of their last five home games, the Pacers have gone over 140. My theory with over/under bets is split it in half and do the research. Can the Pacers get over 124 by themselves? Absolutely. Can the Celtics get to 124? Certainly. Boston is fifth in the NBA at 121 points a night. They’re 7-3 in their last 10 over/under games.

Saturday night, national TV audience, two teams with offensive firepower (we haven’t even mentioned Jayson Tatum yet for the Celtics). I love the over.

Tyrese Haliburton Best Bet

Under 23.5 points (-104) at FanDuel

I toyed with this for a while and I’ve seen the total at 25 at other  Michigan sportsbooks early Saturday morning. While I do dig the over on this game, Haliburton hasn’t come close to 23.5 points lately, as he’s become more of a facilitator.

Against the Hawks Friday night, Haliburton had 10 points and 18 assists in 25 minutes. He should be fresh for this one. And he is capable of going off. In his last 10 games, he’s averaging 21.6 points. Earlier this week against the Bucks he had 31 and 26 points. I did a deep dive and in his career against the Celtics, Haliburton is averaging 20.6.

One other thing I look for in NBA betting is what players are going to be challenged man-to-man.

Haliburton will have to stare down the Celtics attack, but I think he’s going to be content to drive and dish…not score as much.            

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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.