Three NBA Gambling Looks For Wednesday, January 11th

The NBA's Wednesday slate could've been awesome but sucks because of injuries and injury management. I did, however, get to the window for a few games including Pelicans-Celtics, Bucks-Hawks, and Suns-Nuggets.

You can listen to the audio versions of these handicaps on my recently launched NBA Hoops At Lunch show on the OutKick Bets Podcast feed.

(Buyer beware: It’s the “load management” era in the NBA and players are sitting out more games. It would behoove you to wait until the final injury reports before betting.)

New Orleans Pelicans (25-16) at Boston Celtics (29-12)

The last four Pelicans-Celtics meetings have gone Under the total including earlier this season when Boston won 117-109 in New Orleans Nov. 18 with a total of 227.5.

Pelicans-Celtics part II has a 231-point total at DraftKings at the time of writing despite both NOLA All-Stars Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson being sidelined with injuries.

This total being 3.5 points higher given the Pelicans-Celtics head-to-head Over/Under (O/U) trend and New Orleans' injuries is suspicious to say the least.

But, Boston struggled offensively in its first game back from a four-game road swing. The Celtics beat the Bulls 107-99 Monday but were just 11-of-41 from behind the arc.

I'm expecting a bounce-back performance out of Boston. The Pelicans allow the seventh-most wide-open 3-pointers per game. "Wide-open 3s" are defined by the shooter having at least six feet of space between he and the defender.

The Celtics are third in 3-point-attempt rate and eighth in 3-point shooting. Also, Boston's offense balls out vs. quality opponents and New Orleans is fourth in net rating (nRTG) in the NBA.

Boston has the best non-garbage time offensive rating in the NBA vs. top-10 teams at 129.6 points per 100 possessions vs. an NBA average of 113.9, per (CTG).

Finally, both teams' location-based O/U trends point to this being high-scoring affair. NOLA is is 9-2 O/U as road underdogs with a +5.7 O/U margin and Boston is 13-7-1 O/U at home with a +7.9 O/U margin.

NBA Best Bet #1: OVER 231 in Pelicans-Celtics (-115) at DraftKings Sportsbook

Milwaukee Bucks (26-14) at Atlanta Hawks (19-21)

Atlanta is 2-1 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) vs. Milwaukee this season but both teams have been dinged up entering those meetings.

In Wednesday's Bucks-Hawks game, Atlanta will be without defensive-rebounding, rim- and paint-protecting big Clint Capela.

Milwaukee already had a huge edge over Atlanta on the glass but without Capela it's an even bigger factor. The Hawks have a -2.9 rebound-per-game differential while the Bucks are +5.9 in that metric.

Also, this is a fade spot for Atlanta who's playing its first home game following a four-game road trip. Typically, teams play sluggish in their first game back at home.

Furthermore, the Hawks are 0-4 ATS in their last four games with at least two days of rest, 3-7 ATS when playing with a rest edge (-4.8 ATS margin), and 1-6 ATS in their last seven home games.

Atlanta beat the Clippers 112-108 in the final of its four-game road trip Sunday. The Hawks are 5-13 ATS following a win with a -6.4 spread differential.

Lastly, Milwaukee has a better offensive and defensive shot quality, per CTG, and out-ranks Atlanta in three of the "four factors" (effective field goal shooting, rebounding, and FT/FGA rate).

NBA Best Bet #2: Bucks -4.5 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook

Phoenix Suns (21-21) at Denver Nuggets (27-13)

The Nuggets are cooking right now but they are favored -13 at the time of writing and I'm not in the business of laying double digits with NBA regular-season favorites.

However, I like Denver All-Star PG Jamal Murray's OVER 18.5 points prop (-125) at DraftKings Sportsbook because Murray is starting to play to his pre-injury form.

January is Murray's best month by points per game (21.0 PPG), best month in true shooting rate (54.5% from behind the arc), and best month by offensive rating (126).

Murray has scored at least 26 points in three of his last four meetings with Suns PG Chris Paul since CP3 went to Phoenix. This includes 26 points on 5-of-11 shooting from three on Christmas.

He scored 34 points in his previous game against the Lakers Monday while just 18 vs. the Cavaliers Friday and 18 vs. the Clippers Thursday. But, Murray shot 53.8% vs. Cleveland and 70.0% vs. LAC.

Lastly, Nuggets combo guards Bones Hyland and Bruce Brown are both “probable” to play. If they are compromised by injury maybe more is needed from Murray.

NBA Best Bet #3: Nuggets PG Jamal Murray OVER 18.5 points (-125) at DraftKings Sportsbook