NBA Best Bet Trifecta For Monday, January 2

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I’m dusting off the old NBA podcasting shoes today and launching my NBA Hoops At Lunch show on the OutKick Bets Podcast feed to start the New Year.

My gambling looks for NBA’s Monday 11-game slate are in the Raptors-Pacers, Hawks-Warriors, and Heat-Clippers. Feel free to fade or follow my NBA picks.

Miami Heat SF Jimmy Butler drives to the basket against Los Angeles Clippers SF Kawhi Leonard at American Airlines Arena in Miami.
Miami Heat SF Jimmy Butler drives to the basket against Los Angeles Clippers SF Kawhi Leonard at American Airlines Arena in Miami. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The main reason being I love to talk and bet on the NBA but the other is to reverse the basketball betting juju. I’m off to a disastrous start to the 2022-23 NBA season.

That said, I sucked last season before launching an NBA podcast at my former employer before going on an insane heater. I’m hoping this season plays out similarly.

(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.)

Toronto Raptors (16-20) at Indiana Pacers (20-17)

Indiana won the first meeting with Toronto 118-104 as 2.5-point favorites Nov. 12 but that result is misleading. The Raptors had an 8-point lead entering the fourth quarter before the Pacers out-scored them 36-14 in the final frame.

More importantly, Toronto was missing two starters — All-Star F Pascal Siakam and PG Fred VanVleet — and Indy was at full strength. Furthermore, this is a …

‘Good Spot’ for the Raptors

Toronto beat the Phoenix Suns at home 113-104 in its last game on Friday, Dec. 30. The Raptors are 8-2 against the spread (ATS) in their last 10 games when playing on two days of rest. They are 14-9 ATS vs. teams with a winning record and 7-3 ATS on the road vs. winning teams.

Also …

Toronto has a few ‘strength-on-weakness’ edges over Indiana

First, the Raptors crash the glass like maniacs and the Pacers cannot closeout defensive possessions with defensive rebounds.

Toronto is fifth in offensive rebounding rate and third in second chance points per game (PPG). Indiana on the other hand is 29th in both defensive rebounding rate and second-chance PPG allowed.

Toronto Raptors F Pascal Siakam sizes up Indiana Pacers big Myles Turner at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Toronto Raptors F Pascal Siakam sizes up Indiana Pacers big Myles Turner at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Also, the Raptors are good at drawing fouls and the Pacers get into foul trouble. Toronto is 10th in offensive FT/FGA rate while Indiana is 29th in defensive FT/FGA rate.

Plus the Raptors have better ball security, which will help them control the pace and flow of the game. Toronto is first in offensive turnover rate (TOV%), defensive TOV% and points off of turnovers per game. Indy is 20th in offensive TOV%

Finally …

This is a ‘Pros (Toronto) vs. Joe’s (Indiana) game’

According to Pregame.com, more than 55% of the money is on the Raptors in the consensus market at the time of publishing. But, nearly two-thirds of the bets placed are on the Pacers.

Typically, in these situations, it’s better to follow the money because professional bettors wager a lot more dough than you or I.

NBA Best Bet #1: Raptors +1.5 (-105) at DraftKings Sportsbook, down to pick ’em

The Toronto Raptors' odds at the Indiana Pacers from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday, Jan. 2nd at 11:45 a.m. ET.
The Toronto Raptors’ odds at the Indiana Pacers from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday, Jan. 2nd at 11:45 a.m. ET.

Atlanta Hawks (17-19) at Golden State Warriors (19-18)

Hawks-Warriors is a battle between teams with similar profiles. Except Golden State has more continuity, better coaching and is the home team.

For instance, both teams play through their backcourts, neither is good on the road but both are good at home and both typically lose the free-throw battle.

The home team won both Hawks-Warriors meetings last season by double digits. Atlanta has the second-worst net rating (nRTG) on the road, only ahead of Golden State.

But, the Warriors are an NBA-best 13-4-1 ATS with a +4.5 spread differential at home this season. The Hawks are 6-11 SU and 6-10-1 ATS on the road. This is the fifth of Golden State’s 8-game home stand.

The Warriors are 4-0 straight up (SU) and ATS through the first four. Dubs SG Jordan Poole, who’s starting in place of an injured Steph Curry, plays much better at home and as a starter.

Golden State Warriors guards Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson celebrate after they defeated the the Portland Trail Blazers at Chase Center in San Francisco.
Golden State Warriors guards Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson celebrate after they defeated the the Portland Trail Blazers at Chase Center in San Francisco. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Since Curry went out with an injury (Dec. 16), Poole is averaging 29.3 PPG. As a starter, Poole is scoring 26.9 PPG compared to just 14.1 PPG as a reserve. He has a better true shooting rate and offensive rating at home.

Lastly, Atlanta has an inefficient offense and Golden State plays well vs. bad offenses. The Warriors have the best shot quality allowed on defense, according to CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG).

They are 7-4 SU vs. bottom-10 offenses with a +9.5 non-garbage time nRTG and a +2.1 ATS margin. The Hawks are bottom-five in both offensive and defensive shot quality, per CTG.

Given their edge in coaching and how easy it is to defend the Hawks, the Warriors are the right side at home Monday.

NBA Best Bet #2: Warriors (-120) moneyline at DraftKings

The Golden State Warriors odds' vs. the Atlanta Hawks from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday, Jan. 2nd at 11:45 a.m. ET.
The Golden State Warriors odds’ vs. the Atlanta Hawks from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday, Jan. 2nd at 11:45 a.m. ET.

Miami Heat (19-18) at Los Angeles Clippers (21-17)

I looking at the total in Heat-Clippers for my final best bet of the Monday NBA card. My concerns for the Under here is the Heat-Clippers are 6-0-1 Over/Under (O/U) in their last seven meetings and both teams typically shoot it well from deep.

That said, there’s reverse line movement headed south of the total in the betting market and the styles for both team suggest a lower-scoring affair.

Miami Heat big Bam Adebayo operates out of the triple-threat against Los Angeles Clippers wing Paul George at FTX Arena in Miami.
Miami Heat big Bam Adebayo operates out of the triple-threat against Los Angeles Clippers wing Paul George at FTX Arena in Miami. (Eric Espada/NBAE via Getty Images)

Per VSIN, more than 75% of the bets placed at DraftKings in Heat-Clippers are on the Over. But, the total has been lowered from a 222.5-point opener. It’s suspicious whenever the sportsbooks make the more popular side cheaper.

Also, both teams play at a bottom-10 pace, each are in the top-five of defensive FT/FGA rate, both close out on 3-point shooters and have a top-10 rate of wide-open 3-point attempts allowed. The Clippers are 3-15 O/U at home this season with a -10.8 total margin as well.

NBA Best Bet #3: UNDER 219.5 in Heat-Clippers at DraftKings, down to 218.5

Odds' for the UNDER in Miami Heat at the Los Angeles Clippers from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday, Jan. 2 at 11:50 a.m. ET.
Odds’ for the UNDER in Miami Heat at the Los Angeles Clippers from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday, Jan. 2 at 11:50 a.m. ET.

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Listen to the ‘OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark’ podcast HERE.


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Written by Geoff Clark

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