Three NBA Gambling Looks For Monday, January 9

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The College Football Playoff takes centerstage in sports Monday but, if you’re like me and have a three-TV wall, perhaps you’ll fit some NBA action onto the grid.

That said, I’m still firing on the Association Monday. Below, I break down and give picks for the Pelicans-Wizards, Bulls-Celtics, and Magic-Kings.

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.

New Orleans Pelicans (24-16) at Washington Wizards (17-23)

This is the first Pelicans-Wizards meeting of the season. Washington has gone Over the total in back-to-back games and four of the last six.

The Wizards are 5-1 Over/Under (O/U) in their last six home games. While the Pelicans are 5-1 O/U in the last six road games and 6-1 O/U following their last seven losses.

Also, as of Sunday night at roughly 10:30 p.m. ET, more cash at DraftKings Sportsbook was on the Over whereas more bets were placed on the Under, per VSIN.

Typically, it’s wise to follow the money when it’s counter to the public because sharps make larger bets. Pelicans-Wizards opened at 228 before it was moved up to the current number.

Washington Wizards big Kristaps Porzingis hitting a 3-pointer with teammate Kyle Kuzma against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC.
Washington Wizards big Kristaps Porzingis hitting a 3-pointer with teammate Kyle Kuzma against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

D.C. gets out on transition at the ninth-highest rate in non-garbage time, per CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG), and NOLA is 12th. Both teams will look to push the pace in this game because each are missing All-Star scorers.

New Orleans is missing Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram whereas Washington is without Bradley Beal. In D.C.’s case, Beal being out could be “addition by subtraction” because he’s a ball-stopper.

Without Beal on the floor, the ball moves crisper. Wizards big Kristaps Porzingis won Eastern Conference Player of the Week in the first week of January and wing Kyle Kuzma is a microwave-scorer.

Finally, all three referees assigned to Pelicans-Wizards officiate more to the Over. In fact, they have a combined 43-30 O/U record on the season, 59.8% toward the Over.

NBA Best Bet #1: OVER 228.5 in Pelicans-Wizards at DraftKings Sportsbook

Odds for the OVER in New Orleans Pelicans at Washington Wizards from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday, Jan. 9 at 12:45 p.m. ET.
Odds for the OVER in New Orleans Pelicans at Washington Wizards from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday, Jan. 9 at 12:45 p.m. ET.

Chicago Bulls (19-21) at Boston Celtics (28-12)

This is the fourth and final regular-season Bulls-Celtics meeting. Chicago is 2-1 overall and 3-0 against the spread (ATS) in the first three. But, I’m looking at Bulls C Nikola Vucevic‘s player prop in Bulls-Celtics Monday.

Vucevic has scored 18, 24, and 12 points in his three games against the Celtics this season. In the 12-point game, he sunk 6-of-7 shots and Vucevic typically plays well in Boston.

He is averaging 22.6 points per game (PPG) in his last five visits to Boston with a 63.5% true shooting rate. Vucevic has scored at least 22 points in four of those games, three while playing for the Bulls.

Chicago Bulls C Nikola Vucevic shoots the ball during the game against the Boston Celtics at the TD Garden in Boston.
Chicago Bulls C Nikola Vucevic shoots the ball during the game against the Boston Celtics at the TD Garden in Boston. (Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

Vucevic is scoring 18.8 PPG on 76.5% true shooting in January and a 151 offensive rating in by far his lowest usage rate of any month this season. He has scored at least 19 points in three of four games this month.

Furthermore, Vucevic has reverse home-road splits. He averages more PPG on the road compared to at home (17.8-15.9) with a better true shooting (62.1-59.2%) and better offensive rating (122-115).

Lastly, Vucevic operates in the areas where Boston’s defense is most vulnerable. Per CTG, Vucevic attempts a ton of mid-range jumpers but the Celtics are 26th in defensive mid-range field goal percentage.

NBA Best Bet #2: Bulls C Nikola Vucevic OVER 16.5 points (-105) at DraftKings

Chicago Bulls C Nikola Vucevic's points prop vs. the Boston Celtics from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday, Jan. 9th at 2:15 p.m. ET.
Chicago Bulls C Nikola Vucevic’s points prop at the Boston Celtics from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday, Jan. 9th at 2:15 p.m. ET.

Orlando Magic (15-25) at Sacramento Kings (20-18)

Sacramento as 6-point favorites in this spot feels like a lot considering how these teams have played recently. The Kings are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games and the Magic have covered four straight road games vs. teams with winning records at home.

Also, Orlando is 20-14-1 ATS as an underdog, the Kings are 5-8 ATS as a home favorite and five of Sactown’s previous six games have been decided by 3 points or less.

The public is nearly split on this game at DraftKings Sportsbook but roughly three-fourths of the money is on the Kings, per VSIN. This suggests professionals are backing Sacramento and the public is iffy on Magic-Kings.

Sacramento Kings players Malik Monk, Kevin Huerter, De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis celebrate after a play against the Charlotte Hornets at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.
Sacramento Kings players Malik Monk, Kevin Huerter, De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis celebrate after a play against the Charlotte Hornets at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. (Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Most importantly, Sactown has a heavy edge from behind the arc. The Kings get the fifth-most wide-open 3s per game, have the eighth-best 3-point percentage at home and fourth-best true shooting rate.

Sacramento allows wide-open 3s as well. “Wide-open 3s” are defined by the closest defender being six feet or further from the 3-point shooter.

Orlando has the second-best defensive 3-point shooting percentage but that is misleading. The Magic give up the second-most 3-point attempts per game and the second-most wide-open 3s per game. Essentially, Orlando’s “good” 3-point defense is all dumb-luck.

NBA Best Bet #3: Kings -6 (-110) at DraftKings, up to -6.5

The Sacramento Kings' odds vs. the Orlando Magic at DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday, Jan. 9th at 2:15 p.m. ET.
The Sacramento Kings’ odds vs. the Orlando Magic at DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday, Jan. 9th at 2:15 p.m. ET.

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Written by Geoff Clark

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