Two NBA Gambling Looks For Tuesday, January 3

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The NBA is practicing a form of “load management” league-wide, only scheduling three games on a non-football Tuesday. That’s good enough for me though and I have gambling looks in the Celtics-Thunder and Kings-Jazz.

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.

Boston Celtics (26-11) at Oklahoma City Thunder (15-21)

In their last game, the Celtics lost 123-111 at the Denver Nuggets on New Year’s Day. While the Thunder got pummeled 115-96 at home on New Year’s Eve night in their previous game. 

Boston is 4-1 Over/Under (O/U) when playing with a rest disadvantage with a +13.5 total margin. OKC is 6-3 O/U when playing with a rest edge with a +6.2 total margin and 5-1 O/U when playing on 2-3 days of rest with a +11.7 total margin. 

Also, the officiating crew assigned to the Celtics-Thunder has a combined 30-16 O/U record this season. Neither team has a high offensive FT/FGA rate.

Oklahoma City Thunder PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander goes to the rack on Boston Celtics PG Marcus Smart at TD Garden in Boston.
Oklahoma City Thunder PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander goes to the rack on Boston Celtics PG Marcus Smart at TD Garden in Boston. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

But, both should be more aggressive Tuesday after laying an egg offensively in their previous games. The Thunder averages the most drives per game and attempts a bunch of field goals at the rim.

Because of its aggressiveness, OKC has the third-highest wide-open 3-point attempt rate in the NBA. However, the Thunder don’t close out on 3s and the Celtics rank eighth in 3-point shooting percentage.

In fact, Boston’s offense typically responds after an ass-whooping. The Celtics are 5-1 O/U in their last six games following a double-digit loss.

The Thunder’s offense comes alive against top-tier teams and at home. OKC has gone Over the total in five of its last six games vs. teams with a winning record. The Thunder are 12-7 O/U at home with a +5.5 total margin.

Boston Celtics SF Jayson Tatum throws it down against the Oklahoma City Thunder at TD Garden in Boston.
Boston Celtics SF Jayson Tatum throws it down against the Oklahoma City Thunder at TD Garden in Boston. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Finally, Celtics-Thunder has gone Over the total in four consecutive meetings, including earlier this season. Boston eked past OKC 126-122 on Nov. 14 after out-scoring the Thunder 37-26 in the fourth quarter.

This is despite Boston shooting poorly from behind the arc (27.0%). The reason being Celtics-Thunder played at a break-neck speed, averaging a 112.3 possessions per 48 minutes. The NBA leader in pace is the Golden State Warriors at 102.4.

NBA Best Bet #1: OVER 233.5 Celtics-Thunder (-115) at DraftKings Sportsbook, up to 234.5

 

Odds for the OVER in Boston Celtics at the Oklahoma City Thunder from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 2 p.m. ET.
Odds for the OVER in Boston Celtics at the Oklahoma City Thunder from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 2 p.m. ET.

Sacramento Kings (19-16) at Utah Jazz (19-20)

The Kings beat the Jazz 126-125 at home Friday thanks to a go-ahead 3-pointer by Sactown SG Kevin Huerter with 9.2 seconds remaining. Most of the money and action at DraftKings is on the Jazz, per VSIN, which makes sense.

Utah is power-rated alongside Sacramento in the market. Plus it’s hard beating the same team twice inside a week, especially in their home building. 

However …

The Kings are better from behind the arc

 

Sactown has the fifth-most wide-open 3-point attempts in the NBA, defined by if a defender is six feet or further from the 3-point shooter. The Kings allow the fewest wide-open 3-point attempts in the NBA.

Also …

You want to back Utah as a ‘dog but fade it as a favorite

 

The Jazz are 7-9 straight up (SU) and 5-11 against the spread (ATS) as favorites. The Jazz are 4-7 ATS as home favorites and 1-4 ATS as 3-to-4.5-point favorites as well. The Kings are 10-7 ATS on the road.

‘Styles make fights’

 

Both teams have similar profiles i.e. good offenses, bad defenses, a ton of 3-point attempts, and poor defensive FT/FGA rates.

Sacramento Kings SG Kevin Huerter celebrates a go-ahead basket in the 4th quarter against the Utah Jazz at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.
Sacramento Kings SG Kevin Huerter celebrates a go-ahead basket in the 4th quarter against the Utah Jazz at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. (Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Sacramento is 9-3 SU vs. bottom-10 defenses with a +7.1 adjusted net rating (ranked seventh), per CleaningTheGlass.com. Whereas Utah is 7-7 SU with a +3.8 adjusted net rating (15th).

 

The Kings are a much better team in tight contests

 

Sacramento is 12-8 SU with a +13.6 net rating in the “clutch,” which is defined by games within a 5-point margin inside five minutes to play. Utah is 10-14 SU with a -5.2 net rating in the “clutch”.

NBA Best Bet #2: Kings +3.5 (-110) at DraftKings, down to +2.5

The Sacramento Kings' odds at the Utah Jazz from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 2 p.m. ET.
The Sacramento Kings’ odds at the Utah Jazz from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 2 p.m. ET.

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Written by Geoff Clark

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