NBA Betting Lines Picks Tonight
All NBA game lines come courtesy of TopBet and are accurate as of early-morning Dec. 6. As always, please double-check these odds before placing a wager, as they are subject to change.
Dallas Mavericks (+9) at Boston Celtics (-9)
Take A Chance On Dallas
You’re reading this correctly: We want you to take a chance on the Dallas Mavericks.
Yes, the Boston Celtics have the best record in the NBA. Yes, they continue to place first in points allowed per 100 possessions. And yes, they are a stout 11-2 at home, with a point differential per 100 possessions north of seven.
But they also haven’t been running teams off the floor on a nightly basis. They’ve had some unnecessarily close games, in large part because their offense is overwhelmingly mediocre when Kyrie Irving isn’t on the court. It took them an overtime period just to edge out Dallas on the road a couple weeks ago.
Plus, the Mavericks are better than their record suggests. Over their past 10 games, in fact, they’re 5-5, with a top-nine net rating and, most importantly, top-five defense.
This contest could quickly turn into a grind-it-out half-court affair, even with the Celtics looking to push whenever possible. They should still win, but banking on a double-digit victory feels premature.
The Pick: Dallas Mavericks (+9)
Golden State Warriors (-5.5) at Charlotte Hornets (+5.5)
Keep Faith In Stephen Curry-Less Warriors
Stephen Curry rolled his ankle late in the fourth quarter during the Golden State Warriors’ Monday night victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, and while an MRI revealed no structural damage, he is expected to miss at least the next two weeks, beginning tonight.
This poses something of a problem for the Warriors, because Curry is still their most valuable player. Their net rating drops by more points per 100 possessions when he takes seat than it does for anyone else on the team. Even with Kevin Durant and Draymond Green in the rotation, Curry remains the heartbeat of Golden State’s identity.
Here’s the rub: The Warriors are still outscoring opponents by more than six points per 100 possessions when Curry isn’t playing. So while he may be their most important piece, they still have the star power to win without him. And the Charlotte Hornets, for their part, have done little to nothing at either end of the floor to make us think they’ll put up a fight against the reigning champs, even if they are in cruise-control mode.
The Pick: Golden State Warriors (-5.5)
Sacramento Kings (+12.5) at Cleveland Cavaliers (-12.5)
Cautiously Wager On A Cleveland Blowout
Rolling with the Cleveland Cavaliers whenever they’re favored by double digits always registers as a slightly unsettling gambit. Since LeBron James returned, they have this nasty habit of playing down to the level of their opponent, no matter how bad that rival may be.
This matchup with the Sacramento Kings feels different.
For starters, the Cavaliers are riding a 12-game win streak, during which everything from their defense to their second unit is flat-out clicking. Though they haven’t been blowing out every team they face, they’ve won each of their past 12 games by an average of 10.8 points. Making what amounts to a two-point jump against the Kings isn’t particularly difficult.
After all, we’re talking about the Kings. They are straight terrible. Like, really, ridiculously terrible. Remove garbage-time numbers from the equation, and the Kings are the NBA’s worst team in terms of net rating, according to Cleaning The Glass—inferior even to the Chicago Bulls.
The Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers (-12.5)
Detroit Pistons (+4.5) at Milwaukee Bucks (-4.5)
Throw Your Money On Detroit
Color this line surprising.
The Milwaukee Bucks enter this tilt as one of the NBA’s more notable underachievers. They remain firmly ingrained in the Eastern Conference’s playoff conversation, but they’ve failed to make that jump to elite status. Their offense is built on a house of cards, owed in large part to a dearth of three-point attempts and shoddy efficiency in transition. And the defense, while 11th in efficiency since Eric Bledsoe’s arrival, still surrenders too many long-range looks.
Granted, the Detroit Pistons head to Milwaukee riding a three-game losing streak. They aren’t particularly dominant when it comes to playing on the road, and knowing this contest caps a four-game road trip, they could fold early.
But these two teams have split the season series thus far, winning one game apiece. And each dance-off was decided by under 10 points. Tack on that the Bucks are actually a net negative when playing at home this season, and we have the groundwork for a tightly wound affair that should be decided by three points or less and could very well culminate in the Pistons pulling off the upset.
The Pick: Detroit Pistons (+4.5)
Chicago Bulls (+9.5) at Indiana Pacers (-9.5)
Indiana Takes The Cake
Investing in a fringe playoff team favored by double digits isn’t a strongly endorsed practice. The Indiana Pacers are neither juggernauts nor postseason locks. Their defense is blah, and they lack a true star.
Still, the Bulls are just that freaking bad. They rank dead last in points scored per 100 possessions by a wide margin. Seriously: We haven’t seen an offense this anemic since the Sam Hinkie-era Philadelphia 76ers. Their defense is no silver lining either. They place in the bottom five of points allowed per 100 possessions, which figures to be a problem against a surprisingly potent Pacers squad.
To wit: Indiana is sixth in offensive rating for the season and fifth when playing on the road. Victor Oladipo has been lights out on pull-up jumpers and in transition, and the Pacers are getting blistering three-point clips from almost every rotation player.
Maybe Indiana’s defense allows Chicago to find some life on offense. Even if it does, that still shouldn’t be enough for the Bulls to finish within 10 points of a victory.
The Pick: Indiana Pacers (-9.5)
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