NBA Best Bets of the Day (12/8)


Welcome to Hoops with Noops! One of the best parts of the NBA In-Season Tournament has been the rest it has afforded the rest of the league. The IST knockout rounds have created a two- (or more) day break for the other teams. We’ve seen hardly any resting of stars after these breaks, and the quality of basketball has been high.


Friday is one of those nightsm as we have 13 games in which every team has at least one day of rest and no games to look ahead to in the next two days. I’m expecting a night of great games, stunning highlights and hopefully not too much Friday Fudgery before the NBA In-Season Tournament championship game Saturday. Let’s dive into the games we do have, but be sure to check out the video version of Hoops with Noops today as well. Onto the basketball.

NBA Best Bets for Friday

Golden State Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder

Current Line – Thunder -3, 236.5
My Projection – Thunder 118, Warriors 116
Key InjuriesGary Payton is out.

This is somehow the fourth time these two teams have played already this season. The NBA schedule is a nightmare to put together, and there are often a few oddities like this in the schedule. Going back over those three games, only one involved Draymond Green, but that game didn’t feature Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, which means there’s not much we can really learn from those matchups. Oklahoma City is playing great basketball and has only seven losses, but those are all losses to good teams or the Houston Rockets. Golden State hasn’t played like a great team lately, but it’s still a talented roster capable of beating any team on any night.

My model makes this spread only two points, but that’s not a big enough edge to play. My numbers also like the under, but this matchup screams over to me. Neither team is built well to defend its opponent. The Thunder have plenty of wing defenders, but nobody that can stay with Stephen Curry. With Draymond Green back, I expect Curry to get to back to playing more off the ball where you’ll see him make great cuts and run around screens for open three pointers. With that in mind, I’m going to be over his three-point props and more specifically just alternate overs. Curry’s three-point total is generally pretty sharp, but it’s hard to price the alternate lines because when Curry goes over, he goes way over and when he goes under, he’s not close to the prop total. I took a unit and it split it up between 6+, 7+, and 8+ made three pointers for Curry.

The tough matchup for Golden State is Chet Holmgren. The Warriors at their best are a great defensive team but have always struggled with size. Draymond Green will keep Holmgren from bullying him in the post, but Chet is tall enough to shoot over him. I’m playing over Holmgren’s points+rebound combined prop. The FTNBets SGP Tool and I have Holmgren over his points and rebounds total, so why not just bet the combination of the two? I played Holmgren over 25.5 points+rebounds and an alternate line.


Stephen Curry 6+ Made 3s +175 (0.5U, FanDuel Sportsbook)
Stephen Curry 7+ Made 3s +370 (0.3U, FanDuel Sportsbook)
Stephen Curry 8+ Made 3s +700 (0.2U, FanDuel Sportsbook)
Chet Holmgren Over 25.5 Points+Rebounds -105 (0.75U, DraftKings Sportsbook)
Chet Holmgren Over 31.5 Points+Rebounds +290 (0.25U, FanDuel Sportsbook)

New York Knicks at Boston Celtics

Current Line – Celtics -7.5, 220.5
My Projection – Celtics 114, Knicks 108 
Key Injuries – None

One of the issues with the In-Season Tournament scheduling is that if two road teams from the same conference lose in the round of eight in the knockout stage, then one of those teams will have to play 42 road games and 40 home games in one season. The Knicks had 40 home games and 40 road games scheduled before the start of the season with the two remaining games to be determined as part of the In-Season Tournament. The lost to the Bucks in Milwaukee (road game 41), which knocked them out of the IST. The Knicks now play Friday in Boston, which is the 42nd road game added to their schedule.

It’s hard for a 76ers fan to feel bad for the Knicks, and it’s even harder for an NBA fan to feel bad for James Dolan, but this is unfair competitively and economically to the team. I’m not sure there is a good solution, but it is a problem that hopefully can be sorted out for next season’s IST. Could it be extra motivation for New York? Probably, but I’m not sure that bump is enough for them. The Knicks have struggled against the best teams in the league, and the Celtics are arguably the best team in the NBA. Kristaps Porzingis is back for Boston, which only makes them better My projections agree with this big spread and the total, but there is a player prop I like here. Julius Randle’s rebound prop total is too low at just 8.5. The FTNBets model and I have him projected for almost 11 rebounds tonight. His minutes total will be high against a division opponent, and he will be asked to play more of a power forward role, closer to the basket. I’m betting 10+ and 12+ rebounds for Randle. 


Julius Randle 10+ Rebounds +105 (0.75U, FanDuel Sportsbook)
Julius Randle 12+ Rebounds +250 (0.25U, FanDuel Sportsbook)

Chicago Bulls at San Antonio Spurs

Current Line – Bulls -2.5, 224.5
My Projection – Bulls 114, Spurs 110 
Key InjuriesZach LaVine is out.

It’s always interesting to see how a team responds to a star player missing time. Zach LaVine has been out for three games, and the Bulls have won all three. There has been talks about trading LaVine. That can impact not only the player but the rest of the team as well. It’s like breaking up with someone before your shared lease has ended. It’s just awkward to be around each other. From a handicapping perspective, this makes Bulls game tough to figure out for the time being. All three wins were on the road, and not that San Antonio is known for its homecourt advantage, but it’s tough to adjust to new surroundings after week at home. The Spurs have been awful and it’s hard to tell if they are actively tanking or just this bad.

My projections came out close to the market prices, but again, there’s a player prop I like quite a bit here. One of the biggest differences of playing without LaVine has been the performance of Coby White. He was pushed into the position of starting point guard and can create offense but is more natural in a shooting guard role next to another guard who can bring the ball up and get things started. White has filled up the stat sheet and the betting markets haven’t caught up yet. I’m going to bet over his points+rebounds+assists prop and I found a really nice price on an alternate rebounds bet.


Coby White Over 29.5 Points+Rebounds+Assists -115 (0.5U, FanDuel Sportsbook)
Coby White 35+ PRA +180 (0.3U, DraftKings Sportsbook)
Coby White 40+ PRA +400 (0.2U, DraftKings Sportsbook)
Coby White 8+ Rebounds +700 (0.25U, DraftKings Sportsbook)

Not For Noops

Games I’m not betting and why I’m not betting them.

Toronto Raptors at Charlotte Hornets +5.5, 223

I was dangerously close to betting an under or Hornets team total under, but I’m going to pass on those for now. The Raptors offense has been much better the last month, but they’ve struggled in the fourth quarters of games. The Hornets offense has been putrid without LaMelo Ball, but they still push pace and their opponents have been happy to run with them and attack their poor defense. If Mark Williams is out, I might still bet a Hornets team total under. If I do, I’ll post it in the FTNBets Discord #nba-plays channel.

Detroit Pistons at Orlando Magic -11, 228.5

If Jalen Suggs is playing, I will bet a Detroit team total under in this game, but I don’t think he’s playing. The leader of the Magic’s top-five defense and should be able to slow down Cade Cunningham, but only if he’s actually on the court. Suggs is Orlando’s best guard defender and his teammates have talked about how that inspires them to play hard on defense as well. The Pistons finally have some shooting, but they’re missing Jalen Duren who is important in pick and roll offense and rebounding on defense to create fast break chances. Pistons team total under 107.5 or higher if Suggs is announced in, but nothing for now.

Atlanta Hawks at Philadelphia 76ers -8, 241

My model likes the Hawks and the under in this game, but I can’t bring myself to bet either of those. This has the feeling of a blowout, which is a terrible game state for under bettors. Fourth quarters in games with a big margin are generally high-paced as bench players push the ball to make the most of their opportunity to play. Atlanta is playing better, but Trae Young is questionable and Jalen Johnson’s absence has been a bigger factor than expected.

Washington Wizards at Brooklyn Nets -9.5, 240

The prices in the betting markets for this game are very close to my projections. The Nets won the first time these teams played 102-94, a total of 196, which is the only Wizards game all season to have a total less than under 218 points, so I’m not sure there’s anything for us to learn from that anomaly. I’m not ready to lay 9.5 with Brooklyn and 9.5 is certainly not enough for me to back the Wizards. Well done, sportsbooks, there’s no value in these numbers.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat +1.5, 220

There are too many injury questions in this game to bet it. Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro are out again for Miami and Evan Mobley is questionable for Cleveland. Both squads are much different without those players and it’s hard to figure out how they’ll perform. I’ll bet Cleveland is Mobley is in, but that seems unlikely. If Mobley is out, over might be a good look. Cleveland’s defense will be worse, and they’ll likely play a better shooter in Mobley’s place. Nothing for now, but keep an eye on the FTN Discord for anything later.

Minnesota Timberwolves at Memphis Grizzlies +6, 213.5

My projections are within a point of these prices, and nothing stands out in the matchup for me. Jaden McDaniels is out for Minnesota, which is good news for Desmond Bane, but that doesn’t have a big enough impact to get me to bet on Memphis or even over on Bane props. Everything looks priced appropriately to me in this game.

Sacramento Kings at Phoenix Suns +2, 235

I’m not sure how to handicap this game since both Bradley Beal and Kevin Durant are not playing. Could Devin Booker somehow win a game with Jordan Goodwin, Eric Gordon, Josh Okogie, Keita Bates-Diop, Jusuf Nurkic and others? Absolutely. Could the Suns just totally punt here and lose by 15-plus? Absolutely. My head hurts just typing all this, so I’m not betting it.

Houston Rockets at Denver Nuggets -9, 221

There’s too much unknown for me in this game. Are the Rockets as good as they have played at home or as bad as they have played on the road? It’s probably somewhere in the middle, but I don’t know where. The Nuggets continue to deal with a constantly changing lineup as their starters deal with various nagging injuries. I do think the spread is a little too big, but it’s a bad matchup for Houston. I’ll pass.

Dallas Mavericks at Portland Trail Blazers +8, 232

Can the Mavericks blow out a second team in a row? Probably, but I’m not betting about it. It’s tough to play at that level in multiple games especially having to travel to Portland. I have Dallas a big favorite, but less than 10 points, which isn’t a big enough edge to lay the 8. 

Los Angeles Clippers at Utah Jazz +7.5, 225

This is another game that is tough to feel strongly about in either direction. The Clippers are playing better and look more comfortable every night, but I’m not ready to lay this many points in Utah. Conversely, the Jazz are without their two best players so I can’t bet on them either. My model came out close to these prices too. No bets for me.

Previous NFL Week 14 Best Bets Next Week 14 Player Props: Rushing Yards for Clyde Edwards-Helaire from EV Insight