Expert NBA Best Bets and Player Props Today – Thursday, December 14th
The 2023-24 NBA season has begun and we’re excited over here at VSiN. As always, Jonathan Von Tobel will be providing you with his exceptional coverage of the greatest league in the world. Just click here for all of his content. However, all of my picks will be featured in this daily column, which will combine my best bets and player props. I’ll be doing this every single day of the week — although it’ll be a little shorter on the weekends. So, keep reading to find out how I’m playing the NBA slate on Thursday, December 14. Also, check out our NBA Odds page for the latest line movement.
2023 Record: 91-65-1 (+25.53 units)
NBA Best Bets Today – December 14
The Mavericks continue to be without Kyrie Irving, as the star is dealing with a right heel issue. Dallas is also missing Josh Green and Maxi Kleber. However, Luka Doncic has been finding ways to win with the guys around him, and I think he’ll pull out another win here.
Minnesota does come into this game after having had two full days to rest, but the team looked miserable in a 121-107 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday. Meanwhile, Dallas has won and covered in four consecutive games. And one thing that’s interesting about that is that the Mavericks are playing like a top 10 team in defensive rating over the course of this win streak. On the season, Dallas is just 23rd in defensive rating, so that is quite the difference. And a lot of that has to do with the Mavericks finding more minutes for defensive-minded players like Dante Exum. With Exum defending the point of attack instead of Irving, this defense actually becomes quite scary. In fact, the Mavericks are 4.2 points per 100 possessions better on the defensive end when Exum is on the floor. And I think we’ll see Dallas do a good job of defending Minnesota because of that.
Offensively, Doncic will be asked to shoulder quite the load against an opponent that is elite defensively. But I don’t really see him having too many issues. Doncic is a matchup-proof player, and he is surrounded by enough shooting to drag this team to a good offensive performance. And that’s especially the case at home. The Mavericks have one of the strongest home-court advantages in basketball, and I think that’ll be tough for the Timberwolves to overcome. I also like the fact that Dallas is 54-44-2 against the spread when facing teams with winning records under Jason Kidd. That speaks to his ability to get his team up for big games, but it also says a lot about Doncic’s ability to perform under bright lights.
Bet: Mavericks -1.5 (-110)
NBA Player Props Today – December 14
Opponents are shooting 38.0% from 3 against the Kings this season, and only six teams in the NBA are allowing a higher percentage than that. This Sacramento team gives up quality looks to opponents, which is part of the reason the Kings are down at 20th in the league in defensive rating. Considering they were top 10 in that category earlier in the year, it’s clear Sacramento is slipping. And I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a bottom five defense in a couple of weeks. With that in mind, I wanted to turn to an Oklahoma City player to knock down some open shots in this potential shootout. And I think Chet Holmgren has a great chance of doing so. This season, Holmgren is shooting 38.0% from 3 on 4.2 attempts per game. He has also made at least two 3s in 10 of the games he has played. Holmgren actually hit two 3s against the Utah Jazz on Monday, helping him to burst out of a small slump. I now like him to go out and do it again here. I just don’t think Domantas Sabonis will be quick enough to close out on him when the Thunder attack the Kings with pick-and-pop actions. I also think Sacramento will lose him at least once. So, I think it’s incredibly generous that we’re getting this play at plus-money odds.
Bet: Holmgren Over 1.5 Made 3s (+124)
Blazers -3.5 (-110) vs. Jazz
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