Expert NBA Best Bets and Player Props Today – Tuesday, December 12

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Expert NBA Best Bets and Player Props Today – Tuesday, December 12th

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 Tuesday, December 12. Also, check out our NBA Odds page for the latest line movement. 

 

MORE: Check out our Pro Picks page for everything our experts have on December 12

2023 Record: 88-60-1 (+27.59 units)

NBA Best Bets Today – December 12

Los Angeles Lakers at Dallas Mavericks – 7:30 pm ET

The Mavericks earned a 120-113 road victory over the Memphis Grizzlies last night, but they now head back home to face the NBA In-Season Tournament champions. This is going to be a tough game for Dallas, especially with the team dealing with injuries to some key rotation pieces — including Kyrie Irving. But Luka Doncic is going to be out there for the Mavericks, and that’s the most important thing.

I just like this spot for the home team quite a bit, with Los Angeles having just experienced the high of winning the tournament. I’m not sure how the Lakers will jump back into playing regular season games, especially in a tough road environment. I know that logic burned me a bit in backing the Detroit Pistons to cover against the Indiana Pacers last night, but that felt like a play that should have gotten home. The Pistons are just an absolute mess and can’t get their rotation sorted out.

The reality here is that the Mavericks are now forced to play some better defensive lineups, which should help them slow down a hot Lakers team. But the offense will never quite go away if Doncic is running the show. He had 35 points, eight rebounds and six assists last night, and I’d be shocked if he doesn’t put up huge numbers here.

Overall, I just find it hard to ignore that the Lakers could be a little fatigued both physically and emotionally here. They’re also just 6-7 straight-up and 7-6 against the spread on the road this season. On top of all that, LeBron James and Anthony Davis are listed as questionable for this game. If either one of them is announced as out, you’ll be happy you pounced on the Mavericks at a good number. But I like them to cover regardless.

Bet: Mavericks +3 (-110) 

Golden State Warriors at Phoenix Suns – 10:00 pm ET

The Suns will be getting Bradley Beal back for tonight’s game, and it seems as though he’s in a much better place than the first time he returned. That’s massive for Phoenix, as the team has been looking for somebody that can take some pressure off Devin Booker and Kevin Durant. Guys like Grayson Allen and Eric Gordon have been able to do it, at times. But Beal is a borderline All-Star and should consistently bring an elite scoring presence to the table. And considering the amount of space Booker and Durant provide teammates with, Beal should feast on open looks and get to play exclusively in one-on-one situations. There won’t be help coming his way the way it did in Washington.

Durant is listed as questionable to play in this game, but he looked good in his individual workouts on Monday. So, I’d be somewhat surprised if he doesn’t end up playing for the Suns tonight. But even if he doesn’t, I think the team has more than enough to beat this current version of the Warriors. Golden State simply hasn’t been a good road team over the last few years, and the team comes into this one after having gone just 4-6 in its last 10 games. The Warriors did get a big boost when Draymond Green returned to action, but they are just 15th in offensive rating in the five games since he came back. And it’s not like he instantly turned them into a good defensive team, as they’re just 16th in defensive rating in that same span. So, I have a hard time believing they’ll be able to keep up with the Suns offensively, and their defense won’t do them any favors. Losing Gary Payton II to a torn calf could end up being something that dooms the Warriors, even if it didn’t feel like a big deal at the time.

It’s also likely that the Phoenix crowd will be completely fired up with Beal returning to action. The Suns should feed off that and comfortably win this game.

Bet: Suns -3.5 (-108)

UPDATE: Kevin Durant is now out for the Suns. I still like Phoenix quite a bit, especially at -2. 

NBA Player Props Today – December 12

Sacramento Kings at Los Angeles Clippers – 10:30 pm ET

De’Aaron Fox is averaging 30.4 points and 6.6 assists per game this season, so he averages more than his points and assists total for tonight. Of course, the Kings are facing a Clippers team that has been defending at a high level in recent weeks. But I am skeptical of Los Angeles’ chances of defending Fox. When the Kings faced the Clippers on November 29, Fox had 40 points and three assists in the game. His speed was a huge problem for all of Los Angeles’ guards, and that’s still going to be an issue for the Clippers here. Also, Fox is shooting a career-high 37.9% from 3 this season, so giving him some cushion and letting him shoot isn’t a solution. Fox is also going to pick the Los Angeles defense apart if the team opts to send help in his direction, allowing him to rack up assists in this one.

Bet: Fox Over 35.5 Points + Assists (-119)

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