NBA: Best bets and analysis for January 25th

Jonathan Von Tobel (76-48-1 | Units: +24.3u) gives his daily NBA best bets and analysis for Thursday, January 25th.

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Jan 24, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) reacts after a play against the Atlanta Hawks during the fourth quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to my daily column of NBA best bets! Here at VSiN we have a ton of NBA content daily, so make sure to keep tabs on Zach Cohen who is doing an excellent job handicapping the league on a daily basis. Also, subscribe to Hardwood Handicappers, our daily NBA betting podcast, wherever you get your podcasts!

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NBA Best Bets

Record: 76-48-1 | Units: +24.3u | ROI: 18.0%

Philadelphia 76ers (-4, 236.5) at Indiana Pacers

There is no one in the NBA that is stopping Joel Embiid right now, and by extension the 76ers’ offense is an unstoppable machine. In the win on Monday night the 76ers put up 1.357 points per possession on the Spurs. It was the third time in four games that they had averaged at least 1.3 points per possession. Philadelphia is now sixth in non-garbage time offensive efficiency (120.9), and it gets to feast on one of the worst defenses in the league tonight.

Indiana owns the fourth-worst non-garbage time defensive rating in the NBA (120.9). In terms of defensive shooting categories, the Pacers rank no higher than 15th in the areas of the floor that Cleaning The Glass tracks. They are also 29th in opponent free throw rate (24.5 made free throws per 100 field goal attempts). That might be an issue against the team that leads the league in free throw rate (26.1).

However, Philadelphia is not the only one that can have offensive success in this contest, and that is why this is a perfect game to go over the total on.

The 76ers rank fifth in non-garbage time defensive rating, but they are weakest when being forced to defend in transition. Philadelphia is 20th in opponent points added per 100 possessions through transition offense (3.0) and 14th in defensive efficiency off live rebounds (121.1). The Pacers obviously love to run, and even without Haliburton they can be effective on the break.

This is why this game should get over the total of 237.5 which is the current consensus number. Indiana will have no answer for Embiid and this offense, but it should also be able to carry its weight by having success in transition.

Play: OVER 237.5 – Playable up to 239.5

Sacramento Kings (-2.5, 240) at *Golden State Warriors

Golden State looked phenomenal in returning from its long layoff due to the passing of assistant coach Dejan Milojević. The Warriors picked apart the Hawks shoddy defense and averaged 1.368 points per possession in the 134-112 win. They play with no rest tonight, but this is a home game after over a week off. It should not be a negative scheduling spot for Golden State.

With that in mind, it is surprising to see this number open where it did. Sure, the Kings have two days of rest compared to none for the Warriors, but the gap between these two on a neutral is not that great. Let’s put it this way: Would you lay 7.5 with Sacramento at home against Golden State?

The Warriors are 4-8 SU in their last 12 games with a -5.1 net rating. However, they put up 121.4 points per 100 possessions in those 12 games. With Draymond Green back on the floor – as well as time to practice with the days off – this should be the time Golden State gets back on track.

Sacramento might be 6-3 ATS in its last nine games, but it is only 4-5 SU in those contests. It is 19th in non-garbage time defensive efficiency (117.6) and 25th in halfcourt defense (102.1). Golden State can certainly pick this defense apart. 

This one screams value when it comes to the number, and who am I to ignore those screams?

Play: Warriors ML (+110) – Playable to (+100)

NBA Best Bets

76ers/Pacers OV 237.5

Warriors ML (+110)