NBA Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Wednesday, January 18th


Welcome to the daily NBA best bets page, your source for analysis on the betting lines for the day in professional hoops. For updates throughout the day follow me on Twitter, and make sure to subscribe to the Hardwood Handicappers podcast!

All game lines via the VSiN NBA odds page. Stay up to date on injury news with our injury report page as well.


*Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back
**Lines are opening numbers

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Best Bets

Record: 39-45 | Units: -7.74 | ROI: -9.42%

Cleveland Cavaliers at Memphis Grizzlies (-6.5, 225)

The best game of the night was ruined when Donovan Mitchell popped up on the injury report with a groin issue that is going to keep him out. In the possessions without Mitchell on the floor the Cavaliers average just 114.1 points per 100 possessions which is a very basic offensive rating, and we have seen this offense struggle to find consistency when one of he or Darius Garland are missing due to the lack of shot creators. It is a massive loss on any day, but especially here when facing the league’s best home team. 

Memphis outscores opponents by 14.1 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time when playing at home, and its 105.7 defensive rating at home, like its net rating, lead the league. Cleveland also struggles to defend in transition, coming into this game 18th in opponent points added per 100 possessions through transition off live rebounds (1.3), and Memphis is sure to exploit that weakness. In all, it seems like a poor spot for the Cavaliers and the market is responding accordingly, and pushing this line in the Grizzlies’ direction. 

Play: Grizzlies (-7)

Best Bet Recap

Grizzlies (-7)

Best Game

Sacramento Kings at Los Angeles Lakers (-4, 245.5)

Sacramento has won its last four games, covering all four of those contests by an average of 12.8 points per game. Their offense has been brilliant, averaging 1.36 points per possession against those opponents, so Los Angeles is clearly going to have its hands full. The Lakers are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine games, and their defense has shown some improvements, limiting those nine opponents to 114.6 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time. However, this total is the highest on the board at 245.5 and it is the highest of the three previous meetings between these two teams, all of which have gone over the total. An adjustment like that is understandable, but this an extreme change from the first meeting between these two which closed 231 consensus. 

Fastbreak Buckets

Miami Heat (-1.5, 221.5) at New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans is 3-4 SU and ATS in the seven games since losing Zion Williamson, but those three wins and covers came against Houston, Washington and Detroit. In the four losses, all to quality teams ranked 12th or higher in net rating, they lost by an average of 9.3 points per game. Miami could be one of those quality teams and Kyle Lowry was upgraded to questionable for this game.

Washington Wizards at New York Knicks (-6, 223)

Bradley Beal is inching closer to a return, and is listed as questionable for a second consecutive contest. Washington is 1-5 SU and ATS in its last six games, but has been much more competitive away from home this season with an 11-11-1 ATS record. New York fell in overtime last time out to Toronto, but it is 13-7 SU/13-6-1 ATS in its last 20 games.

Charlotte Hornets (-2.5, 237.5) at Houston Rockets

Houston is 0-11 SU/1-10 ATS in its last 11 games and has been outscored by 16.2 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time in those contests. Meanwhile, Charlotte is 1-8 SU/1-7-1 ATS in its last nine with a 123.3 defensive rating. One of them has to be favored, and it seems the market has deemed that team to be Charlotte.

Indiana Pacers at Oklahoma City Thunder (-4, 241)

Oklahoma City is 6-2 SU/7-1 ATS in its last eight games and has covered six straight. Its defense has been much improved over this stretch, limiting opponents to 112.6 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time. Indiana’s offense has averaged just 104.4 points per 100 possessions without Tyrese Haliburton, and the team is 0-3 SU/1-2 ATS in those games.

*Los Angeles Clippers at Utah Jazz (-6.5, 227.5)

This is the second leg of a back-to-back for Los Angeles, so it is likely that both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard will sit this game out. Utah has won three of four games and is 4-1 ATS in the five previous contests. The Jazz have done well at home this season, going 14-8 SU/12-9-1 ATS while covering by 2.7 points per game. Lauri Markkanen is questionable to play.

Minnesota Timberwolves at *Denver Nuggets (-8, 237)

Jamal Murray sat out Denver’s win over Portland last night in anticipation of this divisional matchup with Minnesota. The Nuggets are now 17-3 SU/14-5-1 ATS in its last 20 games with a +8.4 net rating in non-garbage time. Anthony Edwards and Rudy Gobert are questionable for the Timberwolves. Gobert is the one to watch, as he was questionable for the game against Utah and played only five minutes.