NBA Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Saturday (1/21)

Let’s dive into a pair of games we like on Thursday and the best bet for each.

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Today’s Best NBA Bets

Let’s look at the best bets from Saturday’s slate of games.

Boston Celtics @ Toronto Raptors

It’s probably a good time to back off the Celtics. Their status atop the Eastern Conference has blinded bettors, skewing spreads in their direction. Boston has been on a roll, but their most recent victories have not been so emphatic, and we are reluctant to back them once more in Toronto.

The Raptors have disappointed this year, but advanced stats still view the team fondly (since the start of the New Year, the Raptors grade out at the 10th best team at home per Cleaning the Glass). Too, we like the matchup for a Toronto team that has played Boston tough in recent years. Look no further than these two teams’ previous meeting, a 116-110 Boston victory:

Toronto kept this game close despite being outscored 35-18 in the 3rd quarter and having to endure one of Fred VanVleet’s worst games of the year (3-14 shooting). Further and for reference, Boston was favored by 1.5 that game, and the outlook of these two teams has not changed so much to justify such a stark line shift. Admittedly, it is not so easy as to project a previous game onto another, but such circumstances reinforce that the Raptors are being undervalued on their home court, and the Celtics have been overbought.

Bet: Raptors +5.5 (-110)

Houston Rockets @ Minnesota Timberwolves

The Rockets are the worst team in basketball, and just about every metric supports this (538, Net Rating, Adjusted Net Rating, Hollinger Stats, etc.). We welcome any opportunity to bet against them, and we especially appreciate the opportunity to do so with both Kevin Porter Jr. and Jabari Smith Jr. ruled out.

Conversely, Minnesota has had their struggles this season, but they are a markedly better team at home and have found some rhythm of late (7-3 ATS over their last ten). Additionally, over this same stretch of ten games, Minnesota boasts a Net Rating of 11th in the NBA– a stark increase from their season-long rating of 18th.

The Timberwolves have shown signs of an improving team, whereas the Rockets continue to contend for Victor Wembanyama. At a glance, it is a drastic number for the Wolves to be favored by– but it’s justified given how poorly Houston has fared.

Bet: Timberwolves -8 (-110)

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