After nine games on Friday night in the NBA, we’re going to get nine more on Saturday.
We’ll start our picks out in Boston, where the Celtics look to win their second game in as many nights after beating the Lakers on Friday. Then, it’s out west for 76ers vs. Trail Blazers and Jazz vs. Kings.
Check out our NBA betting analysts’ picks below for Saturday night.
NBA Odds & Picks
|Click on a game to skip ahead|
|Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Boston Celtics||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Philadelphia 76ers vs. Portland Trail Blazers||10 p.m. ET|
|Utah Jazz vs. Kings||10 p.m. ET|
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Boston Celtics
|Tipoff||7:30 p.m. ET|
Brandon Anderson: The Oklahoma City Thunder continue to punch above their weight this season. The Thunder are 6-9 and hanging onto the final play-in spot for now, and they’re 9-6 against the spread (ATS). Opponents continue to overlook the Thunder as an easy win on the schedule, but that’s not how it’s gone.
The Thunder offense is pretty dreadful. There’s no questioning that. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a star, and Josh Giddey has had his moments as a rookie, but there’s just not much offensive talent here, or certainly not much polish yet. If the Celtics defense is really locked in, they could throttle this attack.
But the Thunder are staying in game with an organized defense. Mark Daigneault has quietly done a great job coaching his team up each of the past two years, maximizing the roster and the talent he does have. This defense has a lot of length and, frankly, they try hard.
The Thunder are 4-2 ATS as double-digit underdogs this season. The two times they didn’t cover came against the Jazz and the Warriors — maybe the two best regular season teams in the NBA. They’ve covered all four other such opportunities, with losses by eight, three and seven points, along with a win over the Lakers.
I won’t play them to win, but I’ll take the try-hard Thunder to cover against a Celtics team that hasn’t been reliable from game to game. Let’s see if we can get another OKC cover.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Portland Trail Blazers
|Pick||Tyrese Maxey to Score 20+ Points|
|Tipoff||10 p.m. ET|
Joe Dellera: Tyrese Maxey has been incredible this season for the 76ers. He’s developed into a true point guard and is not afraid to shoot the basketball outside of the paint. He’s excelled scoring the basketball and over his last five games he’s averaged 25.2 points with only one sub-20 point game (16 vs Utah).
Simply put, Maxey is on a roll.
The Portland Trail Blazers are ranked 20th in points allowed to opposing point guards this season. Even though they held Maxey to 10 points on Nov. 1, he only took eight shots in that game, which is dramatically different from his last five games where he’s taken more than double that amount 17.4. Between Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum neither is a particularly strong perimeter defender.
This line is sitting at 17.5, and I’d take that if that’s all that’s available to you, but I also think given his great play that it’s worth playing at 20+ points at +140 on FanDuel. The implied probability of those odds is 41.7%, but he’s gone over 20 in four of his last five (80%).
Utah Jazz vs. Sacramento Kings
|Pick||Over 109.5 1H|
|Tipoff||10 p.m. ET|
Malik Smith: The Kings and Jazz sit on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to their Pace in the first half of games — the Kings rank fifth (102.69) and the Jazz are 29th (97.8). But both offenses are effective to start games. The Jazz have a 112.7 Offensive Rating (fourth-best) and the Kings score 110.9 points per 100 (sixth-best) in first halves.
The first half total was 108 in this game and dropped a half point this morning, before jumping back up as high as 109.5 at some books. When the first half total is below 110 for either team this season, the over is 7-4 combined (63.6%), according to Bet Labs.
One of those unders came in a Jazz-Hawks game in which Donovan Mitchell sat out and both teams scored 79 points combined in the first half. The other came against the Houston Rockets who amassed 40 points in a half.
I grabbed this at 107.5 and I’d still take the over here, but no higher than 109.5.