NBABet's 4 Best Bets From Thursday's Games

Check out how Action Network's analysts are betting Thursday's national TV doubleheader: Knicks vs. Celtics and Mavericks vs. Suns.

NBA Rivals Week rolls on with a TNT doubleheader that anchors Thursday’s six-game slate: Knicks vs. Celtics (7:30 p.m. ET) and Mavericks vs. Suns (10 p.m. ET).

Wednesday’s national TV games were two of the most entertaining we’ve seen this season and tonight’s games should be no different. Our betting analysts are all over those two featured matchups for their best bets with four picks, including player props, a total and a moneyline bet.

Read on for their expert picks and predictions for Thursday’s games below.

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NBA Odds & Picks

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Knicks vs. Celtics Player Prop
Knicks vs. Celtics Player Prop
Mavericks vs. Suns 1H Total
Mavericks vs. Suns Moneyline

New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics

Pick Julius Randle o3.5 Assists (-130)
Book FanDuel
Tipoff 7:30 p.m. ET

Alex Hinton: With Jalen Brunson in New York, Julius Randle is not the primary facilitator for the Knicks anymore. However, he is still second on the team in assists and he has the ball in his hands quite a bit. Randle is averaging four assists per game this season, so an average game from him will clear this line.

Randle is averaging 4.7 assists in his last 10 games. He has recorded four assists in eight of his last 10 games, including each of the last six games. Randle has cleared this line with relative ease in this stretch, finishing with five assists in four of those games. He also had another game where he was hooked and finished with three assists.

Randle gets the Boston Celtics tonight and he had just two assists in the first meeting back in November. However, Randle has finished with four assists in three of his last five games against Boston. He is averaging 5.2 assists in that span. The Celtics are also allowing the fifth most assists to power forwards over the last 15 games.

Additionally, this game will be nationally televised on TNT and Randle tends to get up for these spots. It would not be a surprise if he finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists as it is essentially his season averages. Tonight, we’ll focus on the assists in that equation and I expect Randle to have at least four.

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New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics

Pick Robert Williams o16.5 PTS + REB (-125) | Double Double (+430)
Book DraftKings

Joe Dellera: The Celtics take on the Knicks today who are coming off a strong win against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Despite that, one of the players who found success against the Knicks was Jarrett Allen who recorded a 24-point, 12-rebound double-double.

Allen found success on the interior against a Knicks team that is without Mitchell Robinson. (I wrote about the impact of his absence at length in my weekly Player Props Forecast.) The player I think will find success in tonight’s matchup is Celtics center Robert Williams III.

Williams is a force on the interior, and he can contribute on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. The prop that I’m targeting is his Points + Rebounds line of 16.5. He has exceeded this line in three of four games against the Knicks last season, and four of his last five games overall.

Now, without Robinson on the interior, Williams should have an even easier matchup. I’ll take the over here and sprinkle some Double Double at (+430 DraftKings).

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Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns

Pick 1H Under 114.5
Book PointsBet
Tipoff 10 p.m. ET

Malik Smith: The Suns have been the most profitable team to the first half under this season (31-18, 63.3%, +961) and the Mavericks aren’t far behind as the seventh-most profitable team (26-22, 54.2%, +149), according to Bet Labs. This line opened at 114.5 and there’s already been some movement toward the under with some books dropping as low as 113.

Both teams also rank bottom 10 in the league in Pace — Suns rank 22nd, Mavericks rank 29th — and both teams have injuries that impact them offensively. For the Suns, Devin Booker remains out with a groin strain and Christian Wood is out for the Mavs with a thumb injury.

Of course, the Mavericks still have Luka Doncic, but the Suns have maintained a solid defense (eighth in Defensive Rating over the past 15 games) during a stretch filled with injuries to their entire roster.

With this being a rematch of their postseason series during NBA Rivals Week, I’m expecting a physical game from both sides. When playing against conference opponents, both Suns and Mavericks first halves have trended toward the under. I like this one to go under in the first half and I would bet it down to 113.5.

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Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns

Pick Mavericks ML (+100)
Book BetRivers

Chris Baker: This line doesn’t really make sense to me. We’re getting the Mavericks, who have owned the Suns, as underdogs.

The Mavericks have dominated for 7.5 quarters versus this team this season. Despite that they are 1-1, due to hot shooting streak by Damion Lee in the fourth quarter. I weight the body of work from the 7.5 quarters of dominance much heavier than the hot shooting streak in that first game. (Also keep in mind, the Suns had Devin Booker for both of the first two games between these teams.)

Yes, the Mavericks have lost seven of their past 10 games, but I like their process. In the month of January, the Mavericks rank fifth in offensive 3-point attempt rate and 14th in defensive 3-point attempt rate. They are winning the math game and they will be able to exploit this against a Suns defense has been middle of the pack in opponent 3-point frequency since the start of January.

The Mavericks are a 3-point shooting team, which means they also are a high-variance team. We need to ignore the variance and trust their season-long metrics when healthy. The Mavericks have the top halfcourt offense in the NBA and this game will be played in the halfcourt as both these teams rank top-10 in transition defensive rating.

The Suns, with Devin Booker off the floor, rank in the ninth percentile of offensive rating (108.2). Furthermore, everyone assumes that Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul being back massively helps this team, but they have actually been some of the least effective players in the NBA when on the floor.

De’andre Ayton has a net-rating swing of (-10.7), dead-last in the NBA amongst bigs, while Chris Paul is a (-3.2). So the Suns have actually been slightly better when they are off the floor. De’andre Ayton ranks 55th out of 59 Centers in 538’s RAPTOR. I am not arguing these guys don’t help at all, but they just simply shouldn’t be moving the line this much.

Additionally, the Mavericks will be focused after a bad loss to the Wizards at home on Tuesday. I expect the Mavericks to bounce back and make a major statement against this Suns team.

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