Home | News | Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week – December 11th, 2023

Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week – December 11th, 2023

By Hank Blaine

We can officially crown the NBA’s first In-Season Tournament a success with the Los Angeles Lakers beating the Indiana Pacers in the title game on Saturday night. It will be interesting to see how much the level of play around the league drops for a while with that now in the rearview mirror because it’s bound to for some clubs that advanced. Here are two intriguing early-week NBA matchups and picks.

Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week (December 11th, 2023)

Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Hornets

  • When: Monday, December 11th, 2023, 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
  • TV: Bally Sports SE-CHA, Bally Sports Sun
  • Radio: 560 The Joe WQAM (Heat) // 92.7 FM WFNZ (Hornets)
  • Stream: NBA League Pass
  • NBA Odds: Heat (-4) // Hornets (+4)

The Heat will remain without injured starters Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo and Haywood Highsmith on Monday. What makes Herro’s prolonged absence especially unfortunate is that he was off to a hot start to the season. In eight games with the Heat, he is averaging 22.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game while shooting 44.7 percent from the floor and 41.0 percent from behind the 3-point line. He hasn’t played since Nov. 8 due to a right ankle sprain. Herro has returned to individual drills, but it’s unclear when he will be cleared for full-contact practices. In Herro’s absence, Duncan Robinson has stepped up at shooting guard. Robinson is averaging 14.3 points per game while shooting 41.7 percent from 3-point range on 7.0 attempts per game.

Adebayo will miss a fourth straight game due to a bruised left hip. In Adebayo’s absence, Orlando Robinson has been operating as the starting center, but Kevin Love continues to play a key role off the bench. Highsmith will miss a third straight game due to back spasms. In Highsmith’s absence, Caleb Martin has slid into the starting lineup. Miami has started 14 different lineups in their 22 games this season.

Jaime Jaquez Jr., who was named the NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in November/December, has currently scored in double-figures in nine-straight games, and in 14 of his last 15 overall. The last Heat rookie to score in double-figures in at least nine consecutive games was Kendrick Nunn in 2019. Over the current nine-game span, Jaquez Jr. is averaging 16.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.00 steals while shooting 54.5 percent from the field and 44.8 percent from three-point range. Additionally, he has played 194.9 fourth quarter minutes this season, the third-most in the entire NBA.

The Miami defense is pressuring opponents into a 15.4 percent turnover rate, the sixth-highest in the NBA. Heat opponents are averaging 15.2 turnovers per game, seventh-most in the NBA, while Miami’s defense has forced 335 total turnovers, also the seventh-most in the league. Additionally, seven different Heat players are currently averaging at least one steal per game this season.

The Heat and Hornets meet for the second of four matchups this season and the first of consecutive contests with their next game on Wednesday in Miami. On Nov. 14, Miami was a 111-105 winner in Charlotte. Jimmy Butler scored 32 points and Adebayo had 21 points and 11 rebounds. Star LaMelo Ball added 28 points, 11 assists and six rebounds for the Hornets but he remains out injured. Ball has been dealing with a serious right ankle sprain since late November and is amid an extended absence.

Miami has won seven of the past nine overall in the series but we think this will be close as the first of a home-and-home series often are.

NBA Betting Pick: Hornets

L.A. Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks

  • When: Tuesday, December 12th, 2023, 7:30 PM ET
  • Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
  • TV: TNT
  • Radio: ESPN LA 710 (Lakers) // 97.1 The Freak (Mavericks)
  • Stream: NBA League Pass
  • NBA Odds: TBA

Could be a monster trap game for the Lakers after winning the NBA Cup on Saturday night over Indiana and LeBron James being named tournament MVP. Probably the last title that a James-led team will win as are the Lakers realistically NBA title contenders? Maybe.

The Lakers beat Indiana 123-109 in Las Vegas. LeBron had 24 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. He reached the 20-point mark for the fifth time in his last six games and is averaging 23.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game across his last 10 outings. Beyond the NBA Cup, Lakers players will receive $500,000 for the tournament win. Those on two-way deals will only receive half.

“We made history,” James said after the win. “Any time you’re on the right side of history, you take it. The first In-Season Tournament belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers. That will never ever be topped. Ever.”

Anthony Davis had 41 points and 20 boards in the win. Davis is averaging 25.5 points, 14.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.1 blocks per game across his last 10 outings. Austin Reaves scored 28 points off the bench Saturday, one of his best performances of the campaign. The length of Lakers defenders Cam Reddish and Jarred Vanderbilt could be a factor later on this season. The Lakers also had a smart game plan, smothering Tyrese Haliburton with double-teams and attacking the Pacers’ weakness in defending the paint by relentlessly hunting shots there and making 43 baskets in the lane. This is simply this writer’s speculation, but it wouldn’t shock if LeBron got Tuesday off after that long tournament run.

The Lakers hold a 116-56 advantage in the all-time series with the Mavericks. They played on Nov. 22 in Los Angeles and the Mavs won 104-101. Kyrie Irving scored 28 points and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 22 seconds to play, and Dallas blew a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter before rallying back. LeBron scored 16 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and made the tiebreaking tip-in with 1:16 to play for the Lakers, but he also made a turnover with four seconds left and then missed a tying 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

Dallas has won four of the last five in the series. In 16 career games (8-8 record) against the Lakers, Mavs star Luka Doncic is averaging 25.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and 8.3 assists while producing three 30-point triple-doubles against the franchise. Irving is not expected to play Tuesday as he’s dealing with a right heel contusion, and he doesn’t yet have a timetable to return. Dante Exum, Seth Curry and Tim Hardaway will all pick up some minutes.

NBA Betting Pick: Mavericks

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