Home | News | Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week – January 15th, 2024

Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week – January 15th, 2024

By Hank Blaine

The Golden State Warriors are still struggling big time but will get back former All-Star Draymond Green from his suspension/return to conditioning on Monday when the Dubs visit Memphis on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in the USA. Here’s a look at two other intriguing early-week NBA matchups and picks.

Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week (January 15th, 2024)

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. LA Lakers

  • When: Monday, January 15th, 2024, 10:30 PM ET
  • Where: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA
  • TV: Spectrum SportsNet, Bally Sports OK
  • Radio: WWLS-The Sports Animal 98.1 FM (Thunder) // ESPN LA 710 WQAM (Lakers)
  • Stream: NBA League Pass
  • NBA Odds: Thunder (+4.5) // Lakers (-4.5)

NBA TV game at 10:30 PM ET to conclude the MLK Day holiday. Who would have guessed the rising Thunder would be this much better than the Lakers at this point in the season? Oklahoma City, Minnesota and Denver are all jockeying for the West’s best record – the LA Clippers are in there as well. The Lakers wouldn’t even make the Western Conference play-in tournament as things stand.

OKC enters on a four-game winning streak after beating Orlando 112-100 on Saturday. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander tallied 37 points, seven assists, six rebounds and three steals. He’s scored 31 or more in six of his last seven games, and the 37 tallied on Saturday are the most of SGA since he dropped 40 on Denver on December 29. Shai is currently averaging 31.5 points per game on 55.8 percent shooting from the field through his first 37 games. On top of his scoring frenzy, Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 5.9 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and a league-leading 2.3 steals per game.

SGA became only the third player ever to average 30+ points and 2.5+ steals per game through the first 25 games of a season. No player in NBA history has averaged 30+ points on 55.0 percent shooting and 2.5+ steals. Rookie of the Year candidate Chet Holmgren is averaging 17.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 2.5 blocks. Holmgren has four games with three blocks and three 3-pointers this season, 2nd-most by a rookie all-time, trailing Eddie Griffin in 2001-02 (5).

The Thunder have shot 50 percent or better from the field in 10 straight games dating back to December 2023. The last time this was done by any NBA team was in 1993 by the San Antonio Spurs.

The Lakers come off a 132-125 loss in Utah on Saturday as LA fell to two games under .500 while playing without LeBron James because of a left ankle injury. The 39-year-old turned the ankle in the first half of the Lakers’ 127-109 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday. He stayed in the contest after the injury but logged just 24 minutes and scored a season-low 10 points on 3-for-11 shooting. Saturday was James’ fourth missed game this season and it’s unclear if he will play Monday.

“We’re not in a bad spot,” Anthony Davis said of the team’s 19-21 mark. “It could be worse. Just our injuries just piled up over and over. As soon as we think we get a couple guys back, guys go down. So, that’s the toughest thing but we still have enough to win basketball games. Even though Bron doesn’t play, we have enough to win. But we just got to keep going — 40 games, 42 left. We got to make a push. These next five or six games at home are going to be a big stretch of games for us.”

These teams have split two meetings this season in Oklahoma City. The last was on Dec. 23 and the Lakers won 129-120 behind a season-high 40 points from LeBron. Oklahoma City trimmed what had been a 26-point deficit with 3:32 left in the third quarter to eight points midway through the fourth quarter. James then took over, scoring 11 points in the final 4:29 to help the Lakers hold on.

The Lakers are 24-21 all-time against Oklahoma City at Crypto.com Arena.

NBA Betting Pick: Thunder

Denver Nuggets vs. Philadelphia 76ers

  • When: Tuesday, January 9th, 2024, 7:30 PM ET
  • Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
  • TV: TNT
  • Radio: Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM (Nuggets) // 97.5 The Fanatic FM (76ers)
  • Stream: NBA League Pass
  • NBA Odds: TBA

TNT national TV game tipping off at 7:30 PM ET and it’s one of the best individual matchups of the season – assuming both play – in Denver center Nikola Jokic, a two-time NBA MVP, and Philadelphia center Joel Embiid, the reigning MVP and a two-time scoring champion who also currently leads the league in scoring.

We have to hope Embiid plays because he entered this week having missed three games in a row due to left knee swelling and seven of the past nine games overall due to injuries. But Embiid practiced in full over the weekend and should be ready for Tuesday at the latest – although not the Sixers also play Monday vs. Houston.

“He went through the full practice and, as you can see, he’s still out there working,” said Coach Nick Nurse said Sunday of Embiid. “Moving good and he looks good.”

Averaging 34.6 points in 34.1 minutes, Embiid is on pace to join Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain as the only NBA players since the 1954-55 season to finish with more points than minutes played. Chamberlain averaged 50.4 points in 48.5 minutes for the Philadelphia Warriors during his historical 1961-62 season. In addition to being this season’s NBA leading scorer, he’s fourth in rebounding (11.8) and is tied for ninth in blocks (2.0) while producing a career-best 6.0 assists.

Jokic is the first player in NBA history to have seven consecutive seasons with 10+ triple-doubles, a record he previously shared with Oscar Robertson at six straight seasons. Jokic has four career games with 25+ points, 15+ rebounds and 15+ assists, tying Wilt Chamberlain for the second-most career games in NBA history.

Denver will be on normal rest after a 117-109 home win over Indiana on Sunday. Jokic recorded 25 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, finishing an assist shy of his 13th triple-double of the season. Jokic made 12 of his 13 field-goal attempts and is shooting 81% (85 of 105) from the field over his past nine games. Jokic, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. each had at least 25 points, five assists and one steal to become the first trio of Nuggets players to do that in the same game since Alex English, Fat Lever and Michael Adams on January 28, 1989.

It’s the first meeting of the season between the teams. The split last year, each winning at home. The Sixers prevailed 126-119 as Embiid won the battle of MVP candidates with 47 points and 18 rebounds. “He’s really talented,” Jokic said after. “Really shifty.” Jokic had 24 points, eight rebounds and nine assists.

NBA Betting Pick: 76ers

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This is just one of the many sports betting guides that you can read here at Nitrobetting news. Stay tuned for more 2023-24 NBA season previews and articles, and don’t forget to check out the latest basketball betting odds on our online Bitcoin sportsbook.

*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.

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