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Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week – January 29th, 2024

By Hank Blaine

What the heck is going on in the NBA of late? Last week, we saw Karl-Anthony Towns score 62 points only to get overshadowed by the 70 scored by Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid only to get overshadowed by the 73 scored by Dallas’ Luka Doncic. Scoring is way up around the NBA league-wide this season. Here’s a look at two intriguing early week-matchups.

Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week (January 29th, 2024)

LA Clippers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

  • When: Monday, January 29th, 2024, 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, OH
  • TV: Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports SoCal
  • Radio: AM 570 LA Sports (Clippers) // WMMS 100.7 FM (Cavaliers)
  • Stream: NBA League Pass
  • NBA Odds: Clippers (-3) // Cavaliers (+3)

The Clippers showed how good they can be Saturday with an incredibly impressive 115-96 win at Boston, which had lost just once at home all season. Kawhi Leonard scored 26 points in only 29 minutes and Paul George added 17 points for Los Angeles, which used a 21-0 run in the third quarter to win its fifth straight and avenge a 37-point home loss to Boston in December. Leonard, George and the rest of Los Angeles’ starters sat the entire fourth quarter.

It was the most lopsided home loss of the season for Boston, which lost for just the second time at TD Garden home after starting the season 20-0 there.

“Yeah, guys were pretty motivated,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. “They came to LA and beat us pretty bad. So guys were locked in. We understand it was a back-to-back. But guys were locked in. They were up for the challenge. It was a game we thought PG might be out, but he wanted to play and see where we’re at. Just a measuring stick against a great team.”

“A good old-fashioned ass-whooping,” Boston’s Jrue Holiday said in his postgame interview. “They did everything better. Rebounding, transition, 50-50 balls — it seemed like they were a step ahead. Definitely humbling, I think, to be able to kind of come home and get your butt kicked.”

The Clippers held the Celtics to 36% shooting. James Harden said it was the Clippers’ best defensive performance of the season.

“Against a team that was playing really, really well,” Harden said. “Especially at home. … We still got some ways to go, but this is a good test for us.”

Since November 17, the Clippers are an NBA-leading 27-7. During the span, LAC ranks first in 3P% (40.4) and in offensive rating (122.0), and fourth in FG% (50.1) and in plus/minus differential (7.6). Norman Powell ranks first in the NBA in games with at least 10 points off the bench (35), and is the only player in the NBA to be shooting at least 49% from the field, 44% from three and 85% from the free-throw line off the bench (minimum 20 games played).

Cleveland had its NBA-best eight-game winning streak snapped last Wednesday in Milwaukee but the Cavs bounced back Friday in the same gym and beat the Bucks 112-110. Cleveland is 14-4 (.778) in their last 18 games since Dec. 16 which is the 2nd-best winning percentage in the NBA over that span. The Cavs rank 3rd in the NBA this season in opponent points per game (109.8) and have allowed fewer than 100 points in 4 of their last 6 games since.

Cleveland is 4-1 against Western Conference opponents in their last 5 opportunities. Since Jan. 1, the Cavs are shooting 39.3% from the three-point line, ranking 5th in the NBA in three-point percentage over that span. Donovan Mitchell is 1 of 4 players this season averaging 27.0+ PPG, 6.0+ APG and 5.0+ RPG (Luka Dončić, Shai-Gilgeous Alexander and Giannis Antetokounmpo). The Cavs remain without injured starters Darius Garland and Evan Mobley.

J.B. Bickerstaff (149 wins w/ Cavs) needs 1 more win to reach his 150th career regular season win as the head coach of the Cavs. He would be the 5th head coach in Cavs history with 150+ wins (Lenny Wilkens, Bill Fitch, Mike Brown and Mike Fratello).

This is the first meeting of the season between these teams. They split last season, each winning at home. Cleveland leads all-time 77-59 and at home 49-21.

NBA Betting Pick: Clippers

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Golden State Warriors

  • When: Tuesday, January 30th, 2024, 10:00 PM ET
  • Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
  • TV: TNT
  • Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic FM (76ers) // 95.7 The Game FM (Warriors)
  • Stream: NBA League Pass
  • NBA Odds: TBA

TNT national TV game – of course, the Warriors used to be located in Philadelphia. Sixers star Joel Embiid was named to his seventh straight All-Star Game last week and had that epic and franchise-record 70-point game last Tuesday vs. the Spurs to become the favorite to win a second straight NBA MVP Award. Embiid’s mid-range brilliance has remained central to his dominance.

His 6.9 mid-range attempts per game are third in the league, just behind DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Durant. He’s converted 50.5 percent of his mid-range tries, which is best among the 11 players who have taken over four mid-range shots per contest. Embiid is also having his most productive passing season yet and regularly making highlight dishes in both transition and half-court offense.

“I watch a lot of film and just try to see what defenses do,” Embiid said Monday. “What I’m most proud of is double teams, I’ve gotten so much better at handling them, whether it’s passing or just attacking before the double comes. … I think it’s all about — with Drew (Hanlen), my trainer — watching a ton of film. Not just on big guys, but (Michael Jordan), Kobe (Bryant) and all those guys.”

Warriors star and two-time MVP Steph Curry surprisingly was not named a starter for the All-Star Game, losing out to Luka Doncic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. While Curry was not named a starter, he will certainly be named to the team as a reserve, which will make it the 10th All-Star selection of his legendary NBA career.

“You got two guys that are playing amazing this year, Luka and Shai,” Curry said. “I’ve been around doing this for a very long time and the fact that it’s a talking point I’m not [starting] after nine healthy years – those two guys are playing amazing and they deserve it.”

Golden State is fourth in the NBA in rebounding, averaging 45.8 boards a game despite being the shortest team (averaging 77.5 inches or 6-foot-5), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Golden State is ranked third in offensive rebounding (12.6). The Warriors have outrebounded their opponent in 22 games this season. The Warriors reserves have outscored their opponents in 33 games this season. Their 44.3 bench points per game is ranked third in the NBA, trailing Indiana (48.8 ppg) and Utah (45.2).

The Warriors lead the NBA with 32 clutch games this season and have a 15-17 record in them. Clutch games are those decided in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime when the score is within five points. The most clutch games the Warriors have played in a single season since play-by-play was first recorded in 1997-98 was 50 in 2005-06. The NBA record is 57 by the 2002-03 Knicks. Curry leads the NBA in points, 3-pointers and field goals made in clutch minutes this season.

This is the first meeting of the season between the teams. The split last season, each winning at home.

NBA Betting Pick: Warriors

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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.

READ MORE: Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week – February 5th, 2024