Home | News | Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week – January 8th, 2024

Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week – January 8th, 2024

By Hank Blaine

Warriors forward Draymond Green was officially reinstated by the NBA from his indefinite suspension over the weekend. Green was suspended by the league after striking Jusuf Nurkic on Dec. 12. He needs a bit of time to get back into game shape, so Green likely won’t take the court before Friday in Chicago. The Dubs also got bad news over the weekend in losing Chris Paul for 4-6 weeks due to injury. Here are two intriguing early-week matchups.

Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week (January 8th, 2024)

Houston Rockets vs. Miami Heat

  • When: Monday, January 8th, 2024, 7:30 PM ET
  • Where: Kaseya Center, Miami, FL
  • TV: Bally Sports Sun, Space City Home Network
  • Radio: SportsTalk 790 AM (Rockets) // 560 The Joe WQAM (Heat)
  • Stream: NBA League Pass
  • NBA Odds: Rockets (+4.5) // Heat (-4.5)

This matchup loses a little luster with Heat All-Star guard Jimmy Butler out. The absence will be Butler’s eighth in the last nine games, previously out with a strained left calf. He then returned for the Dec. 30 road loss to the Utah Jazz, but left that game in the third quarter with what now is listed as an MP joint sprain of a toe on his right foot.

Under a new rule adopted in the offseason, players must appear in at least 65 games to qualify for postseason awards, such as All-NBA, ineligible if missing more than 17. Monday’s absence will be Butler’s 12th in the Heat’s first 36 games. Butler, 34, was second-team All-NBA last season. Forward Caleb Martin is likely to miss the sixth straight game due to a right ankle sprain.

Fellow forward Haywood Highsmith has been cleared from NBA concussion protocol and will be available Monday after missing the past three games. Highsmith absorbed a blow to the head in the waning seconds of the loss in Utah. Heat guard Tyler Herro needs just one made three-point field goal to enter Miami’s all-time Top 5 list.

Miami has started 19 different lineups in their 35 games this season, with 15 different players registering at least one start, only Dru Smith (who is out for the season) and two-way player Cole Swider have yet to start a game this season. Miami has 11 road wins so far this season, tied for the most in the NBA. Heat rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. has played 325.9 fourth quarter minutes this season, the second-most in the entire NBA.

Houston forwards Dillon Brooks and Tari Eason are in question after both missed Saturday’s upset win over Milwaukee. Houston has won three of its past four games after losing a season-high tying three straight prior. The Rockets are 18-16 this season and did not pick up their 18th win until Game #70 last season and finished 22-60. : Houston is outscoring opponents by an average of 2.6 ppg this season. The Rockets ranked 28th in points differential in 2022-22 at -7.9 ppg. Houston is 15-3 when leading after three quarters of play this season and 3-13 when tied or trailing.

Breakout star center Alperen Sengun is averaging 21.4 points, 9.0 rebounds and 5.1 assists while shooting 53.7% from the floor. Entering 2023-24, only four different players averaged at least 21.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg and 5.0 apg in a season while shooting 53.0% or better: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2x), Giannis Antetokounmpo (5x), Wilt Chamberlain (3x) and Nikola Jokić (3x). Sengun is one of four players averaging at least 21.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg and 5.0 apg this season (Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid and Jokić).

Miami has swept the past three season series, after doing so once from 2013-14 through 2019-0 (2-0 in 2016-17). The Heat’s current six-game winning streak vs. the Rockets is their longest since a seven-game span from 1/15/10-2/6/13. Miami is 12-2 over its past 14 home games vs. Houston, including six straight wins, after going 12-11 prior in the all-time series. Both games last season were decided by three or fewer points in Miami’s favor. The Heat lead the all-time series 39-33 and 24-13 at home.

NBA Betting Pick: Heat

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Dallas Mavericks

  • When: Tuesday, January 9th, 2024, 8:30 PM ET
  • Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
  • TV: Bally Sports SW-DAL, Bally Sports SE-MEM
  • Radio: WMFS-FM 92.9 (Grizzlies) // 97.1 The Freak FM (Mavericks)
  • Stream: NBA League Pass
  • NBA Odds: TBA

Two of the NBA’s most exciting players face off – assuming both play through minor injury – in the Grizzlies’ Ja Morant and Mavericks’ Luka Doncic. Memphis is 7-1 this season when Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane all score at least 20 points. Bane leads the NBA in games with multiple 3-pointers made (32). His 18-game streak with at least two 3-pointers made is the longest streak in franchise history within a single season.

There are 104 players who’ve shot the league average (36.6%) or better on at least 75 3-point attempts. The Grizzlies have just one of the 104, with every other team having at least two (the Thunder have six). Desmond Bane is that one guy for Memphis and has shot nearly 48% from 3-point range off of Morant’s passes. All other Grizzlies have shot just (25%) from beyond the arc when Morant has passed them the ball.

The Grizzlies ranked third in defense last season and while they’ve seen the league’s biggest drop in points scored per 100 possessions (-8.0 from last season), they’ve also seen its 11th biggest jump in points allowed per 100 (+2.5). They’ve seemingly paid the price for losing four key contributors — Kyle Anderson, Dillon Brooks, Tyus Jones and De’Anthony Melton — over the last two years, while also dealing with long-term injuries to Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke.

The Mavericks are 75-36 (.676) all-time against the Grizzlies franchise and 39-16 at home. The Mavs currently lead the 2023-24 season series 2-1, after Dallas recorded a 125-110 win at FedExForum (10/30/23), with the Grizzlies defeating the Mavericks 108-94 at American Airlines Center (12/1/23) and with the Mavericks defeating the Grizzlies 120-113 in Memphis (12/11/23). Two out of the last four matchups have all been decided by four-or-fewer points (after the previous 6 were decided by an average margin of 20.8).

Kyrie Irving, who missed four out of the last six meetings with Memphis due to right foot soreness, a left foot sprain and a right heel contusion, respectively, is averaging 26.5 points (.508 FG%, .432 3FG%, .840 FT%) – his highest career scoring average against team – to go along with 4.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 17 career games against the Grizzlies.

Doncic, who missed four of the last five games against Memphis due to a left thigh strain and for personal reasons, respectively, is averaging 25.8 points (.461 FG%), 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 13 career games against the Grizzlies (Dallas has gone 10-3 in those games), including 32.0 points (.508 FG%), 9.8 rebounds and 9.0 assists in his last six games against the franchise (all wins).

Mavs key reserve Maxi Kleber (small right toe dislocation) remains out and has not appeared in a game since Nov. 8, when he tried to play through the injury but ultimately worsened it. He’s been doing on-court workouts in recent weeks, but there hasn’t been a tangible update about a timetable for his return.

NBA Betting Pick: Mavericks

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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 – January 15th, 2024