NBA Betting Picks for Monday 12/4/23: Will the Celtics Dominate the Pacers Once Again?
The 82-game NBA regular season offers us a wide variety of betting options, including point spreads, moneylines, and totals. The Association features 1,230 regular season games, which can make sifting through the odds an overwhelming task.
However, various advanced statistics can help narrow the choices. numberFire's NBA power rankings and daily projections paired with advanced stats from the NBA can help give the inside track to winning big.
While utilizing some of the mentioned tools, which NBA odds from FanDuel Sportsbook look like the best bets today?
Please note lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published.
NBA Best Bets
Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers
Celtics -6 (-106)
The NBA's In-Season Tournament begins the knockout rounds tonight with two quarterfinal games. First up is the Boston Celtics against the Indiana Pacers. Boston thrashed Indiana in the previous head-to-head matchup with a 155-104 win.
According to FanDuel's NBA MVP odds, Haliburton is +3500 to win the award. It's easy to see why the fifth-year guard could contend for the award with 27.0 points per game (PPG) and a league-best 11.8 assists per game (APG). He also leads the team with a 27.3% usage rate while touting a 125.9 offensive rating.
As if Haliburton's potential absence wasn't enough, Jalen Smith (10.0 PPG; 19.9% usage rate) will be out, and Obi Toppin (13.1 PPG; 16.9% usage rate) is questionable with an ankle sprain. Indiana could be without three of their top eight scorers, including their star player. That's a big blow to the NBA's best offense (first in rating).
Tonight's game may not be as lopsided as the previous head-to-head matchup, but the Celtics could be poised for another win and cover against the spread (ATS). If Haliburton is out, Indiana will likely deal with the same struggles. The offense shot only 45.5% from the field in the last matchup (compared to a season average of 51.1%), and the starting backcourt of Andrew Nembhard and Bennedict Mathurin combined for just 22 points and a 41.7% field goal percentage (FG%).
Boston has perhaps the league's best defensive backcourt with Jrue Holiday (107.8 defensive rating) and Derrick White (107.2 defensive rating). Haliburton would likely still find some success, as he has the best offensive rating among all players in the NBA. Without Haliburton, though, the Pacers are a completely different team. The offense does not flow as smoothly, and the guard play could suddenly become weak -- especially against the Celtics' elite defensive backcourt.
For now, there are a lot of ifs due to injuries. If Haliburton is absent, this one could get ugly once again. Regardless, I have confidence in Boston covering the six-point spread.
The Celtics dominated the glass in the last matchup, corralling 57 rebounds to Indiana's 31. Boston averages the third-most rebounds per game (RPG) and has the sixth-best mark in defensive rebounding percentage. The Pacers total the third-fewest RPG while holding the sixth-worst mark in defensive rebounding percentage. The Celtics will be without Kristaps Porzingis (calf), but he averages only 6.7 RPG.
Elite defense and rebounding could be the formula for another Boston win and cover.
New Orleans Pelicans at Sacramento Kings
Over 237 (-108)
The nightcap of the doubleheader will be between the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings. Both offenses have been like grease in a frying pan with the Pelicans averaging 121.0 PPG over their previous three games and the Kings totaling 122.0 PPG over their last four contests.
Neither squad holds an elite offensive rating, as New Orleans touts the 16th-best mark, and Sacramento holds the 13th-best mark. The over has been a consistent winner, though. It is 2-1 over the last three Pelicans games and has hit in four consecutive Kings games. Here's why the over could hit yet again.
Fortunately, injuries are not much a of a concern in this one. Both teams are nearly at full strength, and their star players have been flourishing. Zion Williamson leads New Orleans with a 30.2% usage rate and is averaging 25.9 PPG with a 62.7 FG% over his last eight games. For the Kings, De'Aaron Fox, who has a team-high 31.7% usage rate, is averaging 31.4 PPG with a 49.1 FG% over his previous five games.
Williamson and Fox could continue to excel, as both players have favorable matchups tonight. Sacramento's Keegan Murray will likely guard Williamson. Murray has the best defensive rating among the Kings' starters at 112.2, but will his 215-pound frame hold up against the 284-pound Williamson? Fox also has a decent matchup against New Orleans' C.J. McCollum (112.3 defensive rating).
Each team's star player could extend their hot streaks, but the support for the over doesn't stop here.
Both teams are also among the NBA's top 12 in pace. The Pelicans average the 9th-most points in the paint per game while the Kings give up the 11th-most points in the paint per game. Sacramento totals 41.7 three-point attempts per game (third-most), and New Orleans gives up 40.0 three-point shots per game (most).
The 237 total may scare some away from the over. However, both offenses could play to their strengths. The Pelicans can pound paint against a weak interior defense, and the Kings can deploy a three-point barrage against a susceptible perimeter defense. With both offenses coming in hot led by shining star players, the over feels like a wise choice.
The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.