NBA Betting: Favorite picks for New Years Day

It's New Years Day, and there are eight games on the NBA Slate today. Beginning at 3:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. ET, there are several key matchups. This afternoon, former Raptors star OG Anunoby is expected to make his debut with the New York Knicks. While the Detroit Pistons broke their 28 game losing streak, can they win two in a row against a depleted Rockets team? With the line set at 260.5 for totals, will the Pacers and the Bucks give us the offensive showdown we've all been waiting for? Here you will find the NBA betting odds, stats, trends, player prop bets, and predictions for Monday, Jan. 1.

NBA Daily Game Odds for 1/1

*Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

Timberwolves (-1) (-115) @ Knicks (-105): O/U 223.5
Cavaliers (+120) @ Raptors (-2.5) (-142): O/U 227.5
Pacers (+270) @ Bucks (-8.5) (-340): O/U 260.5
Pistons (+310) @ Rockets (-9) (-395): O/U 227.5
Hornets (+800) @ Nuggets (-15) (-1350): O/U 226
Trail Blazers (+455) @ Suns (-11.5) (-625): O/U 229.5
Mavericks (-4.5) (-180) @ Jazz (+150): O/U 245.5
Heat (+235) @ Clippers (-7.5) (-290): O/U 227.5

Sara Janes Favorite Bets

NBA Bet #1: Cade Cunningham O .5 Steals (-230) .6u

Season Stats PPG: 23.5 | FG: 44.9 % | 3 PT: 34.6 % | FT: 87.6 % | REB: 4.1  | AST: 7.4 | STL: 1.1 | BLK: 0.3

It's 2024, and yes, the Detroit Pistons are coming off just their third win of the season. Cade Cunningham has been the glue to this team, regardless of their 28 game losing streak this year. Now in his third season in the NBA, Cunningham is averaging just over 1 steal a game and 23.5 points per game. The former No. 1 overall pick is known for his offensive ability, however, Cunningham is an attentive defender.

If you're betting on the NBA, this is a prop that has a hit rate of 66 percent this season. With 5 steals in two games, Cunningham hit over .5 steals in eight of the last ten games. Additionally, he has at least one steal in four of the last five matchups.

On the road, the Pistons point guard has been getting steals, racking up three against the Celtics and the Hawks. Having a least one steal in four of five away games, that brings my confidence level up.

I also like this prop because Cunningham is a staple in the Pistons lineup. While head coach Monty Williams has maneuvered the starting five with Jayden Ivey, Cunningham is the engine of this team, and a player that averages a career-high 35.2 minutes per game. In fact, he's coming off 38 minutes of playing time against Toronto, and 43 minutes against Boston. Averaging 35.5 minutes in the month of December, I'm fairly confident there's enough playing time for one steal.

Statistics courtesy of Propsdotcash

Tonight, the Pistons get the Houston Rockets, who are known for their defensive prowess. With several players on the injury report, things might get a tad easier for Cunningham and the Pistons. Although the Rockets rank 10th in turnovers per game (13.3), they've recently allowed Tyrese Haliburton, CJ McCollum, Trae Young, and Damian Lillard to have at least one steal since Dec. 17. Houston's a team that allows 6.9 opponent steals per game, while the Pistons rank last in the NBA in total steals.

In their first matchup of the season, Cunningham has an average of two steals in two career games against the Rockets. With four steals in his first two matchups, the Pistons star last matched up with this team in 2021. With Dillon Brooks out of the lineup, he'll most likely be matched up with Fred VanVleet, and Jalen Green. Overall, VanVleet averaged 1.8 turnovers per game, and Green, 2.3. At 6 foot 6, Cunningham has a slightly bigger frame for his position, and his solid length has been a contributing factor his entire career.

His recent play, and his leadership speaks volumes for this Detroit team. While I love him to score 20+ points, I like the steals prop even better. Over the last ten games, No. 2 is averaging 1.3 steals in 35.7 minutes.

NBA Bet #2: Giannis Antetokounmpo Double-Double (-450) 1.1u

Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

Season Stats PPG: 30.9 | FG: 60.8 % | 3 PT: 21.6 % | FT: 67.4 % | REB: 11.1 | AST: 5.5 | STL: 1.3 | BLK: 1.2

We simply cannot forget the career night Giannis Antetokounmpo had last matchup against the Indiana Pacers. Setting a career high and Bucks record with 64 points, Antetokounmpo is putting up career numbers once again. Averaging 30.9 points per game, the Greek Freak is also dishing 5.5 assists, and grabbing 11.1 rebounds per game. In addition to 64 points last matchup against Indiana, he had a total of 14 rebounds in 37 minutes.

If you're betting on the NBA, Giannis ranks third in total usage percentage (32.5 %), and fifth in player impact estimate (19.1). With 23 total double doubles this season, three have come against the Pacers. 6th in the league in rebounds, and 4th in points, No. 34 is putting up an average of 51.7 points and 12 rebounds in three meetings with Indiana.

Tonight, the Bucks get the Pacers at home, where Antetokounmpo is averaging a double double. In 18 home games, the forward is putting up 30.8 points, 5.5 assists, and 11.2 rebounds per game. Averaging 38 minutes against Indiana this season, the Bucks star is playing around 34.8 minutes per game, which is solid.

Statistics courtesy of Propsdotcash

Giannis has hit a double double in over 50 percent of games this season, and in three straight games. Coming off a 34 point, 16 rebound performance against the Cavaliers, Antetokounmpo has at least a double-double in nine of the last eleven game, and four of the last five. Truly, one of the most dominant, athletic players in the league, it's very hard to stop and guard Giannis.

I like this prop for three reasons tonight: Antetokounmpo has an excellent track record against Indiana, he's a double-double machine, and the Pacers are efficient on the defensive end. Ranked 29th, the Pacers allow 124.8 points per game, and are 24th in offensive rebounds (11.3). One of the worst rebounding teams in the league (40 rebounds per game), Milwaukee ranks within the top ten.

Tonight, he'll get a matchup with Jalen Smith and Myles Turner. Notching another double-double against Cleveland, he's completely dominated the Pacers, who haven't had an answer for him. While the matchup is prime for Giannis, he's averaged four straight double-doubles against Indiana, and has nine in his last ten games. Furthermore, the Greek Freak hasn't had a game performance below 25 points against the Pacers since 2021.

Do I think Antetokounmpo is going to repeat his 64 point performance? No. However, his domination and probability of a double-double is very likely based off his recent play and previous matchup stats.

NBA Bet #3: Pacers vs. Bucks O 253.5 Total Points (-215) .6u

Once again, the Indiana Pacers (17-14) and the Milwaukee Bucks (24-8) game total is set at a high 260.5 points. Not yet a rivalry, these teams will matchup for the third time this season. While the total for this game is extremely high, I moved it down slightly to 253.5 total points.

With the Bucks favored by an 8.5 point spread, they are 7-3 in their last ten matchups against the Indiana Pacers. Dating back to the In-Season tournament, Indiana holds a season series 2-1 lead, in which two games hit over total points. In the last three matchups the totals tallied at 266, 247, and 250 points. That's an average of 254 points per game, and that's where I came up with 253.5 total points.

For what it's worth, I can't see this game being a low scoring affair. Two contending teams in the East, the Pacers and Bucks lead the league in offensive rating, points scored, and Indiana is an extremely high paced team. While both squads average a combined 251 points per game, the Bucks rank 4th in pace as well. In terms of three-point percentage, both sides are in the top four, with Milwaukee shooting 38.4, and Indiana shooting 39 percent from beyond the arc. In addition, the Pacers lead the NBA in field goal percentage (50.9), and both are top teams in terms of three point attempts.

If you're betting on the NBA, you may be wondering why I chose to take an extremely high game total. Sure, these teams are incredible offensively, however they lack on the defensive end. Both Milwaukee and Indiana rank towards the bottom of the NBA, allowing a combined 243.7 opponent points per game.

Overall, both the Bucks and Pacers have unbelievable records against totals this season. For the Bucks, they are 21-11-0, and the Pacers, 21-10-0 against totals. Coming off a 140-126 victory, the Pacers went over totals, while the Bucks are 6-4 in the last ten (totals).

I do believe there will still be a chip on Tyrese Haliburto's shoulder after he dropped a career high 23 assists in front of Sportscaster and former NBA player Wally Szczerbiak. His passing is unique, and his style of offense is elite. Over the last ten games, the Pacers are scoring 123 points, and the Bucks, 130. Szczerbiak caught a stare down from Haliburton last night, after calling him a "wannabe All-Star."

I previously discussed my prop pick for Giannis Antetokounmpo to have a double-double, and I'm picking Haliburton to as well.

We simply can't remember when the Pacers decided to give the game ball to rookie Oscar Tshiebwe instead of Giannis with the career high. In an emotional series of Tweets, it's evident that started a rift between the two teams.

After being eliminated in the Semifinals of the Tournament, down 2-1, that alone is an incentive for Milwaukee to bring their all on this New Year's day matchup. The game total of 260 plus points is now tied for the highest regular season NBA total in the history of FanDuel Sportsbook.

Other Bets I like:

Clippers ML(-285)
Cade Cunningham O 19.5 Points (-400)
Tyler Herro O 22.5 Points
Tyrese Haliburton double-double

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Sara Jane Gamelli is a full-time Sportswriter at Ballislife, and Sports Content Creator on Twitch and TikTok. She has a focus on the NBA, WNBA, NCAA Basketball, and the NFL. Sara Jane currently resides in Connecticut/NYC area with her Cat and Dog. SJ has her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut in Economics, with a minor in business administration.


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