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Sean B’s Best NBA Bets Today: Free Expert Betting Picks Thursday | 1/20/22

Sean Blazek

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Wednesday’s huge slate did not disappoint. Joel Embiid had an impressive night with 50 points in only 27 minutes of play, leading the 76ers to a 123-110 win over the Magic. Nikola Jokic posted a 49-point triple-double performance. Let’s hope teams keep that same energy heading into today’s matchups. Thursday offers a lighter night with three games scheduled across the league. Suns – Mavericks kicks it off on TNT, followed up by Pacers – Warriors to end the night. Let’s dive into the best NBA bets, picks and overall NBA betting tips for Thursday, Jan. 20.

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NBA Best Bets: Game Tips & Expert Betting Predictions

Suns vs. Mavericks Best Bet

The Phoenix Suns look to stay hot as they travel to battle the Dallas Mavericks in their fifth and final game of their road trip. They will look to close out their trip undefeated, but this will not come without a tough matchup against the Mavericks. Dallas is a winner of 10 of its last 11 games, with six straight victories on their home court. They were happy to get Kristaps Porzingis back in the lineup, as he has been making an immediate impact since his return from COVID.

The Mavericks are coming off a home victory last night versus Toronto, winning 102-98. Luka Doncic posted a game-high 41 points alongside 14 rebounds and seven assists in a win over the Raptors. Porzingis contributed 18 points in 33 minutes of play. Keep an eye on Porzingis’ status, as he is coming off a seven-game absence and Dallas is playing in the second game of a back-to-back. The Mavericks have played well on defense this year, ranking fourth in defensive rating and holding opponents to the third-fewest points per game (102.7). Dallas operates at the league’s second-slowest pace and averages the second-fewest possessions per outing. This combination has resulted in Dallas producing the most unders of any team this year.

Phoenix will be without Deandre Ayton for a second straight game, as he has been ruled out for Thursday due to a right ankle sprain. Bismack Biyombo and Jalen Smith should expect increased minutes in Ayton’s absence. Devin Booker is coming off a 48-point performance in their win in San Antonio on Monday, helping the Suns improve to 17-4 away from home. Booker has now posted 30-plus points in three straight games. The Suns are averaging 112.5 points on 47.6% shooting and allowing 104.6 points on 43.6% shooting. The Suns are sixth in offensive rating and second in defensive rating on the season.

This is a battle of two of the top defenses in the league. The Mavericks are holding opponents to 95.6 points over their last 12 games. Dallas is the top under team this season and has an 0-6-1 over/under record on no rest. The Mavericks are 3-7 over/under in their last 10 games, with an average total of 102.8. The Suns have an 8-13 over/under record on the road, averaging a first half total of 105.2. These two teams have met twice this season with first half totals of 91 and 106. Expect similar results in tonight’s matchup and take the under in the first half of Thursday’s showdown.

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Best Bet for Tonight’s Game: First Half Total Under 104.5 Points

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Pacers vs. Warriors Best Bet

The Indiana Pacers continue along their five-game road trip in game against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday. This will be Indiana’s second game of a back-to-back after defeating the Lakers in Los Angeles yesterday.  They will match up with the best home team in the NBA, and the Pacers are one of the worst road teams. They have lost eight of their last nine games away from home, while Golden State won seven of their previous eight games in San Francisco.

The Pacers were able to end their four-game losing streak last night with a 111-104 win over the Lakers, but it did not come without a cost. After putting up a triple-double in last night’s games, Domantas Sabonis sprained his ankle after landing on Russell Westbrook‘s foot. Pacers coach Rick Carlisle stated that Sabonis will probably miss significant time due to the injury. Indiana will also be without Myles Turner for a third straight game on Thursday, as he is dealing with left foot soreness. T.J. Warren (foot) and T.J. McConnell (wrist) are out indefinitely. Malcom Brogdon was able to return to the lineup last night against the Lakers, but keep an eye on his status for Thursday, as the team will continue to monitor his workload in back-to-back situations as he works his way back from an Achilles injury. Indiana ranks 18th in offense, scoring 107.9 points per game, while their defense allows 108.9 points per game (16th). The Pacers will need to focus on their perimeter defense against a Golden State squad that ranks third in 3-pointers made, averaging 14.3 per game.

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Golden State continues to look for ways to win without Draymond Green in the lineup. Klay Thompson is coming off a game-high 21 points against the Pistons on Tuesday. Stephen Curry looks to be breaking out of his shooting slump, as he hit four 3-pointers in each of this last two games while going 8-for-18 from deep. Steve Kerr is happy to have the Splash Brothers back in action together, as their chemistry on the court has led to much success for Golden State during their tenure together. The Warriors will have the rest advantage over Indiana, who will be traveling overnight from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The Warriors have the best net rating in the league, ranking 12th in offensive rating and first in defensive rating.

These two teams faced off once this season, with the first half total ending at 102 points. Indiana has played in low-scoring games against top-five defensive teams this season. The Pacers have a 10-10 over/under record on the road, with an average total of 109.1 points. The Warriors are 2-7-1 over/under in the first half over their last 10 games, with an average total of 105.8 points. Expect the Warriors defense to give the Pacers a challenge and hold this first half total under 113 points.

Best Bet for Tonight’s Game: First Half Total Under 112.5 Points

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Sean Blazek (aka SweatBets) has contributed to Awesemo since November 2021 and is currently an NBA Betting Content Creator. His articles can be found on Awesemo as well as OddsShopper under the NBA Betting Articles section. Sean has a knack for identifying value in spreads and totals using an analytical approach to find his Best Bets. Follow him on Twitter @SweatBets and get ready to cash.

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