Paul George

NBA Expert Picks For Jan. 8: Clippers To Cover vs. Suns

NBA action is where the money is, and there's plenty of possibility and intrigue surrounding tonight's slate of games. 

Here are three spread and total bets you should strongly consider making when checking out the games for Monday, January 8, 2024:

Phoenix Suns Vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Phoenix Suns+6.5 (-112)+215O 230 (-110)
Los Angeles Clippers-6.5 (-255)-255U 230 (-110)

Pick: Los Angeles Clippers, -6.5

The Phoenix Suns are an absolute dumpster fire when it comes to their win-loss record against the spread, going 4-15 ATS across their last 19 games while the Los Angeles Clippers are 4-1 ATS over their last five outings.

There's a strong possibility Phoenix will be without the services of Kevin Durant on Monday, as he could sit on the second night of a back-to-back slate after just returning to the lineup following a three-game absence due to an injured hamstring. 

The two sides met back on Jan. 3 with Los Angeles emerging victorious with a 131-122 victory on the road, a game in which Durant was also absent. Both teas are playing for the second time in as many days on Monday, although it's the Suns doing the travelling as the Clippers were still technically on their home floor at Arena losing to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

It was the Clippers' first loss SU after stringing together five consecutive victories. In fact, it was just their third defeat since Dec. 1, and it nearly had a chance to go to overtime had a last-second 3-pointer by Norman Powell dropped. They're the hotter team, and with the Suns in disarray, you should strike while the iron is hot for Los Angeles.

Utah Jazz Vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Utah Jazz+8.5 (-112)+295O 242 (-110)
Milwaukee Bucks-8.5 (-108)-370 U 242 (-110)

Pick: Utah Jazz, +8.5

The starpower is firmly in the corner of the Milwaukee Bucks, but there's trouble brewing in paradise as the team struggles defensively to close out games. Giannis Antetokounmpo even went as far as (jokingly) suggesting that even the equipment manager needs to step up.

The Utah Jazz are at the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to their standing in the Western Conference, ranking 12th overall with a 17-20 SU record, although they have won seven of their last 10 games and currently have some momentum on their side. 

Being the 8.5-point underdogs offers generous upside for Utah against the struggling Bucks, as the Jazz are 7-2 ATS over their last nine games while Milwaukee is just 1-4 ATS in its last five.

The Bucks are allowing 119.8 points per 100 possessions through four games in 2024, and have proven incapable of stopping anyone after once being a feared defensive unit. Utah is 12th in offense during that same stretch, and should keep this one close as long as Milwaukee slacks defensively once again.

Boston Celtics Vs. Indiana Pacers

Boston Celtics-3 (-112)-154O 247 (-110)
Indiana Pacers+3 (-108)+130U 247 (-110)

Pick: UNDER 247 Total Points

The Indiana Pacers are usually an OVER/UNDER bettors dream, although oddsmakers are slowly but surely bumping those numbers higher and higher as the season progresses because they're so potent offensively. They rank first overall in points per game (126.8) and first in offense (122.8 points per 100 possessions).

Despite their success scoring the basketball, the total has gone UNDER in six of Indiana's last nine games, including four of six against the Boston Celtics

They just recently took the floor against each other on Jan. 6 in a 118-101 blowout win for the Celtics. The OVER/UNDER was initially set at 245.5 and fell well short of that mark. 

Jayson Tatum will miss tonight's game as Boston holds out its superstar for left ankle sprain management, so that's 27.5 points absent from the lineup right there.

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