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Free NBA Betting Picks - Today's Best Bets, Expert Predictions, Odds (1/17/22)

jimmy butler NBA dfs lineup picks daily fantasy basketball

It's one of the biggest days of the season in the NBA as the league has established a tradition of games spread out all day long on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Whether you're off work today and get a chance to watch some basketball, or you have to wait until the evening to catch some games, it's a great day to enjoy NBA hoops and reflect on the incredible contributions that Dr. King made to this nation.

Friday, I went 1-2, with two of my picks losing in a comically bad fashion. The Bulls were blown out by a short-handed Warriors team while I effectively jinxed the Grizzlies, who lost for the first time in three weeks. At least Miami took care of business to salvage something for the day. Today's games start as early as 12:40 PM, and if you're playing DFS, the slates are all chopped up into smaller groups of games.

It's a long season and I would strongly encourage everyone to bet responsibly and sustainably so you don't have to sit out at any point if your discretionary funds dry up. Definitely follow me on Twitter @ThunderDanDFS as I toss out some picks and player props to the public when I get a chance. In this article, I'll be providing my favorite picks against the spread, game totals, parlays, teasers, and player props for NBA games on Monday, January 17th, 2022. I would highly encourage you to join our RotoBaller premium slack group by signing up for a premium pass!

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Thunder Dan's NBA Best Bets for Today

  • Season Record 60-58
  • Against the Spread 39-32
  • Over/Under 19-23
  • Other/Props 4-4
  • Teasers/Parlays are not included in the overall record

I am NOT including any picks I give out on Twitter on days that this article doesn't run, just as an FYI. But I usually do put out my model on Tuesdays and Thursdays too. I also was advised by multiple people that I was being too hard on myself by counting teaser and parlay picks in my overall record, so I took those out and BAM, I'm sitting at six picks over .500 on the year right now, which is pretty solid.

I am not tracking units with these picks. If you're wondering how many units to bet on each pick, just assume I'm betting one unit on each spread, total, or prop and likely only a half unit at most on each parlay or teaser. Here is today's model, which now includes my personal spread calculation. I highlighted spots in yellow where my odds are significantly different from Vegas and a few of those are going to end up as official picks, while the others you can bet at your own leisure.

One thing you may notice is that I added an AVG +/- column and an ATS margin column. These columns track the season-long trends of the margin by which teams are covering (or not covering) the spread as well as the margin by which they have been going over or under their totals.

(click to enlarge)


NBA Betting Picks Against the Spread

Brooklyn Nets (+3) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (220 total)

If you would have told me back in October that the Cavaliers would be in a position to beat the Nets at home in January to move up into the top-five of the Eastern Conference, I wouldn't have believed you. Not many people would have. But here we are and as a Cavs fan, I am stoked for this one.

All the trends line up for the Cavs in this one and if you've been reading this column all season, you'll already know that the Cavs have been the best team in the NBA ATS this year. While a lot of those wins and covers at the beginning of the season came as they were being undervalued by Vegas, they've continued their strong play and performance even as favorites. In fact, they're 7-3-1 ATS this season as home favorites, which bodes well for us here.

Brooklyn was already banged up with guys like Aldridge, Claxton, and Harris all missing a lot of time recently and then they lost Kevin Durant the other day for what sounds like it will be at least a month. Kyrie Irving will play tonight, but will he and Harden have enough to carry the rest of this Nets roster to a win? I think not! Darius Garland is playing like an All-Star and the Cavs will have a huge advantage inside where Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen should be able to do work in the paint. I'll back the Cavs to cover here and this is my favorite pick of the day (I promise my rooting interest doesn't impact that either!).

The Pick: Cavs -3 (-110 DK Sportsbook) 


Toronto Raptors (+3.5) @ Miami Heat @ (211 total)

This should be another great game today as both of these teams are finally getting back to being fully healthy and have talented rosters. The Raptors are coming off an impressive win against the Bucks, while the Heat got smacked by the Sixers in their last game. I'm going to have to ignore those performances a little for my pick here as I am looking for the Heat to bounce back here and pick up a win at home.

Miami has been solid at home this season with a 13-5 record and they are 10-8 ATS with a margin of victory of 6.6 points. When Jimmy Butler is in the lineup, I truly believe this team can beat any team in the league. But as Butler goes, so go the Heat and we saw that bear true as he shot only 1-11 against Philly the other night.

The Raptors are incredibly inconsistent but are a promising young team. Consider that before the Milwaukee win, they had just lost to the lowly Pistons. This just feels like a bad matchup for Toronto as Miami is a stronger defensive team and has an edge in rebounding as well as more depth on their roster. Miami's second unit should have a sizable advantage against Toronto here as the Raptors' talent falls off rather quickly after VanVleet, Siakam, Barnes, and Anunoby.

The Pick: Heat -3.5 (-110 DK Sportsbook) 


NBA Betting Picks Totals

Charlotte Hornets (+2) @ New York Knicks (217.5 total)

There was a period of time where we were taking the over in Charlotte games just about every slate. But their offense has slowed down a bit and they're not playing at the same breakneck pace they were to start the season.

But look at this total! When is the last time we saw a Charlotte total under 220? I know, I know - it's because the Knicks are where pace and points go to die, right? That may be true, but New York's offense has been better of late and they just dropped 117 points on the Hawks the other night.

This Hornets team is legit and I like their chances of winning this game outright. But more than anything, I like the chances of this game going over its total because I think the Hornets' pace and poor interior defense will be a boon to Julius Randle and the Knicks' offense. When these teams met the first time, the game only hit 200 total points, but it's hard to gather much from that result as both teams' rotations have changed considerably since then.

I have to trust the model at the end of the day, and after we saw scoring down for much of the first two months of the year, we are finally seeing it creep back up to where you have to attack some overs and adjust to the recent trends. I'm on the over here and I'll take it as high as 219.5. Let's hope these guys shoot the lights out and put on a show today.

The Pick: OVER 217.5 (good up to 219.5) -110 DK Sportsbook


NBA Teaser/Parlay Betting Picks

I call this one the home favorite special! All three of these teams have strong home records and matchups they can take advantage of today.

The Pick: Celtics/Heat/Grizzlies ML Parlay (+201 DK Sportsbook)


NBA Betting Picks: Team Stats Matrix

(click to enlarge)

I use this chart when making player prop bets! I hope you find this information useful when making your bets as well.


Thanks for checking this new column out and check back every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the rest of the NBA season! Good luck and bet responsibly!

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