NBA best bets today (Predictions for Ben Simmons, Mavericks-Lakers and Thunder-Sixers)

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It’s a shame that injuries and rest are getting in the way of what looked like an unbelievable slate on Thursday in the NBA, as Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo are both out and Damian Lillard and Jaylen Brown are both questionable.

But that’s not going to deter us from winning some NBA bets.

Instead, I’m going to make sure that I have my eyes on the LeBron James-Luka Doncic showdown in primetime tonight, especially since LeBron is playing at an insane level for anyone that is 38 years old.

He truly is one-of-one.

So naturally, I have a bet on the Los Angeles Lakers-Dallas Mavericks game, but there are two more plays as well. Let’s get an early start on the weekend with some wins:

NBA best bets record to date

NBA best bets today

  • Oklahoma City Thunder +10 (-110) vs. Philadelphia 76ers
  • Ben Simmons UNDER 23.5 Points, Rebounds and Assists (-120)
  • Los Angeles Lakers +3 (-110) vs. Dallas Mavericks

Oklahoma City Thunder +10 (-110) vs. Philadelphia 76ers

The Oklahoma City Thunder are double-digit road underdogs on Thursday, and that’s essentially an auto bet for me.


The Thunder are 11-5 against the spread as road dogs this season, the best mark in the NBA (minimum three games as road underdog). They’ve posted an against the spread plus/minus of +3.0 in those games.

The Philadelphia 76ers have been terrific at home this season, but I think Vegas is reading too much into the first matchup between these teams when Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored just 14 points, one of his worst games of the season.

The Sixers were only laying 13.5 points against a terrible Detroit team earlier this week, and the Thunder (18th in net rating) are much better than Detroit (29th).

I’ve been all over OKC as a dog this season and that doesn’t stop tonight.

Ben Simmons UNDER 23.5 Points, Rebounds and Assists (-120)

Kevin Durant is out for the Brooklyn Nets with a knee injury, and this is the first game Brooklyn will play without him since he was hurt against Miami.

I’m not sold on Ben Simmons taking a major step forward on offense in Durant’s absence, as he’s taken just six shots per game on the season.

Simmons is averaging 7.7 points per game this season, and he’s gone UNDER 23.5 points, rebounds and assists in 14 of his last 15 games.

There certainly are going to be more shots available in the Nets’ offense, but I don’t see Simmons as the player to step up and take them. Go UNDER this prop for him.

Los Angeles Lakers +3 (-110) vs. Dallas Mavericks

The Los Angeles Lakers struggled on Christmas Day against the Dallas Mavericks, but I think they’re live to upset the Mavs on Thursday night.

LeBron James is playing his best basketball of the season as of late, averaging 31.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game in 21 matchups since returning from adductor strain.

The Lakers have gone 13-8 in those 21 games, and they are solid this season as home dogs, going 6-4 against the spread.

Dallas, on the other hand, is just 3-9 against the spread as a road favorite, and it won’t have its best wing defender in Dorian Finney-Smith in tonight’s game.

The Lakers are still down Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker IV, but Dallas has been brutal away from American Airlines Center, ranking 21st in net rating on the road.

LeBron keeps the Lakers close enough to cover the three points tonight.

Find Peter Dewey’s full betting record here.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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