We’re officially halfway through the 2022-23 National Basketball Association (NBA) season, and there’s plenty of reason to be excited about this week’s schedule. There are nine games today, several of which are played in the afternoon in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. There’s also many marquee matchups throughout the week, as well as important games for teams battling for the last spots in the playoff play-in tournament. Let’s see the following analysis for your NBA bets.
Toronto Raptors (+114) vs. New York Knicks (-138) – January 16
There’s not much better than an afternoon game at Madison Square Garden on a holiday Monday. That’s what’s in store today as the Toronto Raptors visit the New York Knicks. The Raptors have been a model of consistency over the last decade and were viewed as a sure thing to make the playoffs this season, but they’re in 11th place in the Eastern Conference at 19-24 and a half-game back of the Chicago Bulls for the final play-in spot.
New York, meanwhile, is in sixth with a 25-19 record and have won three games in a row. Tom Thibodeau has the Knicks playing a structured game with confidence, and, as a result, they’ve been among the hottest teams in the conference lately.
The Raptors, despite losing on Saturday, seem to be getting back on track. They won three in a row before Saturday’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks and have been close in most losses this season. They lost 112-108 to the Knicks on January 6 and will be hungry to return the favor at MSG, where the Knicks are only 11-11. Expect the Raptors to cover the spread +2.5 (-110) and even win outright today.
Golden State Warriors vs. Boston Celtics – January 19
The Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors meet for the second time this season in a rematch of the 2022 NBA Finals. Golden State won the first meeting of the season 123-107. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson both scored more than 30 points in that game, while Jaylen Brown was the only Celtics player to score more than 20.
Expect this game to be a pick-em with the Warriors winning, so take either the spread or moneyline. The Warriors defense still needs work, but the team has scored at least 113 points in each of its three games since Curry returned to the lineup. They’ll be extra motivated to beat the Celtics at TD Garden and move up in the Western Conference, where they’re in eighth place but just five games out of third.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – January 21
Cleveland has been one of the best stories in the NBA this season. The team is currently fifth in the East and just half-game behind the Milwaukee Bucks for third. Donovan Mitchell has revitalized the Cavs, leading the team in scoring with 28.8 points per game, but improved team defense is the biggest reason for the Cavs’ turnaround this season.
Cleveland ranks second in the league with a defensive rating of 111 and have also done a great job at protecting the ball – they rank eighth in turnovers at 13.3 per game. They’re 18-4 at home this season and should improve upon that against the Bucks.