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Lakers over Warriors and 3 NBA Upset Picks for December 18th

By Noah Davis
Published on December 18, 2017
NBA Basketball Hoop

Monday starts a new week of exciting NBA betting action and with a full 10-game schedule hitting us in the face, some elite value is sure to be had.

That should come in the way of some staggering NBA upset picks, as there are some interesting lines on the docket. Of course, there are also a few things holding bettors back. Injuries are the biggest issue, with stars like Joel Embiid and Draymond Green already being ruled out for tonight’s action.

Further complicating matters could be the pending status updates for guys like Goran Dragic, Jimmy Butler, Kristaps Porzingis, Derrick Favors and others.

There is a lot to consider on Monday’s NBA betting landscape, but my focus remains targeting some tantalizing upset picks that could return some serious value. Here’s my favorite three for tonight:

Chicago over Philadelphia
Point Spread
Bulls
(+2)
+120
76ers
(-2)
-140

There are a few options around this same price range and slightly over it, but my favorite is the Bulls. Chicago is on a tear right now, as they’ve won 5 straight games and have added some solid names to their list of casualties.

This crazy run started in Charlotte with a thrilling OT win, while the Bulls have ripped off wins over the Celtics, Bucks, Knicks and Jazz, as well. Even crazier has been the play of Nikola Mirotic, who even with impressive rookie Lauri Markkanen returning tonight.

Normally I’d probably bet against a Chicago team that won just 3 games prior to this hot streak, but they’re at home and are in quite the groove. The kicker? Sixers stud center Joel Embiid has already been ruled out for this game.

That’s a big blow for the Sixers, who are just 3-7 over their last 10 games and aren’t especially great (7-7) on the road. Ideally, bettors get a little more upside when confiding in the Bulls, but there is a lot working in your favor. This +120 Money Line at Bovada looks decent enough and if you shop around you might be able to beef that up elsewhere.

On top of that, Chicago is red hot, at home and doesn’t have to deal with Embiid. There are worse risks to be taken on this fat NBA betting slate.

Los Angeles over Golden State
Point Spread
Lakers
(+6)
+205
Warriors
(-6)
-245

You can move on to a considerably greater risk, as the Los Angeles Lakers host the depleted Golden State Warriors. The Dubs are already without Stephen Curry, but it’s also been reported that they’ll be operating without both Draymond Green and Shaun Livingston tonight.

I personally desire a bigger line if I’m picking the Lakers over the Dubs, but +205 isn’t bad at Bovada and a little shopping reveals a little more value (+210 at Intertops) at other basketball betting sites.

The value is still decent for four solid reasons. Obviously, the Dubs are banged up, but they’re also going to be on the road. The Lakers also will be at home and know they can hang with Golden State after losing a crazy 127-123 overtime battle earlier this year.

The Lakers actually match up fairly well with the Dubs, who will be lacking some elite outside shooting and defensive play with three key bodies not suiting up. Kevin Durant can easily carry the Warriors to a big road win, but Luke Walton knows his former pupils pretty well and gives the Lake Show a real shot at a fun upset.

Vegas seems to respect that possibility, too. Bovada and other sports betting websites are only favoring the Warriors by 6 points. If this game stays close, I don’t hate L.A.’s chances of pulling off the upset.

Phoenix over Dallas
Point Spread
Suns
(+7)
+245
Mavericks
(-7)
-290

One more fun one is this battle in Dallas between the Suns and Mavs. Vegas is treating the Mavericks like a reliable betting option here, which is startling considering they’re just 8-22 on the year and 6-10 on their home floor.

I realize the Suns are still down top scorer Devin Booker, but they play fast and still have a capable offense, led by T.J. Warren. They also have a collection of viable bigs, with seasoned veteran Tyson Chandler leading the way.

Dallas doesn’t have a whole lot to get excited about, while they continue to miss star rookie point guard, Dennis Smith Jr.

The Mavs are just tough to trust this year, and that goes for when they’re favored, too. That hasn’t happened too often, but the Mavs are just 2-3 on the year when favored. All five of those games have come at home, too.

Trusting the Suns is never fun, but when they’re facing a team that’s just as sorry as they are and the betting gap is this wide, it’s time to roll the dice on the underdog.

Overall, there are a lot of NBA upset picks to consider on this huge slate. That’s probably even more so the case than usual, as there are just a litany of injuries that should impact some of these games.

For me, these three games are my favorite targets. I’m not sure I trust the Knicks in Charlotte (especially if Zinger sits), while the Clippers are absolutely decimated by injuries and have no chance in San Antonio tonight.

I’m also not feeling Denver, who stink on the road. Betting against the Thunder for some reason rarely works, too. There are a few other spots to look at, but the value is limited or the logic just doesn’t get me there.

All odds that are referenced in this article were taken from Bovada at 11:59 am CT on 12/18/2017. These odds may have changed since the time of this writing.
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