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The NBA’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day slate is one of the most exciting of the year, as there are nine basketball games on today with start times ranging from 1 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET.
Here are my best NBA MLK Day bets for Monday.
All NBA odds are current as of Monday, Jan. 16 at 8 a.m. ET, and are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
Garrett Chorpenning’s 2022-2023 NBA Picks Record: 85-73-3 (+16.65 units)
Best NBA MLK Day Predictions
Celtics vs Hornets: Celtics -8 (-110)
WAGER: 1 Unit
The NBA MLK slate will begin with a meeting between the Celtics and Hornets in Charlotte. Boston has the best record in the league to this point at 32-12, while Charlotte enters this matchup at 11-33 — the worst mark in the Eastern Conference.
The Celtics blew out the Hornets in each of their first two games this season, including a 122-106 victory on Saturday night. Jayson Tatum led the way with a game-high 33 points in that one with Jaylen Brown sidelined, while Malcolm Brogdon pitched in 30 off the bench.
I’m expecting more of the same from Boston and Tatum this afternoon. Charlotte has the third-worst scoring defense in the NBA and is missing some players (Gordon Hayward, Kelly Oubre), while the dominant Celtics are currently in the midst of a six-game winning streak.
Back Boston to cover this 8-point spread on the road and make this your NBA bet of the day.
Heat vs Hawks: Under 224.5 Points (-110)
WAGER: 1 Unit
The first of two nationally-televised games will tip off at 3:30 p.m. and feature an interesting matchup between the Heat and Hawks. This is just the second of four meetings for these squads this year, with Miami winning the first by an eight-point margin in late November.
The stars will be on display in this one: Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro are just some of the most well-known faces suiting up for the Heat this year, while dynamic guards Trae Young and Dejounte Murray lead the way for Atlanta.
Despite the abundance of offensive talent in this game, this one appears to be headed straight for the Under at 224.5 points. The Heat are giving up a mere 105.6 points per game of their last 17, while Atlanta’s offense has been streaky at best this year.
Overs are a combined 43-44 for the Heat and Hawks this year, with Miami being one of the most Under-heavy teams in the NBA.
There are also some exciting prop betting opportunities for this meeting, so check out my best NBA Prop Bets Today for more.
Suns vs Grizzlies: Grizzlies -10.5 (-110)
WAGER: 1 Unit
Perhaps the most exciting game on today’s schedule is this 6 p.m. meeting between the Suns and Grizzlies. Memphis can extend its league-best winning streak to 10 with a victory this evening, while Phoenix will aim to scrap together a dub despite winning two of its last 10.
Unfortunately for the Suns, I have no choice but to take the Grizzlies to cover this massive — yet appropriate — 10.5-point spread. Memphis rosters perhaps the NBA’s most electrifying athlete in Ja Morant, who dropped 34 points on Phoenix in their last matchup on Dec. 27.
The Suns are down a handful of stars, including Devin Booker and Chris Paul, so scoring could be difficult to come by against the league’s top-rated defense. Look for Jaren Jackson Jr. to lead the way for Memphis in a decisive victory.
I’m also featuring this game in my Best NBA Parlays Today, so consider seeing how I recommend wagering on this matchup.