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NBA Picks for December 20: Basketball Best Bets, Predictions, Odds on DraftKings Sportsbook

Nick Friar provides NBA betting trends along with his best bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for December 20.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Quite a few trends and systems presented themselves surrounding the two games highlighted below. Might be worth monitoring some of those beyond Wednesday’s slate.


Houston Rockets vs. Atlanta Hawks

Rockets -2.5 -125

After opening at 2.5, this spread has fluctuated between 3 and 3.5. I’m attacking the original number while it still has value. That doesn’t mean 3.5 is unplayable, but I don’t mind a little extra cushion given the number we’re hovering around.

Regardless of all that, there’s a lot to like about Houston on Wednesday. Western Conference favorites are 29-21-1 ATS (56.9%) vs. Eastern Conference opponents this season. When the West team is the home team in those games, they’re 18-11 ATS (62.1%). Dig even further, and we find that Eastern Conference teams are 5-9 ATS (35.7%) when coming off a win this season, like the Hawks are on Wednesday.

On top of that, the sharps seem to be all in on the Rockets. As of writing, 62% of the bets have gone toward Houston covering, and those plays have made up a whopping 87% of the handle.


Charlotte Hornets vs. Indiana Pacers

Total over 247.5 points -120

It’s no secret how explosive Indiana’s offensive has been this season. No team has been better to the over (19-7), a better offensive rating or operates at a higher pace.

Looking at their production against the total, they’re also the second-best team in the NBA to the over when playing on one day’s rest (11-4). When those games have been played against Eastern Conference teams, the over has gone 8-3.

Additionally, the Pacers are 10-2 to the over when coming off a loss. Nine of the times they’ve been in that setting, the Pacers were facing a team from the East. In those games, the over is 8-1.

As for Charlotte’s role in this, the Hornets are 13-11-1 to the over this season. There aren’t any subsystems that apply to this setting that support this play on their half. However, there are minimal subsystems that point to the contrary, too.

More importantly, the Hornets have the third-worst defensive ratings in the league. Discounting the Pacers themselves — who have the second-worst defensive rating in the league — the over is 6-1 when Indiana is facing another team that’s bottom-six in defensive rating this season.


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All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.


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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.


The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment.