Midway through the week and the NBA is in full swing.  Basketball fans have a lot to look forward to tonight as we look at picks for Jan 8, starting with a tough game between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers.  The Heat are on the road for the first of three games and are hoping that they can count on the return of two of their stars, Jimmy Butler and Justise Winslow, to help against a hobbled Pacers offense.

Daily Picks Jan 8

Heat vs Pacers

Both teams are coming off of wins, and the Pacers have been performing really well at home.  They’re 15-4 when playing on their own court, while the Heat is 9-9 on the road.  Unfortunately for the Pacers, though, Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis are both questionable, and Victor Oladipo and Naz Mitrou-Long are out, and this could hurt Indiana’s chances.  The Heat are slight underdogs at -106, but are in a strong position to take the win.  They have already beaten the Pacers once this season, although just barely, and have health on their side tonight.  The Under at 207.5 (+105) is worth some money, especially considering the injuries.

Hornets vs Raptors

For the second of our picks for Jan 8, the Charlotte Hornets will host the Toronto Raptors tonight in a game that doesn’t seem to offer a lot of surprises.  As is the case with the Pacers, the Raptors are looking at a number of injuries that will hurt their chances, and the Hornets should be able to capitalize on the weakness.  The Raptors are also on the back side of a two-game run that saw them lose to the Portland Trail Blazers.

The lack of depth on the Raptors bench is going to hurt them tonight, even though they’re coming into the game as the favorites.  Terry Rozier and P.J. Washington should step up for the Hornets, though, and the +135 underdogs might find a victory.  The Hornets are also looking at a little insurance at +2.5, +105 on the spread, but beware – neither team has performed superbly against NFL spreads (ATS) this season.

Nuggets vs Mavericks

Games between the Denver Nuggets and the Dallas Mavericks are always worth some action and tonight will be more of the same.  The teams are just two games apart in the standings, and the Nuggets are going to be looking for revenge after losing to the Mavs last October.  With Nikola Jokic suiting up for the team, following a stellar, 47-point game against the Atlanta Hawks this past Monday, he’s going to be stoked to record another win.

This is another opportunity for the underdogs to win.  The Nuggets are coming in at +125, due in part to this being the tail end of a five-game road trip, but the team can’t be underestimated.  The spread, at +3.5, -115, is a particularly hot choice for gambling fans, as the Mavs aren’t in top shape ATS this season when playing at home.  They’re 7-11-1 at home, with the Nuggets only slightly better on the road at 7-8-2.  The Over, at 221.5 (+105) is also worth a look.  Dallas has picked up the most Overs this season, at 23-13, and the Nuggets have scored more points on the road than they have at home.

Celtics vs Spurs

The Boston Celtics will be looking to add another win tonight when they take on the San Antonio Spurs at home.  They may have just lost to the Washington Wizards this past Monday, but that doesn’t mean they’ve fallen into a slump.  They’re 8 for 10 and the Spurs continue to do what they do best – be inconsistent.

The Celtics are favored at -250, and this isn’t worth much action.  However, at -6.5, -106 on the line, they’re favorites to win by three scores, and they have been running the league this year ATS.  Boston is going to take this one easily and will beat all projections.

So, that all for our picks for Jan 8, good luck everyone!