NBA Predictions Today

John Arlia
Last Updated: Jan 12, 2024

Blowouts were the story of Thursday night’s NBA slate, with the Oklahoma City Thunder beating the Portland Trail Blazers by 62 points — one of four games on the six-game slate that was decided by 15 points or more.

With 10 games on the docket Friday night, let’s hope for some more competitive matchups.

Let’s dig into our favorite NBA pick today.

NBA betting odds used for this basketball pick are current as of Friday, Jan. 12, and courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

Best NBA Prediction Today

Kings +1 (-110)

The Sacramento Kings will look to extend their four-game road winning streak on Friday night in Philadelphia against the 76ers.

The hosts remain without Joel Embiid (knee) and have lost three straight and four out of five, including a pair of home defeats to the Jazz and Knicks last week.

While Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris have shouldered the scoring load without Embiid, the Sixers aren’t the same team defensively without the reigning NBA MVP.

Domantas Sabonis should be able to take advantage of the space in the paint, and the tenacity of De’Aaron Fox could help limit Maxey’s ability on the offensive end.

Sacramento should win this game outright, but taking +1 (-110) feels safer than the moneyline (-105) if this game comes down to the wire.

How NBA Betting Works

The NBA is the best basketball league in the world.

Every night, the top players on the planet put their skills on display, and millions of people tune in to watch. Both hardcore and casual fans can use their instincts and basketball acumen to cash in on those contests, thanks to legal online sports betting.

Here’s a look at how betting on the NBA works.

Best NBA Bets

There are a variety of ways to wager on the NBA. Let’s take a look at some of the popular types of basketball bets.


Moneylines are the simplest form of betting. A bettor just has to determine which team will win the game when the final buzzer sounds.

In a moneyline bet, the winning team could do so by one point or by 35, and it doesn’t matter. If the team you bet on wins the game, your ticket cashes.

Moneyline odds will vary depending on the expected competitiveness of the matchup, which can make them more or less lucrative depending on how you wager.


Spread betting involves wagering on a favorite to win by more than a predetermined number of points or an underdog to either lose by fewer points or win outright.

Basketball spread betting is one of the most popular ways to wager since there is an equal volume of close and lopsided NBA games.

Plus, betting a favorite to cover the spread adds enhanced value compared to moneyline betting.


In basketball, totals are a reference to the number of points scored in an individual game. Bettors will then place a wager on whether the game will go Over or Under the projected total score.

The odds associated with Over/Under bets are usually -110 on both sides.

Although it may seem random, there is a method to the madness in basketball totals betting, and bettors should factor in things like rest, pace, and team defenses before wagering on either side of the total.


Prop wagers are bets that aren’t tied to the final outcome.

There are multiple types of prop bets available to basketball bettors, but player props are by far the most popular. When wagering on player props, bettors must determine whether an individual will go Over or Under a specific stat threshold like points, rebounds, assists, or 3-pointers.

If betting on player props isn’t your style, you can also wager on game or team props. One example of a team prop is a team total, which involves wagering on one team to score Over or Under a predetermined number of points. An example of a game prop is betting on an NBA game to go to overtime.

There are corresponding odds based on the likelihood of each prop to play out. Plus, sportsbooks will sometimes boost the odds of those wagers to entice players to wager on various marquee matchups.


Futures wagers are bets that are generally settled at the end of the season. These could include picking a team to win the championship or a player to win an award.

In NBA betting, players can wager on a team to win its division, conference, or the Larry O’Brien Trophy. One can also bet the Over/Under on a team’s regular-season win total or if it will make the playoffs.

For individual futures, a bettor may wager on a player to win the NBA MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, Most Improved Player, and more. You can also bet on a player to lead the league in a certain stat category, including points, rebounds, assists, 3-pointers, blocks, and steals.

Futures wagers can come with extremely long odds since it can be hard to predict which player or team will ultimately finish on top in a single season. Plus, you have to wait until the end of the season for futures wagers to pay out.

But be sure to consider making a futures bet or two before the season starts, as it is extremely satisfying to cash in when you do so.


Parlay betting is when a player combines multiple bets in a single wager. Parlay betting can be a great way to get lucrative odds, but it comes with a risk since it can be extremely tough to predict multiple outcomes.

In traditional parlay betting, users may combine NBA moneylines, spreads, and totals into one wager. But online sportsbooks have also standardized same-game parlays, which is when bettors can combine multiple markets, including player and game props, from a single game.

Same-game parlays are great for marquee events like the All-Star Game and single-game days during the postseason and NBA Finals.

Live Betting

If you’re watching a game in person or on TV and decide to put some money down while the game is happening, that is called live betting.

It’s one of the staples of online sports betting since sportsbooks can constantly update odds based on how likely the outcomes are to hit.

In NBA betting, fans can wager on live moneylines, spreads, totals, props, and other markets. These can be particularly profitable in basketball, as teams tend to trade scoring runs throughout the game.

NBA Betting Strategy

When it comes to building an NBA betting strategy, be sure to seek value, especially when certain matchups don’t make sense. I love wagering on home underdogs in the NBA, especially in matchups between teams that seem on the same level.

Also, look for trends, especially while betting on props. Do you know one team is great at shutting down Stephen Curry? Target his Under. Does LeBron James go off against a particular opponent? Bet his Over.

Most importantly, have fun and be responsible. Only wager what you can afford to lose. NBA betting is a great way to add some juice to the games, but it’s important to stay within your means.


John Arlia

Before joining The Game Day, John served as the National Writer for the United Soccer League, where he primarily covered the USL Championship out of the league’s headquarters in Tampa, FL. A devout soccer fan, John attended the men’s World Cups in Brazil and Russia and can’t wait for the 2026 edition to come to North America. Having also written for Sporting News Canada since getting his master’s from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU, John has acquired a diverse sporting background, but considers football, golf, and soccer his three strong suits.

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