NBA best bets today (Fade short-handed Magic, side with Suns, play total in 76ers-Pelicans)

Nine games are on the books tonight in the Association this Friday night, as teams look to ring in one last victory ahead of the new year.

The Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons are dealing with significant short-handed rosters in their matchups vs. the Washington Wizards and Chicago Bulls respectively as a result of their scuffle Wednesday night in Detroit.

Elsewhere, the top-seeded team in the Western Conference, the (cleans glasses and checks notes) New Orleans Pelicans host the Philadelphia 76ers as a short home favorite in New Orleans, looking to extend their winning streak to five in a row. The Pels are tied for the most home wins in the West with the Dallas Mavericks at 15 this year, while the 76ers are just 6-8 away from home.

Below are my NBA best bets for today’s nine-game slate, along with the best available odds and betting promos available in your state.

You can find every game’s top available odds HERE:

NBA best bets record to date

NBA best bets today

  • Wizards -4.5 (-115) @ Magic
  • Suns +2 (-112) @ Raptors
  • 76ers @ Pelicans OVER 228.5 (-110)

Wizards -4.5 at Magic

Washington Wizards @ Orlando Magic | Current Best Odds


Washington Wizards
Orlando Magic

The Magic are extremely short-handed tonight following the league’s announced suspension of eight, yes eight players stemming from Wednesday’s incident in Detroit.

While the suspensions will be staggered, the Magic are still without Moe Wagner, Jonathan Issac, Chuma Okeke, and Jalen Suggs tonight, in addition to no Cole Anthony, Mo Bamba, Wendell Carter Jr, R.J. Hampton and Garry Harris.

Bettors haven’t been able to trust Washington all year on the road, just 5-14 straight up this season, but they have been decent for a bad team at covering away from home at 8-9-2 ATS. Did I mention they’ve also won four of their last five games since losing 10 consecutive matches?

With this line on the move, I’ll take the Wizards to cover the 4.5-points on the road against a Magic team that had been playing great, but now find themselves in a major predicament.

Suns +2 at Raptors

Phoenix Suns @ Toronto Raptors | Current Best Odds


Phoenix Suns
Toronto Raptors

The Suns played terrible in a blowout loss on the road in their last game Wednesday night vs. Washington, but played much better the game before with a dominant 125-108 victory on the road vs. the Memphis Grizzlies. In that game, the Suns’ defensive presence finally showed up, and the offense was balanced with eight different players in double figures.

Toronto, meanwhile comes off a back-to-back at home vs. the Grizzlies, and have lost two straight games in their home arena.

Via Covers, Phoenix has won five straight games ATS playing on one day’s rest, and are 5-3-0 this year as an underdog with a ATS +/- of +1.9.

The Raptors look lost. In December, Toronto owns the fifth-worst net rating in the league; only ahead of bottom-feeders such as Charlotte, San Antonio, Houston and Detroit.

Even with all the injuries piling up for Phoenix, I like them to cover the short number away from home.

76ers vs. Pelicans OVER 228.5

Philadelphia 76ers @ New Orleans Pelicans | Current Best Odds


Philadelphia 76ers
New Orleans Pelicans

Both of these teams have been terrific defensively in the month of December, but I’ll side with the over in New Orleans for a few different reasons.

The trends back up the play. For Philadelphia, they’ve gone 8-3 to the over in their last 11 games, 4-0 in their last four on the road, and 5-1 in their last six after a straight up loss (via Covers). The Pelicans’ trends back up the over even more. They’re 6-1 to the over in their last seven, 5-1 in their last six at home, and 6-0 to the over in their last six after a loss ATS.

New Orleans also boasts the sixth-best offensive rating in the NBA at home in the month of December, while Philadelphia comes in seventh-best away from home. The traditionally reliable 76ers’ defense also takes a major back seat away from Philly, ranking 23rd in the NBA in defensive rating in December.

I’ll side with the points in the league’s best battle on the board.

Follow all of Ben’s betting plays in real-time HERE!

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Denise T. Jones

Denise T. Jones is a passionate sports enthusiast with a knack for capturing the electrifying essence of the sporting world. As a dedicated sports news writer for, Denise brings her unparalleled love for sports and her adept storytelling skills to deliver captivating and insightful content to readers worldwide. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of various sports disciplines, Denise ensures that her articles provide comprehensive coverage of the latest events, matches, and developments in the sports realm. Whether it's the thrill of the game-winning goal, the drama of a nail-biting finish, or the heartwarming stories of triumph against all odds, Denise encapsulates it all with eloquence and precision. Denise's journey in sports journalism has been marked by her unwavering commitment to accuracy, integrity, and excellence. Her ability to blend statistical analysis with compelling narratives sets her apart as a trusted voice in the industry. From the adrenaline-pumping action on the field to the strategic maneuvers off it, Denise brings every aspect of the sporting world to life through her writing. With a finger on the pulse of the sports scene, Denise T. Jones continues to inspire and inform readers with her dynamic and engaging sports coverage on

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