NBA prop picks January 1: Bet on Jokic to start 2023 with a bang

There are just three NBA games on New Year’s Day, but even within that small slate there are intriguing prop betting opportunities.

The pregame narrative: Nikola Jokic is on an incredible roll, Domanatas Sabonis could have a tough time on the glass in Memphis and Grayson Allen is slumping.

Find all our best NBA props picks for January 1 below.

Odds as of 9:52 a.m. ET on 01/01/2023.

NBA prop picks

Best Bet : Jokic over 45.5 PRA (-108)

Backing one of the most dominant offensive forces of all time is often a good strategy, and that looks like it will be true on Sunday.

Because of the versatility of his on-court contributions, Jokic is always an intriguing option on PRA bets, even when the line is this high. While 45.5 PRA would be too much to ask from most players, it’s pretty much in line with Jokic’s season average (45.9).

The big Serbian has been even better lately with a PRA average of 50.4 in his last 19 games since a three-game absence in the COVID-19 protocols.

Jokic will also benefit from playing at home in this one. For most NBA players that’s not a substantial difference-maker, but the two-time MVP has a significantly higher PRA average in Denver (49.4) than on the road (42.7).

The Nuggets are 13-3 at home compared to 10-9 on the road, likely due to their opponents’ difficulty adjusting to playing at high altitude — and Jokic’s numbers seem to get a boost from that advantage.

Another advantage the 27-year-old will have on Sunday is a matchup he should be able to exploit. The Boston Celtics are an elite team overall, but their defence is built on switchability and they lack a big man who can match Jokic’s physicality down low.

The closest thing Boston has to a Jokic stopper is Al Horford, who is two inches shorter, more than 40 pounds lighter and nine years older than Denver’s superstar.

Key stat: Jokic has hit this over in 11 of his last 19 games.

Quick picks

Sabonis under 13.5 rebounds (-130): Sabonis has had some monster performances on the glass in recent weeks, but this line is out of hand. The big man has hit this under in 69.7% of his games this year and he’s dealing with a tough matchup.

The Grizzlies have the third-highest rebounding rate in the NBA (52.6%) and no team concedes fewer boards to centres on a per-game basis (12.4).

Allen under 11.5 points (-106): This line asks too much of Allen, who’s averaging 10.2 points per game on the season and has hit this under in six of his last eight games. The absence of Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton may create more looks for Allen, but he isn’t doing anything with them.

His opponent, the Washington Wizards, are an unimpressive team overall, but their scoring defence ranks a respectable 15th in the NBA and only four clubs allow fewer points to shooting guards.


Nick Ashbourne writes about sports betting for NorthStar Bets. NorthStar Bets is owned by NordStar Capital, which also owns Torstar, the Star’s parent company. Follow him on Twitter: @NickAshbourne

Disclaimer This content was produced as part of a partnership and therefore it may not meet the standards of impartial or independent journalism.

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