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NBA Betting: 3 Upset Picks to Target for December 11th

| December 11, 2017 12:00 am PDT
NBA Betting

My last attempt at nailing some NBA upset picks went well, as I scored a nice underdog win with the Indiana Pacers (+160) taking down the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.

It was shocking because the Cavs came into Indy riding a crazy 13-game winning streak. In addition, the Pacers took a 2-0 season series lead over the would-be best team in the Eastern Conference.

There was still solid logic backing that upset call, though, and if you rolled with it, you made some money. My other two upset picks didn’t pan out, but Detroit (+185) only lost to the Warriors by four points.

While my upset calls were only 1-2 on the night, Friday presented some shocking outcomes across the board. The Chicago Bulls took down the Charlotte Hornets in overtime, while the Sacramento Kings needed extra time to take down the New Orleans Pelicans, as well.

The weekend offered up more upsets, as the Clippers edged out the Wizards, the Lakers beat the Hornets in Charlotte and Chicago beat the Knicks. Sunday didn’t offer any upset picks, but with almost every game being decided by 10 points or fewer, there were certainly some close calls.

It was a crazy end to last week, but Monday starts us off with a fun 6-game slate. This is usually my cut-off for NBA upset pick slates, but I still think there’s enough value to chase tonight. Let’s see who my three favorite upset picks are:

Charlotte Hornets over Oklahoma City Thunder

Point Spread

Hornets
(+7)
+250
Thunder
(-7)
-300

Normally, I’m not even going to pretend to back the Hornets on the road (1-10 away from home), but this could be an upset special nobody sees coming.

The Hornets are not healthy right now with Frank Kaminsky, Nicolas Batum and Jeremy Lamb all iffy for this one, but if some of those guys suit up, they could actually be a tough out for the Thunder.

OKC is a very volatile team despite their star talent, as evidenced by a shocking loss to the Brooklyn Nets a few days ago. This team is still just 12-13 on the year and might not even have star small forward Paul George (calf) on hand for this contest.

The Thunder are the better team and own a 9-3 record at home, but they’ve burned me multiple times in betting circles this year and I can never rule an upset out against them.

OKC should win, but the Hornets have the defensive ability to slow this game down and grind out a win if the Thunder aren’t careful.

I’d look no further than OKC’s weak 11-13 record when favored this year. They’re clearly favored a lot, but seem to fall short of expectations routinely. The Hornets aren’t a fun team to place your money on, but right now betting against the Thunder isn’t a bad idea.

Portland Trail Blazers over Golden State Warriors

Point Spread

Trail Blazers
(+10.5)
+450
Warriors
(-10.5)
-700

Golden State is the obvious favorite in this second game, but the Blazers always get up for games against the Dubs and will be eager to end a nasty 4-game skid.

Doing so at the Oracle Arena is easier said than done (Dubs are 8-3 at home), but Portland has played Golden State well in the past and Stephen Curry (ankle) won’t be around to help his Warriors out.

These meetings tend to be very explosive and dominated by guard play, while an injury to Jusuf Nurkic ensures both of these teams will be running with smaller lineups for much of the night. That actually could give the Blazers a shot here, as Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum have both beasted out in this matchup in the past.

A healthy Al-Farouq Aminu could give Kevin Durant and/or Draymond Green something to worry about on the defensive side, while the Blazers have produced 104+ points in 8 of the last 9 meetings.

If Portland’s offense shows up again and the Dubs miss Curry even a little, there could be some wiggle room to back the Blazers at a scorching +450 Money Line at Bovada.

New Orleans Pelicans over Houston Rockets

Point Spread

Pelicans
(+11.5)
+475
Rockets
(-11.5)
-750

The other game with major upside resides in Houston, where the 20-4 Rockets host the 14-13 Pelicans. On paper, this is an easy win for James Harden and co., as they’re a strong 8-3 on their home floor and own one of the best offenses in the NBA.

Houston has shockingly been strong (9th) defensively, too, so there is more to worry about these days than James Harden going nuts on offense. In addition, the Rockets are winning most of their games rather easily, so most NBA betting sites aren’t expecting much of a game (Rockets are favored by -10).

It’s possible Vegas could be wrong, however, and the Pels step up their game against a Rockets team they’ve found success against in the past. These two sides met four times a year ago and split their season series (2-2), while it’s fair to say Houston doesn’t have much of a defensive answer for Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.

Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo have also been playing very solid basketball lately, which could suggest the Pelicans are slowly rounding into form. This is still a middling team by record, but the Pels put up tons of points and have a clear size advantage against Houston.

If New Orleans can put up points like they usually do and Harden doesn’t sound off, they could have a shot at being an elite upset pick

tonight.
Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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