Can Nets remain elite vs. Celtics without Kevin Durant? Best Bets for Thursday (Jan. 12)

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Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) interacts with Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Jessie Alcheh)

Each day, one of our experts will offer up a best bet (or two or three) that mobile sportsbooks are offering. It might be a traditional spread bet, a player prop or one of the various odds boosts that books offer.

Here are our best bets for Thursday, Jan. 12:

TOP PLAY

The play: NBA moneyline, Nets over Celtics

The odds/bet: +108

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 7:30 p.m. (TNT)

Our take: Kevin Durant is out approximately one month with a sprained MCL injury, so naturally the public will begin to fade the Nets, especially tonight in a matchup against possibly the NBA’s best team in the Celtics.

That being said, Boston is coming off a game at home on Wednesday against the Pelicans, and while it might seem they didn’t have to expend as much energy as one might think, it was a fairly close game into the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Brooklyn has had three consecutive days off to get themselves together and figure this thing out, all the while focusing on Boston. Sure, the Nets sort of imploded last year when they were missing Durant, but this is a different team that is one heck of a run, having won 15 of their past 16 games.

BIG TEN HOME FAVE

The play: NCAA men’s basketball, Ohio State -14.5 over Minnesota

The odds/bet: -120

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 6:30 p.m. (FS1)

Our take: It has been a rough little patch for the Buckeyes … no, we’re not talking about football any longer. Rather, their men’s basketball team has now lost two consecutive games – vs. then-No. 1 Purdue by two and at Maryland this past weekend by seven.

Now they come home to play a subpar Minnesota team, and they should be ready to bust loose. The Golden Gophers (6-8) have also lost two in a row – to Nebraska and at Wisconsin – and their last victory, which was against Chicago State on Dec. 22, came by just three points.

They have only covered twice since early December, and the time before that, they lost by 19 at Purdue as a 20-point dog.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Wednesday’s best bets

NBA: Celtics -9 over Pelicans (WON)

NCAA men’s basketball: Virginia Tech at Syracuse over 140 points (WON)

Wednesday’s record: 2-0

Total for the week: 5-1

Total for January: 14-7

Total for 2023: 14-7

NOTE: If a line or odds are minus, it considers the juice one must lay to place the bet. Ex: Team A is -160 on the money line, one would have to bet $160 to win $100 (or $16 to win $10). OR Team B is a 5-point favorite at -110, one would have to bet $110 to win $100 (or $11 to win $10.)

Conversely, on positive lines, if Team C is +140 on the money line, a $100 would bring in $140 (or $10 to win $14).

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