Wise n' Shine: NBA picks, NHL predictions and college basketball best bets for Thursday, January 5

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Phil Agius


Show Bio

I've been writing about the NFL and a host of other sports for the UK's top daily betting paper the Racing Post for more than 20 years. An incurable Browns fan (1-31 survivor), I also specialise in all kinds of motorsport betting including F1, MotoGP, IndyCar and NASCAR. For Phil Agius media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.

Good morning, Pickswise Nation! It’s the first Thursday since September with no NFL game, but we have plenty of top-quality NBA and NHL games to compensate for that, plus college basketball and EPL action. Let’s get straight to making your next bet better.

About Last Night

NBA parlay cashes at +597 odds!
The Pickswise team crushed their over/under picks for last night’s NBA games, going 9-3 on totals, and we also cashed our Wednesday NBA parlay at +597 odds thanks to covers from the Grizzlies, Spurs and Pelicans. We went 2-1 on NBA player props too. The Cavaliers staged a wild comeback to beat the Suns, scoring just 33 points in the first half before rallying to win 90-88.

Ducks upset the Stars
There were only 3 NHL games on Wednesday but they produced some interesting results, with the Devils and Wild scoring 5-1 wins over the Red Wings and Lightning respectively before the Ducks caused an upset by beating the Stars 2-0.

College hoops mega parlay is a winner!
We love nothing better than a winning mega parlay, so Wednesday’s college basketball mega parlay cashing at +774 odds was particularly enjoyable. Our 3-star play of Missouri +7.5 also hit as they stayed within 6 points of Arkansas in a 74-68 loss. It was not a great day for ranked teams, with UConn, Miami, Duke and Auburn all losing.

Today’s Slate

NBA TV has a doubleheader
There are just 4 NBA games tonight, but NBA TV is showing Celtics vs Mavericks at 7:30 pm ET and Clippers vs Nuggets at 10:00 pm ET. Check out today’s NBA picks.

Big slate in the NHL
We have a strong Thursday slate in the NHL with 10 games, including Capitals vs Blue Jackets on ESPN at 7:00 pm ET. Read today’s NHL picks.

College hoops and soccer action
The top college basketball teams might be wary after yesterday’s upsets, but Purdue, Houston and Arizona are all taking the court tonight. Read today’s college basketball picks. There’s also a big EPL game at 3:00pm ET on Peacock with Chelsea vs Manchester City and you can read our soccer picks.

Best Bet of the Day

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs 3-way ML over Seattle Kraken
7:00 pm ET, ESPN+

Toronto’s elite goalscoring can lead them to a win over the Kraken tonight. Since returning from the Christmas weekend, Toronto is the league’s 2nd-highest scoring team with 4.75 goals per game. Prior to their loss to the Blues, they had won 7 of 10 games, while prior to the Kraken’s last 2 wins, they had lost 7 of 10. The Leafs have been dominant at home. Their 13-2-4 record in Toronto is bettered only by the Boston Bruins. The Kraken are a stronger team than last season, but the Leafs should be confident after beating Seattle by multiple goals in both meetings last year, outscoring them 12-6. Check out our full Kraken vs Maple Leafs predictions.


Enhance your betting knowledge by watching our daily show Let’s Bet It!, available at 10:00 am ET on our YouTube channel at https://youtube.com/c/Pickswise.

Lauren Jbara and Jared Smith are your hosts today and they will be joined by Pickwise NFL props expert Bobby “Prop Holliday” Stanley to look at the best bets for today’s NBA and NHL games, plus the NFL Week 18 lines before revealing their Plays of the Day.

You can also access LBI shows at any time through Spotify and Apple Podcasts (search for Let’s Bet It Presented By Pickswise).

Also, don’t miss the Week 18 episode of Pickswise Playbook, as Lauren, Jared and ex-NFL star Tank Williams dive into the key matchups for this week.


You can read our Thursday NBA mega parlay and Celtics vs Mavericks Same Game Parlay in our NBA section, while today’s NHL mega parlay is also available.

Look out for more great betting content as it comes in throughout the day on our Analysis tab.

Stat of the Day

The Carolina Hurricanes have won their last 8 home games.

Quote of the Day

“Leave me in the game. I’ll be all right, Coach. I’m good.”

Dennis Schroder defied the pain of an ankle injury to help the Lakers to a 112-109 win over the Heat.

Pickswise is the home of free sports picks, news and best bets. Check out our expert NFL Picks, NBA Picks, MLB Picks and NHL Picks pages for our latest game picks.

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