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NBA Picks Today - Best NBA Bets for Thursday, December 29

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander over 43.5 points + rebounds + assists at Charlotte (-115)

Aleksej Pokusevski's injury opens up more usage on the Thunder. With Poku off the court -- as well as Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Ousmane Dieng -- SGA sees a +7% usage increase, resulting in 39.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 6.1 assists per 36 minutes. Plus, the Hornets allow the third-most points, second-most assists and second-most rebounds in the NBA.

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Keldon Johnson over 24.5 points + assists vs. Knicks (-105)

Johnson gets a significant boost in usage (+6.8%) with Devin Vassell off the floor, and the latter is out Thursday. Per 36 minutes in that scenario, Johnson averages 26.2 points and 3.8 assists. The Knicks are a solid defense, but not too intimidating, ranking in the middle of the pack in points per game allowed.

Cleveland Cavaliers -4.5 at Indiana Pacers

I know the Cavs are on the road, but this is a pretty friendly line – especially considering Tyrese Haliburton is questionable with a knee injury. Whether Haliburton plays or not, I still like this spot for the Cavs to bounce back after a close loss to Brooklyn earlier in the week. While Indiana is 6-1 ATS with a rest disadvantage this season, the Cavs are 15-10-2 ATS as favorites and 19-8 SU in those situations.

Kawhi Leonard Over 31.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists (-110) at Boston

The Clippers have consistently managed Leonard's workload this season, as he's gotten consistent rest days as part of back-to-back sets. However, he hasn't had significantly limited playing time when active, and he's averaged 31.1 minutes per game over his nine appearances since returning to the court in early December. Leonard has been a somewhat inconsistent scorer during that stretch, but he generally contributes in rebounds and assists, including when he tallied 25 points, nine rebounds and six assists against the Celtics on Dec. 12. If the 31-year-old can come close to that production Thursday, I like his chances of meeting his Points + Rebounds + Assists line.

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Ja Morant over 34.5 points + assists (-113) at Toronto

Morant is one of the most explosive guards in the league, capable of going off on any given night. He has scored at least 34 points in three of his last four games and is averaging 7.8 assists for the season. Also, Fred VanVleet is questionable for Thursday's matchup after not practicing Wednesday with back spasms. If VanVleet can't suit up, Morant should have his way with the Raptors' backup guards.

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