Welcome to the Tuesday, 10/23/18 edition of the NBA Best Bets column. Here, I’ll strive to identify one game for tonight I feel has profit potential at DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, 888 Sportsbook, and FoxBet Sportsbook.
Depending on the circumstance, I’ll hone in on moneylines, point spreads, or projected totals. Sometimes I may even touch on multiple metrics. Then, I’ll take you on a fairly deep dive as to why.
Please note we’ll be referencing only legal, regulated sportsbook betting odds and totals here at PlayPicks. A “pick” is a wager that, as of the time of this writing, we feel confident recommending. A “lean” is a wager that we favor over the other side. This play could end up on our card with the release of additional information.
Season to Date:
ATS Picks: 2-2 (.500)
ATS Leans: 2-0 (1.000)
Tuesday Night’s NBA Betting Pick:
Sacramento Kings at Denver Nuggets
Over/Under Total: 227
There must be something in the water in Sacramento. The Kings (1-2) have come out of the gates looking like a poor man’s version of the Warriors. Or maybe they’re a damn good facsimile. Sacramento is second only to New Orleans with 125.7 points scored per game entering Monday night’s play. The only problem? They’ve also surrendered a league-high 130.7 per contest, along with a 51.7 percent success rate from the field. In contrast, the Nuggets boast the NBA’s stingiest defense in the early going. They’ve yielded only 95.7 points per game. Denver has held the Clippers, Suns, and most notably, the Warriors, to under 100 points while jumping out to a 3-0 record.
However, there’s equal disparity in Sacramento’s favor when examining each team’s offensive success. The Kings have had the hot hand. They sport the second-highest field-goal percentage in the league (52.8 percent) through their first three games. That includes a solid 40.9 percent figure from three-point range. By contrast, Denver hasn’t been nearly as sharp. They rank in the bottom 10 with a 43.0 percent tally. That’s a number partly comprised of the third-worst three-point shooting percentage (27.4).
The Kings are also the healthier squad heading into Tuesday’s contest. Denver’s Jamal Murray is questionable due to a left tibial contusion that he played through against the Warriors on Sunday night. The discomfort may have led to his 0-for-9 performance from the field over an abbreviated 26 minutes. Plus, Will Barton will miss the next several weeks recovering from groin surgery he’s scheduled to undergo Tuesday. If Murray can’t play Tuesday, the combination of both absences would further downgrade the Nuggets’ scoring upside.
Sacramento’s only notable injury is to Bogdan Bogdanovic. But he’s been out since preseason. As alluded to earlier, the Kings have hardly had trouble scoring without him. Iman Shumpert started at Bogdanovic’s shooting guard spot in Sunday’s win over the Thunder and racked up 26 points. The play of the team’s key young pieces through the first three games has also been integral to the team’s early offensive success:
- De’Aaron Fox: 20.3 points (on 52.5 percent shooting), 7.7 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals
- Buddy Hield: 17.7 points (on 55.0 percent shooting, including 50.0 percent from three-point range), 4.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists
- Willie Cauley-Stein: 18.7 points (on 62.5 percent shooting), 7.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists
- Marvin Bagley III: 12.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 1.3 steals
By the Numbers: The Kings were 20-18-3 (52.6 percent) against the spread as a road team last season, including 20-15-2 (57.1 percent) versus the number as a road underdog.
The Nuggets were 20-20-1 (50.0) percent against the spread as a home team last season, including 17-18-1 (48.6 percent) as a home favorite.
The Final Word: This spread is befitting of Kings squads in recent seasons. It was fairly easy to imagine those teams coming into Denver and laying an egg of that magnitude. However, this legitimately seems to be an improving squad. The team’s young players appear to be playing with unprecedented confidence. While they may see a slight downturn Tuesday due to Denver’s solid defense, the Nuggets could be considerably weakened by injury. That’s another factor the current spread doesn’t seem to fully take into account. I see Sacramento keeping this close enough to come in under the inflated number.
The Pick: Kings +11.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook