Welcome to the Saturday, 11/3/18 edition of the NBA Best Bets column. Here, I’ll strive to identify one NBA bet for tonight I feel has profit potential at DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, 888 Sportsbook, and BetStars 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: 7-4 (.636)
ATS Leans: 3-2 (.600)
Moneyline: 3-1 (.750)
11/3/18 NBA Betting Pick:
Los Angeles Lakers (3-5) at Portland Trail Blazers (6-2)
Over/Under Total: 238.0
The Lakers have opened the season burning the scoreboard at both ends. They boast the third-most points per contest (121.0). On the other hand, they’re yielding the third-most points per game to the opposition (121.1). The curious duality carries over into the shooting category as well. The Lakers are draining an impressive 49.5 percent of their attempts. But they’re turning around and yielding a robust 48.0 percent success rate too. The defensive struggles have unsurprisingly led to a 3-5 record. L.A. has already given up over 120 points on four occasions.
The Trail Blazers boast the firepower to expose that vulnerability. They’ve averaged a whopping 126.3 points per game over four home tilts this season. Portland is scoring the sixth-most points per game (118.9) overall. Plus, they have enough on defense — top 10 in point allowed (110.4) — to help counteract some of the Lakers’ offense. The 42.9 percent shooting they’re allowing ranks as the fifth stingiest in the NBA. That figure includes the seventh-lowest three-point percentage surrendered (33.5).
Then, it’s worth noting all of the Blazers’ key pieces enjoyed plenty of success versus the Lakers last season and in this year’s season opener:
- Last year: 35.5 points (46.5 percent shooting, 47.1 percent from three-point range), 5.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists
- Season opener: 28 points, six rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block
- Last year: 20.3 points (52.9% from three), 4.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.3 steals
- Season opener: 21 points, five rebounds, one assist
- Last year: 16.0 points (on 45.5 percent shooting), 8.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.3 steals
- Season opener: 16 points, nine rebounds, two steals in just 17 minutes
One of the Lakers’ biggest weaknesses also dovetails very well with a strength of the Blazers’ star backcourt. Los Angeles allows the sixth-highest three-point percentage (38.3). Lillard (career-high 40.0 percent) and McCollum (37.0 percent) are both potent long-range marksmen.
By The Numbers:
The Trail Blazers are 3-1 (75.0 percent) versus the number as home favorites thus far. They were also 23-17-3 (57.5 percent) against the spread as a home team last season. Portland is 33-24-3 (57.9 percent) against the number in conference games since the beginning of the 2017-18 season.
The Lakers are 1-3 (25.0 percent) against the spread as a road team in the LeBron James era. They’re also 2-6 (25.0 percent) versus the number in conference games this season.
The Final Word:
The Lakers are going to be a tough out for most teams this season. However, the Trail Blazers can match up with them better than many other clubs. One of the main ways is through their potent offense versus Los Angeles’ permeable defense. The Blazers also have the speed in the backcourt to thrive with the boost in pace the Lakers bring. While this looks like a close, high-scoring affair, the Blazers have enough to just make a cover in front of the home crowd.
The Pick: Trail Blazers -3