Welcome to the Monday, 11/5/18 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: 7-5 (.583)
ATS Leans: 3-2 (.600)
Moneyline: 3-2 (.600)
11/5/18 NBA Betting Pick:
Cleveland Cavaliers (1-8) at Orlando Magic (3-6)
Over/Under Total: 213.0
The teams’ records aren’t pretty, and by and large, neither are the offenses that will take the floor in this contest. The Magic come in with the fewest points per game (99.9), along with the worst shooting percentage (41.4) in the NBA. They’ve scored under 100 points in four of their last six games. Orlando will be playing on the second game of a back-to-back Monday after having traveled overnight from San Antonio (where they won). They’ll be playing their third game in four nights overall. That’s likely to lead to some sluggishness.
The Cavaliers haven’t been much better. Yes, their 106.1 points per game look shinier than Orlando’s figure. But they’ve averaged just 98.8 points per game in four of the five games they’ve played without Kevin Love (toe) so far. The team is currently rolling out several players in their starting five who ultimately might be best suited as backups at this point in their careers. Larry Nance, Jr., Cedi Osman, George Hill, and Rodney Hood are solid but unspectacular pieces. They’ll give everything they have on any given night, but their cumulative talent level isn’t typically going to lead to above-average offense.
Another factor that should lead to a depressed offensive output Monday is the pace at which each team plays. Both are ranked in the bottom 10 in the NBA. Orlando is generating 103.5 possessions per game, 10th fewest in the league. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers average just 102 possessions per contest. That ranks as the third fewest in the NBA.
Nikola Vucevic is having an impressive season thus far, but his relatively modest 19.0 points per game lead the Magic. Orlando is struggling to get anything from its point guard position, where D.J. Augustin is averaging just 9.1 points per contest. On the other side, with Love out of the lineup, the Cavaliers’ next leading scorer is Jordan Clarkson (15.8 points per game), who’s part of the second unit. None of the current members of the starting five are averaging more than Osman’s 12.7 points per contest.
By The Numbers:
The Cavaliers have come in under the projected total in 52.0 percent of their 77 Eastern Conference games since the beginning of last season.
The Magic have come in under the total in four of five home games this season, including in the one game where they were a home favorite. All five of the contests in that sample have been against Eastern Conference opponents, as is Monday’s. Orlando also came in under the total in 29 of 52 conference games last season (55.8 percent). The Magic has come in under the total in six of their nine games overall this season as well (66.7 percent).
The Final Word:
The two teams have had trouble maintaining consistent offense from game to game, and the Magic are likely to be at least somewhat jet-lagged considering their recent travels. That will put them in less of an optimal position to take advantage of some of Cleveland’s defensive deficiencies. The total is high enough to accommodate both teams slightly eclipsing the century mark, which is about what each club’s current firepower can likely afford.
The Pick: Under 213.0