Welcome to the Wednesday, 11/7/18 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: 8-5 (.615)
ATS Leans: 3-2 (.600)
Moneyline: 4-2 (.667)
Over/Under: 1-0 (.1000)
11/7/18 NBA Betting Pick:
San Antonio Spurs (6-3) at Miami Heat (4-5)
Over/Under Total: 217.5
On the glass-half-full end of things, the Spurs were looked at by many as a former dynasty in “transition” heading into this season. From a more pessimistic perspective, they were viewed as much closer to “average.” That’s a dirty word around San Antonio given their body of work this century. Yes, the trade for DeMar DeRozan certainly brought a difference-making player into the fold. But it came at a cost of just as important a piece, Kawhi Leonard. Moreover, that transaction also saw key “3 and D” piece Danny Green leave town.
For the moment, it appears optimism is carrying the day. The Spurs sport a solid 6-3 record. DeRozan has been even better than in his Toronto days. No longer sharing a backcourt with a player anywhere close to the caliber of Kyle Lowry, DeRozan sports a team-high 30.1 percent usage rate. He also boasts career bests in points (27.3), assists (6.7), rebounds (5.6) and shooting percentage (51.6). LaMarcus Aldridge also continues to offer his typically solid production in both scoring and rebounding. Then, Bryn Forbes has been productive and consistent as a starter after Dejounte Murray’s preseason ACL tear. Rudy Gay will miss Wednesday’s game due to a heel injury. But he too has been enjoying a resurgent season. Finally, both Patty Mills and Marco Belinelli have offered key scoring contributions off the bench, highlighted by each player’s long-range prowess.
It’s been nowhere near as smooth a road for the Heat. Both injuries and inconsistency have plagued Miami. Two key players from last season, James Johnson and Dion Waiters, are still out with a sports hernia and ankle injuries, respectively. Hassan Whiteside is currently questionable for Wednesday’s game with a knee issue as well. Miami just snapped a three-game losing streak with an overtime win against the Pistons on Monday night. Yet two of those defeats were by double digits. The third came against the lowly Hawks. The Heat have seen a downturn on defense this season as well.
They’re in the unfamiliar position of being ranked in the bottom half of the NBA in points allowed (112.6). Miami is also allowing the ninth-highest three-point shooting percentage (36.8) in the league. That figure is particularly relevant considering the Spurs are tied with several teams for the fifth-best success rate from behind the arc (37.9 percent).
Finally, there’s also the matter of the success the Spurs’ two key players enjoyed against the Heat last season:
DeRozan: 23.7 points, 4.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds (three games)
Aldridge: 24.5 points (on 52.8 percent shooting), 5.5 rebounds, 1.0 block, 1.0 steal (two games)
By The Numbers:
The Spurs are 2-1 (66.7 percent) versus the spread as a road team this season, including 1-0 as a road favorite. They’re also 16-15-1 (51.6 percent) versus the number in non-conference games since the beginning of last season.
The Heat are 18-25-4 (41.9 percent) versus the spread as a home team since the beginning of last season, including 13-15-3 (46.4 percent) as a home favorite. They’re 14-14-2 (50.0 percent) against the number in non-conference games since the beginning of last season.
The Final Word:
The Spurs are a better team top to bottom, even without Gay for Wednesday’s contest. San Antonio is also the more rested team, despite having to travel — they last played Sunday night while Miami played an overtime game in Detroit on Monday night. Plus, the Heat could well be without Whiteside on Wednesday. That’s an even bigger subtraction than Gay’s absence will be for the Spurs. The small number doesn’t represent a difficult obstacle for a quality team like San Antonio, who should cover at a minimum.
The Pick: Spurs +2