Welcome to the Thursday, 11/8/18 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: 8-6 (.571)
ATS Leans: 3-2 (.600)
Moneyline: 4-2 (.667)
Over/Under: 1-0 (.1000)
11/8/18 NBA Betting Pick:
Boston Celtics (6-4) at Phoenix Suns (2-8)
Over/Under Total: 211.0
Last season, the Suns were largely defined by their porous defense. Nabbing a rim-protecting seven-footer in Deandre Ayton with the first overall pick in the 2018 draft certainly seemed like a move that would help shore matters up down low. However, outside of the addition of veteran Trevor Ariza — who’s seemingly thrived on reputation the last couple of seasons — Phoenix didn’t do much else personnel-wise to prevent opposing teams from lighting up the scoreboard. Accordingly, they’ve opened the new season giving up 113.8 points per game over their first 10. The Suns allowed 117 points or more in six of their first seven games. And they were allowing the second-highest opponent shooting percentage (50.1) head into Wednesday’s action.
For their part, the Celtics began the season underwhelming some on offense. Boston didn’t top 105 points or 43.3 percent shooting in any of their first five games. However, they’ve picked it up since that point. The Celtics scored between 107 and 117 points in four of their subsequent six contests. Boston is shooting an improved 46.1 percent over their first three November games, including 39.4 percent from three-point range. Kyrie Irving has been key to the upswing. He’s scored between 28 and 31 points in three of his last four games after topping out at 22 in his first six. In all, the Celts’ well-balanced attack has six players averaging double-digit points at the moment.
One of the two 2017-18 meetings between the clubs finished with a total of 227.0, a byproduct of the success some of the top players in the matchup enjoyed against the opposing team last season:
Kyrie Irving: 19.0 points (on 57.1 percent shooting, including 66.7 percent from three-point range), 5.0 assists, 2.0 steals (one game)
Jayson Tatum: 19.0 points (on 61.5 percent shooting, including 60.0 percent from three-point range), 6.0 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 2.0 steals, and 1.0 block (two games)
Al Horford: 16.5 points (on 59.1 percent shooting, including 62.5 percent from three-point range), 9.0 assists, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.0 block (two games)
Marcus Morris: 18.5 points (on 54.5 percent shooting, including 40.0 percent from three-point range) and 5.5 rebounds (two games)
Devin Booker: 38.0 points (on 55.2 percent shooting), 5.0 assists, and 4.0 rebounds (one game)
T.J. Warren: 19.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.0 assist, and 4.0 steals (one game)
By The Numbers:
The Suns have been better defensively over their last three games, but they’ve yielded 131 and 120 points at home in two of their defeats. They also scored 121 in their season-opening home win against the Magic. What’s more, Phoenix hit the over in 53.1 percent of their non-conference games since the beginning of last season.
The Celtics have seen three of their last four games go over the 211.0 projected total for this contest. Boston has also hit the over in 54.8 percent of their 32 non-conference games since the start of last season.
The Final Word:
The Celtics have enough shooters to do their part in sending this game over the total. They’re intent on finding more consistency on offense after what has to be a disappointing 6-4 start to their season. They’ve been making strides in that regard in recent games. It’s also worth noting that Gordon Hayward, who’s been inconsistent to start the season after missing all of last year, has an excellent track record versus the Suns from his time with the Jazz. When it’s all said and done, both the Celtics and Suns get enough from their top players to send this game at least slightly over the relatively modest projected total.
The Pick: Over 211.0