Welcome to the Monday, Nov. 19, 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 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: 8-7 (.533)
ATS Leans: 4-4 (.500)
Moneyline: 4-3 (.571)
Over/Under: 3-1 (.750)
11/19/18 NBA Betting Pick:
Denver Nuggets (10-6) at Milwaukee Bucks (11-4)
Over/Under Total: 225.5
The Nuggets began the season like a house afire. Denver jumped out to a 9-1 record before hitting the skids. They proceeded to drop four straight games before taking their frustrations out on the lowly Atlanta Hawks by a 138-93 margin two games ago. Then, they reverted right back to their losing ways Saturday. The Nuggets dropped a 125-115 decision to the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Arena.
One of their defeats during the aforementioned losing streak came at the hands of the same Bucks squad they’ll face Monday. Milwaukee toppled Denver by a 121-114 score at Pepsi Center on Nov. 11. Notably, the Nuggets’ last three losses have been by that 7-point margin or higher. They also had one other 7-point defeat this season. That means four of their six losses (66.7 percent) have come by more than Monday’s 5.5-point spread (-5.5 at BetStars). That includes two of their three on the road.
Denver has also been burning the candle at both ends concerning their schedule. The team hasn’t had more than one day off between games since Oct. 29. In contrast, the Bucks are well rested. They’ve only played three games over the last eight days heading into Monday’s contest. That stretch includes two separate two-day stints between games. One of those leads into Monday’s game.
Milwaukee has also been a force on their home floor. The Bucks have lost just once at Fiserv Forum. That defeat came against a tough Memphis Grizzlies squad two games ago and was only by three points. Otherwise, Milwaukee has won seven games at home by an average of 19.1 points. Their smallest margin of victory at Fiserv has been by 11 points. Their impressive run there includes 15-point victories over the Raptors and Sixers, as well as a 35-point dismantling of the Kings.
Milwaukee has saved its best offense for their home court as well. The Bucks are averaging an NBA-best 122.8 points per game at home on the strength of 47.8 percent shooting, including 37.0 percent from 3-point range. All five members of the first unit are averaging double-digit point totals. The lowest figure in that sample belongs to floor-spacing, big man Brook Lopez; however, his relatively modest 12.6 points per game has come on an average of just 26.6 minutes per contest. And, it’s worth noting Lopez drained a career-high eight 3-pointers in the one previous encounter between the two teams this season. The seven footer’s 42.5 percent success rate from distance is just one of three over 40.0 percent on Milwaukee’s starting five.
In contrast, the Nuggets have seen an offensive downturn away from their home floor. Denver is averaging 106.8 points per game on the road, as compared to 111.3 at Pepsi Center. Plus, their 45.0 percent overall shooting and 31.8 percent figure from 3-point range on the road represent significant drop-offs from their respective 48.2 and 35.5 percent metrics in those categories at home.
By the Numbers
The Nuggets are 2-4 (33.0 percent) against the spread as a road team this season. They’re also 1-4 (20.0 percent) versus the number after a loss and 4-7 (36.4 percent) against the spread playing with one day of rest.
The Bucks are 9-5-1 (64.3 percent) against the spread overall this season. That includes a 6-1-1 (85.7 percent) mark against the number as a home team, where they’ve beat the spread by an average of 8.9 points. They’re 5-1-1 (83.3 percent) versus the number as a home favorite as well.
The Final Word
These are two of the most talented teams from each conference. But, Milwaukee has taken it up a notch at home this season. The Bucks are also the more rested team coming in. They have the added advantage of already having a win against Denver under their belt. While this doesn’t necessarily shape up as one of the big double-digit victories the Bucks have managed against other quality squads at home, I see them having enough to cover a manageable spread.
The Pick: Bucks -5.5, Bucks moneyline