Welcome to the Tuesday, Nov. 20, 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: 9-7 (.563)
ATS Leans: 4-4 (.500)
Moneyline: 5-3 (.625)
Over/Under: 3-1 (.750)
11/20/18 NBA Betting Pick:
Brooklyn Nets (7-10) at Miami Heat (6-10)
Over/Under Total: 216.0
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There’s something different, positively, about this year’s Nets. Not only is the record improved as compared to this point last season, but the team clearly has some resiliency. Caris LeVert helped Brooklyn shake off the season-opening absence of trusted veteran DeMarre Carroll with some stellar play through his first 13-plus games. Then, the emerging wing and team’s leading scorer suffered a dislocated foot Nov. 12 that’s projected to keep him out for several months. Missing both LeVert and center Jarrett Allen in their following contest against the same Heat squad they’ll face Monday, Brooklyn succumbed by a 120-107 score. However, they bounced back with a 115-104 road win versus the Wizards. They then gave an impressive Clippers squad all they could handle before running out of steam in the fourth quarter during their most recent contest.
The Nets also have plenty of offense sans LeVert. D’Angelo Russell (17.2 PPG), Spencer Dinwiddie (14.6), Joe Harris (13.5 PPG) and Allen (12.5 PPG) are all enjoying productive seasons. Carroll is still getting back up to speed after the late start to his season. He’s already averaging a solid 9.0 points per game over 21.0 minutes. His shot remains rusty (career-low 32.6 percent) but should certainly climb over time. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is also just under double digits at 9.2 points across 20.4 minutes. Both Harris and Russell are shooting over 40.0 percent from 3-point range as well.
In turn, the Heat has experienced multiple losing streaks. That includes a current two-game skid. Miami has particularly had trouble at home. They’ve dropped their last four games at American Airlines Arena and done so by an average of 10 points. They’ll also continue to be without starting point guard Goran Dragic (knee) on Tuesday. The veteran is the Heat’s second-leading scorer (16.3 PPG). Just as important, they’ll also be missing his primary backup, Tyler Johnson, due to a hamstring injury. And, there’s even a slight possibility the NBA could hand down some discipline against Josh Richardson (team-high 20.4 PPG) for having thrown his shoe into the stands in Sunday’s loss to the Lakers. A late-arriving suspension for that incident would leave Miami even more short-handed Tuesday.
It’s also worth noting that the Heat have consistently hurt their cause on their home floor with poor ball security. Miami has committed 15.6 turnovers per game at AAA Arena, tying them with the Lakers for fourth-most home turnovers in the league.
By the Numbers
The Nets are 6-4 (60.0 percent) against the spread as a road team, including 5-4 (55.6 percent) as an away underdog. They’re also 2-0 versus the number playing with two days of rest.
The Heat is 6-10 (37.5 percent) against the spread overall this season. That includes a 3-6 (33.3 percent) mark at home and 3-4 (42.9 percent) record versus the number as a home favorite specifically. Miami is also 3-6 (33.3 percent) versus the number playing with one day of rest and 4-8 (33.3 percent) against the spread in conference games.
The Final Word
The Nets have a fairly appealing spread considering the Heat’s troubles at home this season and the fact they’ll be down Dragic and Johnson, at minimum. Then, the possibility of a Richardson absence is slim but still looming. Meanwhile, Brooklyn has now had three full games to adjust to life without LeVert. They’ve encouragingly managed to score 110.0 points over those contests without him. While Miami does have a 13-point road victory against Brooklyn, it’s worth noting that was the first contest the Nets played without LeVert and they were also missing Allen. Now it’s the Heat which are significantly short-handed. My view is that Brooklyn musters enough fight here for a cover at minimum.
The Pick: Nets +3.5