Welcome to the Tuesday, Nov. 27, 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: 12-7 (.632)
ATS Leans: 4-4 (.500)
Moneyline: 5-3 (.625)
Over/Under: 4-2 (.667)
11/27/18 NBA Betting Pick:
Los Angeles Lakers (11-8) at Denver Nuggets (13-7)
Over/Under Total: 218.0
The Lakers have surged after a lackluster start to the LeBron James era. They’ve bounced back from a 2-5 start to go 9-3 over their subsequent 12 games. Los Angeles has especially had its way with any team not named the Orlando Magic over their last nine games. They’ve notched seven victories over that span, with their only two stumbles coming against Orlando in a road/home split. However, it’s also worth noting the Lakers last three wins haven’t exactly come against the stiffest competition —the Heat, Cavaliers and underachieving Jazz.
The Lakers do bring plenty of offensive firepower. They’re scoring 114.2 points per game. However, they’ve been nearly as generous on the defensive end. Los Angeles is allowing the eighth-most points per contest (112.7). The Lakers have also had trouble with ball security. They’re committing the fifth-most turnovers per contest (15.9), including the most (19.0) over the last three. In turn, Denver is forcing a robust 15.5 per game at Pepsi Center.
The Nuggets have appreciably better numbers overall on their home floor. To begin with, Denver boasts an 8-3 record at Pepsi Center. They’re also averaging 113.8 points per game at home, a nice boost from their 105.2 road figure. The Nuggets are also forcing nearly one more turnover per game at home. And, they’ve won their last two home tilts by an average of a whopping 35 points. Moreover, even with Will Barton (groin) still sidelined, Denver boasts five players with double-digit scoring averages. A total of eight starters or backups that see regular playing time sport shooting percentages of 44.1 percent or higher.
A couple of other metrics that lean in the Nuggets’ favor Tuesday are also worth noting. One is Denver’s recent defensive performances. The Nuggets are allowing the fewest points per game in the NBA over the last three games (95.3). Those contests haven’t exactly been against offensively challenged squads either. Denver has faced the Timberwolves, Magic and Thunder during that stretch. The Nuggets impressively limited those teams to a collective 39.8 percent success rate from the floor — the lowest figure in the NBA during that span.
Then, Denver’s most explosive offensive player arguably has the best matchup of the night. Nikola Jokić already generated a 24-point, 11-rebound double-double against the Lakers in a prior meeting this season. He’ll be in position to match or improve on those numbers Tuesday — Los Angeles allows the most points (29.2), third-most rebounds (18.0) and sixth-most steals (1.8) per game to centers. Jokić is capable of contributing in all of those categories. He’s averaging 16.6 points, 9.9 rebounds and a career-high 1.4 steals.
By the Numbers
The Lakers are 7-12 (36.8 percent) versus the spread overall this season. That includes a 4-5 record (44.4 percent) against the number as a road team. Los Angeles is also 2-6 (25.0 percent) versus the spread when playing with one day’s rest. And, the Lakers are 2-5 (28.6 percent) against the number after a loss.
The Nuggets are 11-9 (55.0 percent) against the spread overall this season. That includes a 7-4 mark (63.6 percent) versus the number as a home team and a 6-4 mark (60.0 percent) as a favorite. Denver is also 8-4 (66.7 percent) against the spread following a win and 7-5 (58.3 percent) versus the number in conference games.
The Final Word
Both teams boast plenty of offense, but Pepsi Center has often proven to be a tough place to play. Denver also seems to have hit its stride again after a rocky stretch and has won big its last two times on hits home floor. Plus, they’ll come in the more rested team after last having played Saturday. While a LeBron James-led team is likely to be competitive anywhere, I see the Nuggets having enough to cover the modest spread in a hard-fought tussle.
The Pick: Nuggets -3.5, Nuggets moneyline