Welcome to the Monday, Jan. 21 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: 20-15 (.571)
ATS Leans: 13-10-1 (.565)
Moneyline: 15-8 (.652)
Over/Under: 11-4 (.733)
1/21/19 NBA Betting Pick:
Sacramento Kings (24-22) vs. Brooklyn Nets (24-23)
Over/Under Total: 229.5
The Kings and Nets are almost interconference mirror images of one another. That should make for a highly interesting battle on MLK Day afternoon in the Big Apple. Each squad features a dynamic young point guard and an emerging, high-upside center. There are also talented marksmen at two-guard for both Sacramento and Brooklyn, and each team likes to push the pace. All of those characteristics help produce some high-scoring games, especially when considering each squad has its share of defensive issues as well.
We’ll begin with the Kings. Sacramento is averaging 115.0 points per road contest, the third-highest away figure in the NBA. But they’re also yielding 116.9 points per road contest, the fourth-most generous tally in the league. Then, the Kings are actually a more proficient shooting team on the road. They’re draining 48.3 percent of their attempts when traveling, compared to 45.5 percent at home. Their impressive away figure includes the third-highest road three-point success rate in the league (38.9 percent). However, the Kings are also allowing 47.4 percent of attempts against them on the road to find the net.
As some of those numbers imply, Sacramento has given up and put up some robust point totals on the road. The Kings have allowed 120 points or more in eight of their 22 road games. Yet they’ve also hit or exceeded the 120-mark in seven road games themselves. Plus, they’ve scored 118 and 119, respectively, in two other away tilts. In total, 13 of their road contests have gone over Monday’s projected 229.5-point projected total.
The Nets have been a prolific team on their home floor of Barclays Center as well. Brooklyn is scoring 115.0 points per home contest. They’re also averaging 123.7 per game over the last three contests overall (one home, two road). Shooting-wise, the Nets come in with a 46.2 percent success rate at home that’s markedly better than their 44.7 percent road figure. It’s worth noting they’re especially proficient from distance at Barclays. Their 38.0 percent success rate from three-point range is the third-highest home figure of any team. And Joe Harris, their best long-distance marksman, is draining an eye-popping 52.3 percent of his three-point attempts at home.
But the Nets have also been a more vulnerable defensive team in the Empire State. Brooklyn is allowing 114.0 points per home game, the fourth-highest home figure in the league and a sharp jump up from the 110.1 per road contest. Opposing squads are draining a robust 47.0 percent of their attempts at Barclays. In all, Brooklyn has allowed teams to score 115 points or more on their home floor on 11 occasions thus far. That includes eight tallies of 120 points or more. In all, 10 of the Nets’ home games have exceeded Monday’s 229.5-point projected total.
It’s also worth noting the Kings are playing at the fourth-fastest pace in the NBA (106.9 possessions per game). Brooklyn isn’t too far behind with their 105.0 possessions per home game. That’s highly conducive to elevated totals. Then, each team’s top scorer is notably at his best in Monday’s setting. Brooklyn’s D’Angelo Russell (19.0 PPG overall) is averaging 19.6 PPG at Barclays (compared to 18.3 on the road). Sacramento’s Buddy Hield (20.5 PPG) is shooting 50.1 percent on the road, including an eye-popping 49.0 percent from three-point range. Those numbers leave his 46.5 and 43.0 percent home figures in those categories in the dust, solid as they are in their own right.
By the Numbers
The Kings have gone over their projected total in 27 of their 46 games (58.7 percent) this season. That includes in 16 of their 22 road games (NBA-high 72.7 percent) and in 13 of their 16 games as a road underdog (NBA-high 81.2 percent). Sacramento has also gone over its total in 15 of the 23 games (65.2 percent) they’ve played after a win.
The Nets have gone over their projected total in 25 of their 47 games (53.2 percent). That includes in 13 of their 23 home games (56.5 percent) and in four of their eight games as home favorites (50.0 percent). Brooklyn has also gone over its projected total in 16 of 23 games after a win (NBA-high 69.6 percent) and in 12 of 18 non-conference games (66.7 percent).
The Final Word
This should be a wire-to-wire battle between two of the more exciting, evenly matched, up-and-coming squads in the NBA. The contest figures to be played at a particularly fast pace and features several intriguing one-on-one matchups. Given that both teams have shown their fair share of defensive deficiencies in the home/road splits that apply Monday, I see the game going over. It’s not a high total, considering the participants.
The Pick: Over 229.5