Welcome to the Tuesday, Jan. 22 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: 11-5 (.688)
1/22/19 NBA Betting Pick:
Sacramento Kings (24-23) vs. Toronto Raptors (35-13)
Over/Under Total: 229.0
UPDATE @ 6:25pm ET: Kawhi Leonard (rest) has been declared out for the Raptors, while De’Aaron Fox (toe) and Nemanja Bjelica (lower back) are questionable for the Kings. Iman Shumpert (rest) is out for Sacramento as well. Even though the Kings look like they’ll be short-handed no matter the scenario, Leonard’s absence evens that out for the most part and my below prediction of a Kings cover remains the same.
The Kings have been one of the NBA’s most improved squads this season, but they’re still going through some growing pains. Such was the case Monday when they managed to turn a 60-55 halftime lead into a 29-point loss versus the Nets. Sacramento accomplished that unlikely feat by scoring just nine points in the fourth quarter. The one potential silver lining to the lopsided loss was that, with the exception of Iman Shumpert, the starters all logged under 30 minutes. They’ll be fresh enough for tonight’s test, then.
The assignment only gets tougher versus the Raptors on Tuesday given Toronto’s stellar record. Unsurprisingly, the Eastern Conference powerhouse has been at its best at home, sporting a 20-4 record there. However, the wins haven’t always come easy in Toronto. Notably, the lower the quality of the opponent’s won/loss record, the more trouble Toronto has tended to have in recent games. For example, the Raptors have edged the Suns by two, the Hawks by three, and the Jazz and the Bulls by six apiece at Scotiabank Arena over their last seven home tilts.
In turn, the Kings have often proven to be a tough out in their road losses against quality teams like Toronto. The defeat to the Nets on Monday notwithstanding, the Kings have lost to the Lakers by seven, the Clippers by nine, the Pacers by 10, and the Warriors by just one on the road dating back to late November. Naturally, all those margins check in under Tuesday’s elevated number of 10.5.
Sacramento is averaging 114.1 points per road contest, the fourth-highest away figure in the NBA. The Kings are also draining 48.1 percent of their attempts when traveling, third highest in the NBA. Their impressive away figure includes the third-highest road three-point success rate in the league (39.0 percent). The Kings’ leading scorer, Buddy Hield, is shooting an impressive 49.9 percent overall on the road, including 49.0 percent from three-point range. Second-year sensation De’Aaron Fox is also a much better road marksman, with 48.9 percent of his road attempts finding the net, compared to just 43.7 percent at home.
By the Numbers
The Kings are 27-19-1 (58.7 percent) against the spread overall this season. They’re also 13-8-1 (61.9 percent) against the number after a loss and 11-4-1 (NBA-high 73.3 percent) versus the spread in non-conference games.
The Raptors are 20-27-1 (42.5 percent) against the spread overall this season. That includes an 11-13 (45.8 percent) mark versus the number as a home favorite. Toronto is also 15-18-1 (45.5 percent) against the spread after a win, 2-6 (25.0 percent) versus the number when playing on two or three days’ rest and 7-10-1 (41.2 percent) against the spread in non-conference games.
The Final Word
Besides the favorable numbers versus the spread listed above, it’s also worth noting the Kings have had their share of struggles playing on the second game of back-to-back sets. However, this situation stands out as a bit different from the norm. The starters got more abbreviated minutes than usual Monday, and that game featured an afternoon tip-off that’s given Sacramento some key extra hours of rest. Additionally, this is a particularly high number for the Raptors, who haven’t been good at consistently covering at home. Consequently, I see a likely Raptors win, but a Sacramento cover.
The Pick: Kings +10.5