Welcome to the Thursday, Jan. 24 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: 20-16 (.555)
ATS Leans: 14-10-1 (.583)
Moneyline: 16-8 (.667)
Over/Under: 11-5 (.688)
1/24/19 NBA Betting Pick:
Golden State Warriors (33-14) vs. Washington Wizards (20-26)
Over/Under Total: 235.0
The Wizards and head coach Scott Brooks have to be given credit. Already mired in what appeared to be a lost season, Washington then endured what could easily have been the final nail in the 2018-19 coffin: they lost All-Star John Wall for the rest of the way due to a late-December heel injury. Yet the Wizards eschewed folding up their tents for circling the wagons. Washington has bounced back to go 7-4 in the first 11 full games subsequent to Wall’s exit.
The quality of some of the victories during that span bears noting as well. The Wizards claimed wins over the Sixers and Bucks in that stretch. They also took Eastern Conference powerhouse Toronto to double overtime earlier this month before bowing out by a slim 140-138 margin. And the majority of their success — not just recently, but throughout the season — has come on the same home floor where they’ll face the defending champs tonight. Washington owns a solid 15-8 home mark. The aforementioned victories against Philadelphia and Milwaukee unfolded there, as did the wire-to-wire battle versus the Raptors. In all, the Wizards are 6-1 over their last seven home tilts.
Moreover, even when they’ve lost at Capital One Arena, the Wizards have typically been very competitive. Of their eight home defeats, one was by Thursday’s 10-point spread, and five others were by fewer than 10. (One of the remaining two losses was by 11.) In terms of teams that currently have winning records, Washington has toppled the Rockets, Lakers, Sixers, and Bucks at home. They’ve also lost a total of two games to the Raptors by a combined six points, and they dropped a five-point OT decision to the Celtics at home as well.
Now, the Wizards have both scored and given up plenty of points at home. Washington is averaging a robust 117.8 points per Capital One contest — the fifth-highest home figure of any team in the NBA. However, they’ve done themselves no favors by allowing 113.5 per home tilt. That’s the third most of any team on its home floor. Nine of the Wizards’ 23 home games have exceeded Thursday’s robust projected total.
The Warriors naturally trot into the nation’s capital with plenty of offensive firepower in their own right. Their already lethal arsenal just got more potent two games ago with the season debut of DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins remains on an unofficial minutes limit but already reached 21 in his second game Monday. Incidentally, Golden State racked up 130 points in that contest. That marked their seventh tally of over 120 points in nine January games.
Unlike some past seasons, the Warriors aren’t that different an offensive team when traveling. The defending champs’ 118.4 points per away game rank tops in the NBA. It’s also just a hair below their 119.0 home figure. Golden State does allow 111.2 points per road contest, which places them in the middle of the league. That’s led to a somewhat high (by the Warriors’ standards) eight road losses, after Golden State dropped only 12 away tilts all of last season. It’s also resulted in some fairly close calls for Golden State when traveling — seven of the Warriors’ 15 road victories have been by Thursday’s 10-point spread or less.
By the Numbers
The Warriors are 21-25-1 (45.6 percent) against the spread overall this season. That includes a 9-10 mark (47.4 percent) as away favorites. Golden State is also 6-6 (50.0 percent) versus the number when playing two or three days’ rest.
The Warriors have exceeded their projected total in 26 of 47 games this season (55.3 percent). That includes 14 of 19 games (73.7 percent) as away favorites. They’ve also eclipsed their projected number in 10 of 16 non-conference games (62.5 percent), in 20 of 32 games (62.5 percent) following a win, and in seven of 12 games (58.3 percent) they’ve played with two or three days’ rest.
Then, the Wizards are 6-2 (75.0 percent) versus the spread as home underdogs this season. They’re also 10-9 (52.6 percent) against the number following a win.
The Wizards have exceeded their projected total in 25 of 45 games this season, with one push (55.6 percent). That includes in seven of eight games (87.5 percent) as home underdogs. They’ve also eclipsed their projected number in 11 of 16 non-conference games (58.8 percent) and in four of eight games following a win, with one push (50.0 percent).
The Final Word
This shapes up as an intriguing interconference battle between two teams that really seem to have hit their strides. Washington’s recent surge makes this a more competitive matchup than it would have been just a couple weeks ago. The Wizards have undoubtedly gained confidence with several impressive recent home performances against Eastern Conference powerhouses.
While the Warriors counter with a starting five that’s firing on all cylinders and now also includes Cousins, this is a large spread I can see the home-savvy Wizards covering. However, I also envision both a Golden State victory and the game exceeding its projected total based on the track record of both clubs.
The Lean: Wizards +10
The Picks: Warriors moneyline/ Over 235.0