Welcome to the Saturday, Jan. 26 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: 15-11-1 (.577)
Moneyline: 18-8 (.692)
Over/Under: 12-5 (.706)
1/26/19 NBA Betting Pick:
Golden State Warriors (34-14) vs. Boston Celtics (30-18)
Over/Under Total: 230.5
A tussle between a powerhouse from each conference always makes for an intriguing set of circumstances. When that matchup also involves a pair of high-powered offenses at full health and one of the teams happens to be the defending NBA champs, the appeal increases exponentially. Such is the case Saturday, as the Warriors and Celtics clash for the first time this season.
Unsurprisingly, given their respective talent, both squads have made a habit of exceeding their projected totals this season. Boston has been more prolific on its home floor of TD Garden. They come into Saturday’s game averaging 114.4 points per home contest, a nice bump from 110.0 on the road. The Celts are draining an impressive 47.4 percent of their home-floor attempts as well, the eight-highest home figure in the NBA. That number includes a solid 37.5 percent success rate from three-point range at TD. All of those figures have helped lead to Boston scoring 115 or more points in eight of their last 10 games.
Granted, the Celtics have also been stingy on defense for much of the season, especially on their home floor. Boston allows the third-fewest points per home contest (103.6). However, it’s worth noting that their TD Garden schedule has afforded them plenty of soft, offensively challenged competition. Of their 24 home contests, 15 have come against teams with losing records. Moreover, of those 15, 13 games have been versus teams ranked in the bottom half of the league in points per game.
Then, the Warriors come in averaging the most points per game in the NBA (118.9), including the most per away contest (118.8). They also check in allowing a relatively robust 111.5 points per road tilt. Additionally, Golden State owns the highest road shooting percentage (49.7) of any team, including the highest three-point road success rate (39.8). The defending champs have been particularly hot on the offensive end lately when traveling. They’ll check into Saturday’s game having scored over 120 points in nine of their last 11 contests. That sample includes three tallies over 140 points and five road contests overall. And just as important, all nine of those games have exceeded Saturday’s projected total.
Additionally, the Warriors now have their full starting five available given the recent debut of DeMarcus Cousins following his recovery from last season’s Achilles tear. The ultra-talented big man has already played three games and seen his minutes bump up in each. Cousins logged 24 minutes in his most recent contest Thursday versus the Wizards and is already averaging 13.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.7 assists across 20.3 minutes. He should be set for another increase in playing time in Saturday’s matchup.
Finally, the home/road splits for two of the most prominent players in Saturday’s game are worth noting. Stephen Curry has actually been a more effective scorer on the road (31.1 points per road game on 51.6 percent shooting, including 46.3 percent from three-point range). In turn, Kyrie Irving is averaging 24.7 points on 54.1 percent shooting at TD Garden, including a blistering 47.1 percent from distance. The latter two figures blow away his 46.4 percent/36.4 percent road marks in those respective categories.
By The Numbers
The Warriors have exceeded their projected total in 27 of 48 games this season (56.2 percent). That includes 16 of their 24 road games (66.7 percent), including 15 of 20 games (75.0 percent) as road favorites. Golden State has also exceeded its projected total in 11 of 17 non-conference games (64.7 percent) and in 21 of their 33 games following a win (63.6 percent).
The Celtics have exceeded their projected total in 29 of 48 games this season (NBA-high 60.4 percent). That includes 15 of their 24 home games (62.5 percent), and in their only game as home underdogs thus far. Boston has also exceeded their projected total in 11 of 17 non-conference games (64.7 percent) and in 19 of their 29 games following a win (NBA-high 65.5 percent).
The Final Word
The marquee matchup of the night should live up to its hype, particularly on the scoreboard. With the Warriors now back at full health and Boston also set to have all of its key pieces back on the first unit, there should be no shortage of points. Moreover, the two days’ rest with which the Celtics come into the game should give them fresh enough legs to take advantage of the champs’ lightning-quick pace. Given all of these factors, I see the game going at least slightly over its projected total.
The Pick: Over 230.5