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Welcome to the Thursday, Jan. 31 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 SportsbookFanDuel Sportsbook888 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.

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Season to Date:

ATS Picks: 20-16 (.555)
ATS Leans: 18-12-1 (.600)
Moneyline: 22-8 (.733)
Over/Under: 12-6 (.667)

1/31/19 NBA Betting Pick:

Brooklyn Nets (28-24) vs. San Antonio Spurs (30-22)

DraftKings Sportsbook Odds: Spurs -8
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: Spurs -7.5
888 Sportsbook Odds: Spurs -8
BetStars Sportsbook Odds: Spurs -7.5

Over/Under Total: 225.0

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The Breakdown

The Nets continued to delight their fan base and build Kenny Atkinson’s case for Coach of the Year with yet another victory Tuesday against the Bulls. That win, their 28th of the season, had a little extra significance: it enabled Brooklyn to match their victory total for all of last season. The Nets have gotten there with one of their hottest stretches of the campaign, too. Brooklyn comes into Thursday’s game having prevailed in seven of its last eight.

Still, the Nets did suffer a significant loss recently when Spencer Dinwiddie went down with a thumb injury. The emerging guard already had surgery and is projected to miss multiple weeks. However, Brooklyn is prepared to withstand his absence due to the presence of the promising Shabazz Napier. The 2014 first-round pick of the Miami Heat was already enjoying one of his better professional seasons, and he’ll now have a chance to serve as D’Angelo Russell‘s primary backup in Dinwiddie’s absence. In the first three games Dinwiddie has missed, Napier is averaging 17.3 points, 3.7 assists, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.7 steals across 26.3 minutes.

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Due to some spotty defense and their own offensive firepower, the Nets have been involved in some scoreboard-busting tilts this season. Notably, 22 of the 52 games Brooklyn has played have gone over Thursday’s projected 225-point total. Exactly half of those have come on the road, including three of their last four away contests. The Nets have allowed 115 points or more in 24 of their 52 contests overall.

Then, it’s worth noting the Nets’ leading scorer — Russell — has been a markedly better shooter on the road than at Barclays Center. The fourth-year pro is draining 44.7 percent of his road attempts, including 40.1 percent of his tries from distance. In contrast, he’s generating 43.5 percent and 35.5 percent figures, respectively, at home. The same applies to Napier. The fifth-year guard is averaging 11.1 points on 42.5 percent shooting (including 38.8 percent from three-point range) on the road, compared to 8.3 points on a 37.0 percent success rate (36.7 percent from distance) at home.

For their part, the Spurs are averaging the most points (128.0) in the NBA over their last three games. San Antonio also boasts the second-highest shooting percentage (49.0) of any team on its home floor. That’s helped lead to a stellar 20-7 record at AT&T Center. The Spurs have compiled at least 120 points in four consecutive games, with two of those coming on their home floor. In all, nine of their 27 home tilts have exceeded Thursday’s projected 225-point total.

San Antonio also figures to get a sizable offensive boost with the projected return of DeMar DeRozan from a three-game absence Thursday. The prized offseason acquisition has been out nursing a knee injury, but he’s listed as probable. Considering the Spurs have averaged the aforementioned 128 points per game without him in the last three contests, his return could lead to even more of a scoring bump.

Additionally, the home splits for San Antonio’s top scorer behind DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge, must be noted when evaluating the chances of Thursday’s game exceeding its projected total. Aldridge is averaging 23.6 points (on 53.4 percent shooting) at AT&T Center, compared to 18.4 points on a 49.3 percent success rate on the road.

By The Numbers

The Nets have exceeded their projected total in 27 of 52 games (51.9 percent) overall this season. That includes 11 of their 22 games (50.0 percent) as road underdogs. Brooklyn has also exceeded its projected total in 12 of 19 non-conference games (63.2 percent), in 18 of the 30 games (60.0 percent) they’ve played with one day of rest, and in 17 of their 27 games (63.0 percent) following a win.

Then, the Spurs have exceeded their projected total in 30 of 52 games this season (NBA-high 58.8 percent), with one push. That includes 14 of 27 home games (51.8 percent). San Antonio has also exceeded its projected total in 10 of 15 non-conference games, with one push (71.4 percent), and 17 of the 32 games they’ve played with one day of rest, including one push (54.8 percent). Finally, the Spurs have topped their projected total in 17 of the 29 games (58.6 percent) after a win.

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The Final Word

These two squads have been keeping the scoreboard operator busy all season, and there’s no reason that should change Thursday. The total isn’t too lofty considering some of the high-scoring affairs in which each team has been involved. Furthermore, despite the significant absence of Dinwiddie, Napier makes for a very adequate replacement who helps keep Brooklyn’s offense humming when the second unit is on the floor. Given the track records at play here and DeRozan’s projected return to action, I see the interconference showdown exceeding the projected number.

The Pick: Over 225.0

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