Welcome to the Tuesday, Feb. 5 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: 20-17 (.541)
ATS Leans: 19-12-1 (.613)
Moneyline: 23-8 (.742)
Over/Under: 13-7 (.650)
2/5/19 NBA Betting Pick:
Detroit Pistons (23-29) vs. New York Knicks (10-42)
Over/Under Total: 206.5
For a team with an utterly forgettable record, the Knicks garnered plenty of attention last week with a blockbuster trade. A multi-player transaction with the Mavericks netted them, in part, Dennis Smith, Jr., DeAndre Jordan, and Wesley Matthews. Then, some currently operational offensive talent in the form of Tim Hardaway, Jr. (and, to a lesser extent, Trey Burke) did exit the Big Apple, but overall, New York seemingly netted more firepower for the time being than they gave up. That said, a fully healthy Kristaps Porzingis next season could obviously tilt that trade in Dallas’ favor, but that’s a matter for another day.
The new acquisitions have played only one game with their new team thus far, so an acclimation process is still unfolding. However, the three players have proven track records and are accustomed to playing together. Thus, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them take a significant step forward in their chemistry with the rest of their new teammates Tuesday night. It’s also worth noting the trio of former Mavs has much fresher legs than what’s left of the Knicks. New York hasn’t had more than one day off between games since a three-day layoff that ended Jan. 20. They’ll be playing their sixth game in 10 nights Tuesday.
The Knicks have also been a very vulnerable defense at Madison Square Garden. New York allows the fourth-most points of any team on its home floor (113.5). Fittingly, they’re also allowing the fourth-highest home shooting percentage (47.2), including the fifth-highest three-point percentage (35.9). The Knicks have allowed 113 or more points in 13 of their 24 home games thus far. Finally, 18 of those 24 contests have exceeded Tuesday’s projected total of 206.5 points.
Now, the Pistons check into Tuesday’s game riding high off an impressive 129-103 home walloping of the Nuggets. The lopsided victory gave coach Dwane Casey a rare opportunity to give some of his front-line players significant time off the floor against a quality opponent. Andre Drummond (26 minutes), Blake Griffin (23 minutes), and Reggie Jackson (22 minutes) all checked in well under their usual playing time. That’s especially important when factoring in that Tuesday’s contest is the third in four nights for Detroit.
Another factor that supports potential offensive improvement by the Knicks on Tuesday is the Pistons’ propensity for allowing open looks on the road. Detroit comes into Tuesday’s tilt allowing 47.4 percent of attempts to find the net in their away games. That ranks them in the bottom half of the league in that category. Therefore, it’s not surprising to learn that four out of the last five Pistons games have exceeded Tuesday’s projected total. The same holds true for 16 of their 24 road contests .
Finally, the road numbers for the Pistons’ best player are worth noting when making a case for tonight’s game exceeding its projected total. Griffin is averaging 27.0 points (on 49.0 percent shooting, including 38.9 percent from three-point range) and 8.2 rebounds in his 22 road games this season. Those numbers trump his respective 25.2 points (on 46.3 percent shooting, including 33.1 percent from three-point range) and 8.1 rebounds at home. And he already trampled the Knicks for 30 points, five assists, and four rebounds over 36 minutes in their one prior 2018-19 meeting.
By The Numbers
The Pistons have topped their projected total in just 21 out of 52 games overall this season, with two pushes (42.0 percent). However, they’ve exceeded their projected total in two out of three games (66.7 percent) as road favorites this season. Tuesday’s projected total has also been eclipsed in four out of Detroit’s last five games.
The Knicks have exceeded their projected total in 25 out of 52 games overall this season (48.1 percent). Zooming in though, they’ve topped said total in 21 of 41 games (51.2 percent) following a loss.
Finally, these teams’ one prior meeting totaled 223 points.
The Final Word
Today’s pick required a dash of nuanced thinking combined with a leap of faith. Neither team’s track record of consistently exceeding its projected total is pretty. However, New York’s new blood by way of Dallas brings them some significant offensive punch, and the total is slate’s second lowest as of this writing. Given those factors, as well as the fact the Pistons have exceeded the game’s projected total more often than not recently, I’m calling for the over.
The Pick: Over 206.5