Welcome to the Thursday, Feb. 7 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: 20-12-1 (.625)
Moneyline: 23-8 (.742)
Over/Under: 13-8 (.619)
2/7/19 NBA Betting Pick:
San Antonio Spurs (32-24) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (32-21)
Over/Under Total: 227.5
Although they’ve each had their share of trials and tribulations, both the Spurs and Trail Blazers enter Thursday’s matchup in familiar positions: right in the thick of the Western Conference playoff conversation as the All-Star break approaches. The two clubs are also coming off losses, and in the Spurs’ case, they’ve actually dropped back-to-back road tilts to the Kings and Warriors. Those defeats have sunk their road record to an unsightly 10-17. Then, the Trail Blazers are coming off a rare home defeat at the hands of the Miami Heat on Monday night. That 10-point stumble was only their eighth loss at Moda Center against 22 victories.
For San Antonio, Thursday’s game is their third in four nights. However, they don’t have anywhere near the amount of wear and tear you’d normally expect under such circumstances. To begin with, the team’s two most important offensive pieces, LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan, both rested for Wednesday’s 141-102 walloping at the hands of the defending champs. Then, even the other healthy, key complementary pieces — Rudy Gay, Marco Belinelli, and Patty Mills — played no more than 25 minutes in the contest.
When considering the possibility of Thursday’s 227.5-point total being exceeded, it’s particularly important to note that this year’s Spurs squad is a bit different from the more defensive-minded editions of prior seasons. San Antonio has proven much more vulnerable to high scoring, especially on the road. The Spurs come in allowing a robust 115.1 points per road tilt, the sixth-highest figure in the NBA. They’re yielding the fourth-highest shooting percentage (48.3) on the road as well, including the third-highest three-point percentage (37.9). Notably, the Spurs’ last five road tilts have all gone over Thursday’s projected total. Plus, San Antonio has allowed the second-most points (125.3) in the NBA across the last three games.
The Spurs have been particularly generous on the road when the opposing squad has been a quality team. San Antonio has allowed 120 points or more in nine road games versus teams that currently have a .500 or better record. That sample includes four games in which they’ve allowed over 130 points, with only one of them an overtime tilt. And one of the aforementioned nine contests came against the same Portland squad they’ll face Thursday. The Spurs dropped a 121-108 decision to the Blazers back on Oct. 20 at Moda. That said, San Antonio has also given back some of what it’s gotten. The Spurs average a solid 110.9 points per road game and are shooting an impressive 47.2 percent outside of their home arena of AT&T Center. The latter figure is the sixth highest for any team when traveling.
Then, the Trail Blazers come in boasting plenty of offensive success at home, averaging 115.9 points per Moda Center contest. That figure is largely the byproduct of a 47.6 percent success rate from the field, including 35.5 percent from three-point range. The Blazers have also been pouring it on at home lately, and they’ve given up some healthy point totals in some of those contest as well. Portland has scored 120 points or more in an impressive six of their last seven home contests. However, they’ve also yielded 111 points or more in five of those games. In all, 12 of the Blazers’ 30 home games have exceeded Thursday’s projected total. That includes the aforementioned win against the Spurs in the second game of the season.
Finally, it’s worth noting that four of the most talented offensive pieces on the two squads have been at their most efficient when playing under Thursday’s circumstances. Take a closer look:
- Damian Lillard, POR: 46.3 percent shooting, including 39.6 percent from three-point range, at home (43.2 percent/33.1 percent on road)/ 33.0 points (on 48.8 percent shooting) in two games versus the Spurs.
- C.J. McCollum, POR: 47.4 percent shooting at home (45.2 percent on road)/ 24.0 points (on 54.1 percent shooting, incl. 46.2 percent from three-point range) in two games versus the Spurs.
- LaMarcus Aldridge, SAN: 20.5 points (on 60.7 percent shooting) in two games versus the Trail Blazers.
- DeMar DeRozan, SAN: 22.4 points on 48.6 percent shooting on road (20.3 points on 44.4 percent shooting at home)/ 32.0 points (on 49.0 percent shooting) in two games versus the Trail Blazers.
By The Numbers
The Over is 33-22-1 (60.0 percent) in the Spurs’ 56 games this season. That includes an 18-8-1 mark (69.2 percent) in road games and a 14-4 tally (NBA-high 77.8 percent) in the 18 games in which San Antonio has been a road underdog. The Over is also 13-9-1 (59.1 percent) in the 23 games following a Spurs loss, 8-1 (NBA-high 88.9 percent) in the second game of their back-to-backs and 22-18 (55.0 percent) in San Antonio’s conference games.
The Over is 26-26-1 in the Trail Blazers’ 53 games this season. That includes a 12-12-1 mark (50.0 percent) in the 25 games in which Portland has been a home favorite and a 17-16-1 tally (51.5 percent) in games they’ve played with one day of rest.
Finally, the totals for the first two Spurs-Trail Blazers meetings this season were 229 and 249.
The Final Word
With Aldridge and DeRozan having rested Wednesday, and other key players playing no more than 25 minutes in the blowout loss to the Warriors, this isn’t your usual three-games-in-four-nights scenario for the Spurs. Therefore, they should have plenty of spring in their step against a team they know fairly well. Aldridge always has a bit of extra motivation when playing in his old Portland digs, and San Antonio has been far from the sharpest defensive squad when traveling. Given that the total isn’t overly high — as well as points scored in the prior two meetings between the teams — I’m looking for this game to at least slightly exceed its projected number.
The Pick: Over 227.5