Welcome to the Sunday, Feb. 10 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/Leans: 40-30-1 (.571)
Moneyline: 24-8 (.750)
Over/Under: 15-8 (.652)
2/10/19 NBA Betting Pick:
Los Angeles Lakers (28-27) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (35-20)
Over/Under Total: 234.5
This interconference showdown is undoubtedly the marquee matchup of the NBA’s first non-NFL Sunday. Each team brings plenty of offensive firepower, leading to a fairly elevated total. Still, it’s worth noting the 76ers put on an impressive defensive showing in the one prior meeting between the teams this season, securing a 121-105 win at Staples Center on Jan. 29. LeBron James was absent for the Lakers in that contest, however.
While James is expected to play Sunday, the 76ers have proven to be a considerably more effective defense on their Wells Fargo Center home floor. Philadelphia is allowing 109.4 points per home contest, a markedly lower figure than the 114.8 they yield on the road. Then, the 44.2 percent shooting they surrender at home is also tied for seventh lowest in the NBA. The Sixers have allowed 110 points or fewer in 15 home games overall, including five tallies below 100.
Despite their fast-paced style and the presence of James, the Lakers have consistently been on the Under end of projected totals this season. That’s even factoring in James’ extended absence. Five of Los Angeles’ last six non-overtime games have fallen under Sunday’s projected total. In all, 23 of the 34 games the Lakers played prior to James’ Christmas Day injury also came in under the robust 234.5-point figure that’s been set for Sunday’s contest.
Finally, it’s worth noting Joel Embiid remains legitimately questionable for Sunday’s game due to an illness. That could keep him less than fully effective if he does take the floor. Any limitations or lack of participation by the dominant big man would obviously equate to a hit to the Sixers’ offensive upside.
By The Numbers
The Under is 33-21-1 (61.1 percent) in Lakers games this season. That includes an 8-6 mark (57.1 percent) in their games as road underdogs. The Under is also 12-6 (66.7 percent) in Los Angeles’ non-conference games, 17-9-1 (65.4 percent) in their games following a win, and 8-5 (61.5 percent) in games they’ve played with two or three days of rest.
The Under is 12-9 (57.1 percent) in the 76ers’ non-conference games this season. Philadelphia’s last five games have all been under Sunday’s projected total as well, including their victory over the Lakers on Jan. 29.
The Final Word
Although this will likely be the fastest-paced game of the day and features plenty of prolific scorers, the total could still be a tough one to conquer. Los Angeles has a poor track record against the Over overall, and Embiid’s potential absence or limited status supports the notion of the game being a lower-scoring affair than projected. Moreover, Philly’s solid home defense presents yet another obstacle to a truly prolific combined point tally. All of these factors steer me in the direction of a relatively high-scoring game that nevertheless lands somewhere around the 230 mark, but still under 234.5.
The Pick: Under 234.5