Welcome to the Wednesday, Feb. 13 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: 15-10-1 (.600)
2/13/19 NBA Betting Pick:
Brooklyn Nets (29-29) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (12-45)
Over/Under Total: 222.0
The Nets are rightfully regarded as one of the most improved teams in the NBA. Brooklyn has already surpassed their win total for all of last season. And they’ve often given teams that would have trampled them last season all they can handle this season. The most recent example came Monday night, when the Nets took the Raptors to the limit at Scotiabank Arena before dropping a 127-125 decision. Brooklyn also hung 135 points on the Nuggets in a home win three games ago, their second victory over Denver this season. The Nets also boast wins over the Sixers, Rockets and Raptors. And they’ve had narrow, single-digit losses to the Warriors, Spurs and Thunder.
Although they’ve struggled recently, Brooklyn has also usually taken care of business against inferior clubs. That includes the opposing Cavaliers. The Nets own a 16-point win over Cleveland at Quicken Loans Arena this season. And nine of the Nets’ 12 road wins have come against teams with losing records. Part of that success has to do with road defense. Brooklyn is allowing 110.8 points per away game, compared to 113.7 per home contest. That figure ranks them in the top half of the league.
The Nets have also recently received some valuable reinforcements on the other side of the ball. Both Caris LeVert and Allen Crabbe are back from lengthy absences due to foot and knee injuries, respectively. LeVert’s shot is still a bit rusty through his first two games back. He’s drained just eight of his first 22 attempts. However, the emerging wing was enjoying a career season prior to getting hurt Nov. 12. He undoubtedly has the talent to regain his stride the more he plays. Then, Crabbe already seems to be back to his normal self. He’s racked up 19 and 22 points, respectively, in his last two games while shooting 60.0 percent, including 55.0 percent from three-point range, over that stretch.
The Cavaliers come in with a 7-21 home record. Cleveland did prevail over the only Eastern Conference team with a worse record than them in the New York Knicks in their most recent Quicken Loans Arena tilt Monday night. However, they are an unsightly 1-12 against teams with a .500 or better record at home this season. Notably, all 12 of those losses have been by at least Wednesday’s seven-point spread. That sample includes the aforementioned defeat at the hands of the Nets back on Oct. 24. Cleveland is allowing 111.8 points per home contest, along with the highest overall shooting percentage (49.2) and three-point percentage (38.8) of any team on its home floor.
The health situation of both clubs also bears noting when evaluating the chances of a Nets cover and win Wednesday. The Cavs have more walking wounded than Brooklyn at the moment. Cleveland has already announced that Kevin Love will miss Wednesday’s game for rest purposes. Then, Tristan Thompson remains out with his foot injury. Ante Zizic (back) and Cedi Osman (ankle) also shape up as game-time decisions against the Nets.
Then, while the Nets are still without Spencer Dinwiddie (thumb) and will be missing Rodions Kurucs (elbow) on Wednesday as well, they are equipped to handle both absences. Shabazz Napier has proven to largely be a capable replacement for Dinwiddie thus far. Crabbe also helps give the Nets’ backcourt more quality depth overall. And the capable Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, an experienced starter, likely slides right into the top spot at the four in Kurucs’ place. If coach Kenny Atkinson opts to keep RHJ on the second unit, DeMarre Carroll, another talented veteran, is available to handle first-unit power forward duties as well.
By The Numbers
The Nets are 32-26 (55.2 percent) against the spread overall this season. That includes a 17-11 mark (60.7 percent) versus the number as a road team, and a perfect 3-0 tally against the spread as a road favorite. Brooklyn is also 19-16 (54.3 percent) against the spread on games played with one day of rest and 20-17 (54.0 percent) versus the number in conference games.
The Cavaliers are 25-31-1 (44.6 percent) against the spread overall this season. That includes a 12-16 mark (42.9 percent) versus the number as a home team and a 10-13 tally (43.5 percent) as a home underdog. Cleveland is also 3-8 (27.3 percent) against the spread after a win and 12-20-1 (37.5 percent) versus the number in games they’ve played with one day of rest.
The Final Word
The track record of both teams against the spread speaks for itself. Moreover, Brooklyn is as healthy as its been in a long time, giving them a considerably deeper rotation than Cleveland, especially with Love sitting out and both Zizic and Osman game-time calls. This is a game that I see remaining fairly close throughout, but one in which the Nets’ superior talent affords them enough separation late to secure the cover and the win.
The Pick: Nets -7, Nets moneyline