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Welcome to the Saturday, Feb. 23 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 Leans/Picks: 42-31-1 (.575)
Moneyline: 25-8 (.758)
Over/Under: 16-10-1 (.615)

2/23/19 NBA Betting Pick:

Brooklyn Nets (30-30) vs. Charlotte Hornets (28-30)

DraftKings Sportsbook Odds: Hornets -3 (o/u: 228.0)
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: Hornets -3 (o/u: 227.5)
888 Sportsbook Odds: Hornets -3 (o/u: 227.0)
BetStars Sportsbook Odds: Hornets -2.5 (o/u: 227.5)


The Breakdown

The Nets have built up plenty of expectations this season, already exceeding last year’s win total and playing some of the best teams in the NBA very competitively. Brooklyn has been spurred by the blossoming of young pieces like D’Angelo Russell, Joe Harris, and Jarrett Allen, as well as valuable contributions from veterans such as DeMarre Carroll and Ed Davis. Then, the injured Spencer Dinwiddie (thumb) and both Caris LeVert and Allen Crabbe have also been valuable assets.

Brooklyn has also accomplished the rare feat of defending more effectively on the road. (They’re in Charlotte tonight). The Nets are allowing two points fewer per road game (111.7) and are holding opponents to a slightly lower shooting percentage (46.1) on the road than at home (46.7 percent). And although Brooklyn has scored almost five points per game fewer on the road (109.6) than at home (114.4), they’ve recently trended up in that regard. The Nets have scored between 114 and 148 points in five of their last seven road contests.

Russell, who leads the team with 20.2 points per game, has also been a more accurate shooter away from Barclays Center. The dynamic fourth-year guard has drained 44.4 percent of his road attempts overall, including 38.7 percent from three-point range. In contrast, he’s shot 42.5 percent, including 35.3 percent from distance, in Brooklyn. Russell is also in the midst of one of his more prolific stretches of the season. He’s scored 23 or more points in 11 of the last 13 games.

Admittedly, the Hornets have been impressive at home. Charlotte is 20-9 overall at Spectrum Center. Their home metrics are also markedly better than their road figures on both ends of the floor. However, the Hornets have been a bit more generous on the defensive end in recent home games. Charlotte has allowed 110 points or more in five of their last eight games at Spectrum. That includes a trio of tallies of 120 points or more.


Charlotte did notch an impressive 100-87 win over Brooklyn at Spectrum on Dec. 28, but there’s a bit more to that result. Just two nights earlier, the two squads had engaged in a 134-132 overtime thriller at Barclays, which the Nets won. A sluggish Brooklyn squad endured an atypically poor shooting night in that second game, posting just a 39.8 percent success rate, including a meager 14.8 percent (4-for-27) figure from deep. Those are clearly outliers and not reflective of the Nets’ 45.0 seasonal FG percentage or their 35.6 mark from distance.

By The Numbers

The Nets are 33-27 (55.0 percent) overall against the spread this season. That includes an 18-11 mark (62.1 percent) as an away team and a 14-11 tally (56.0 percent) versus the number as an away underdog. Brooklyn is also 20-16 (55.6 percent) against the spread in games they’ve played with one day of rest and 21-17 (55.3 percent) versus the number in conference games.

The Hornets are 28-29-1 (49.1 percent) overall against the spread this season. Charlotte is also 5-5 (50.0 percent) versus the number on the second game of back-to-backs and 12-15 (44.4 percent) against the spread in games following a win.


The Final Word

The Hornets are coming off a hard-fought win Friday, so the Nets should be the more rested squad. Brooklyn also has a stellar body of work versus the spread, especially on the road. While they turned in a clunker in the second half versus the Trail Blazers on Thursday night, I expect the Nets to be much sharper in the second game after the long All-Star layoff and at least slide in under the manageable number.

The Lean: Nets +3

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