Welcome to the Sunday, Feb. 24 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 Leans/Picks: 43-31-1 (.581)
Moneyline: 25-8 (.758)
Over/Under: 16-10-1 (.615)
2/24/19 NBA Betting Pick:
San Antonio Spurs (33-27) vs. New York Knicks (11-48)
The Spurs have managed the rather unlikely feat of pairing an unsightly road win/loss record with some impressive offensive metrics. San Antonio is just 11-20 outside of AT&T Center. However, the Spurs average the ninth-most points (111.1) per road contest while shooting an impressive 47.1 percent, the fifth-highest away figure in the league. Yet their defense has often taken a dive when traveling, hence their struggles.
San Antonio is allowing a hefty 115.7 points per road game. That’s not only nearly nine points more per contest than the 107.0 they allow at home but also the seventh-highest road number in the NBA. Naturally, that figure is driven by the number of shots that successfully find the net versus the Spurs on the road. San Antonio is allowing a 48.5 percent success rate from the floor overall when traveling, fourth highest in the NBA. That includes the third-highest three-point percentage (38.0) as well.
The Spurs’ recent body of work on the road serves as the perfect snapshot of how permeable they’ve been outside of the Lone Star State. San Antonio has allowed 120 points or more in six of their last eight tilts dating back to Jan. 23. Plus, one of the two games in which they didn’t surrender that many points came versus the Grizzlies, the lowest-scoring squad in the NBA. And the Spurs still yielded a robust 114 points to the Pelicans in the second sub-120-point game in that sample.
In all, 18 of San Antonio’s 31 road games have exceeded Sunday’s projected total. And while a lot of those high-scoring affairs have come versus equally high-powered Western Conference foes, the Spurs have been involved in their share of shootouts with Eastern Conference squads as well. San Antonio most recently engaged in a slugfest with the Raptors that finished with a combined 237 points Friday night, and they’ve also lit up the scoreboard in conjunction with the Nets (231 total points), the Wizards (251), the 76ers (242), the Pistons (226), the Raptors again (232), the Celtics (231), the Bucks (264), and the Magic (227) in terms of games that have gone over Sunday’s total.
Of course, all of those squads have more offensive firepower than the Knicks. Yet New York is not without some solid scorers, even factoring in DeAndre Jordan’s likely absence Sunday due to an ankle sprain. For example, likely replacement Mitchell Robinson recently rattled off five straight double-digit scoring efforts with expanded minutes. Luke Kornet, who’s likely to see plenty of extra playing time Sunday as well, has a pair of 23-point efforts to his name this season. Jordan’s former Dallas teammate Dennis Smith, Jr., who’s likely to log extra usage Sunday if the former misses, has both a 31- and 25-point outing in a Knicks uniform already during his brief Big Apple tenure.
Then, the Knicks have shown a few modest signs of life on the offensive end recently. New York has exceeded the century mark on the scoreboard in four straight games and in five of its last six. While that’s not exactly an earth-shattering accomplishment, it’s one of the team’s more productive offensive stretches of the season. Indeed, the Knicks’ average of 107.0 points per game over the last three contests is a bump over the 105.3 they’ve averaged for the season.
Finally, when making a case for the total being exceeded Sunday, both the Knicks’ defensive woes and the home/road splits of one of San Antonio’s most important offensive pieces are worth highlighting. To begin with, New York is yielding the fifth-most points per home game (113.4) of any team in the NBA. That number is partly comprised by the 47.1 percent shooting the Knicks allow on their Madison Square Garden home floor, which includes the fourth-highest three-point shooting percentage (36.3) allowed by any team at home.
Then, the Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan has been a much better performer outside of his home arena. The veteran wing is draining an impressive 48.2 percent of his attempts in away games on his way to an average of 22.5 points per contest. In contrast, he’s shooting just 44.4 percent at AT&T while generating 20.3 points per game there.
By The Numbers
The Over is 37-22-1 (NBA-best 62.7 percent) in the Spurs’ games this season. That includes a 22-8-1 mark (NBA-best 73.3 percent) in their road games and a 5-4-1 (55.6 percent) mark in their games as road favorites. The Over is also 12-4-1 (NBA-best 75.0 percent) in San Antonio’s non-conference games thus far, 16-9-1 (64.0 percent) in their games following a loss and 21-15-1 (58.3 percent) in games they’ve played on one day of rest.
The Over is 10-8 (55.6 percent) in the Knicks’ interconference games and 24-23 (51.1 percent) in games following a New York loss.
The Final Word
The Spurs have regularly exceeded projected totals this season, and Sunday’s number isn’t an especially difficult one to vault over. The absence of Jordan hurts the Knicks’ offense to an extent, but Mitchell Robinson and Luke Kornet could well fill his shoes. As such, I see a tightly contested game that at least modestly exceeds the projected number.
The Pick: Over 223.0