The 2019-20 NBA season opened this week and we have the first big Friday slate tonight with nine games on the docket.
On every big slate this season, PlayPicks is providing our top bets against the spread and against point totals for all the NBA games.
Injuries can always play a factor into the point spreads listed by US sportsbooks like DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook in the NBA. Keep an eye on the status of star players with any sort of nagging injury or “load management” concerns as well.
In this column, we will list three of our best bets against the spread with data to support our picks. Then, we will list the following games on the NBA slate in order of our confidence in analyzing the matchup.
Keep in mind that lines can often shift when players are announced out due to rest or injury.
NBA October 25 Best Bets
Los Angeles Lakers (-3) vs Utah Jazz
Taking the favorite in their home opener has proven profitable over the years and the Staples Center should be rocking in unified support of the Lakers tonight after it was split Tuesday in their battle with the Clippers.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis were slow to get going in their debut together, but nowhere near as disjointed as Mike Conley (1-for-16 FG shooting) looked in his Jazz debut. Bojan Bogdanovic is dealing with a sprained ankle and might not be a full go tonight, so the Lakers should be able to throw Danny Green and the full force of their wing defense at Donovan Mitchell. Down low, JaVale McGee is one of the few centers with enough length to match up with Rudy Gobert. And the Jazz don’t have an answer for Davis.
While Utah is a great defensive team, the Jazz went 21-20 and gave up 108.1 PPG on the road last year. Utah went 2-2 against a Lakers team that was a disaster last season, and even that tire fire went 22-19 while allowing a respectable 111.1 PPG at home.
Minnesota Wolves (-3.5) at Charlotte Hornets
We were wrong about the Bulls (-2.5) covering on opening night in Charlotte, but that doesn’t mean you can’t capitalize on potential regression in the Hornets second game of the year. Charlotte needed a franchise record 23 three-pointers to down a below-average Bulls team and may find the sledding tougher against a lengthy Wolves team that now features a healthy Robert Covington and tough rookie Jarret Culver.
Charlotte also bullied Chicago in the paint, but will likely get bullied by potential MVP candidate Karl-Anthony Towns. The Wolves big man hit 7 threes in his season debut, which makes him even tougher to guard, and Charlotte coughed up the most 3PTM per game (0.65) to opposing centers last year.
The Hornets are 33-39-2 against the spread (ATS) after a win over the past two seasons. They’re far more talent-deficient this year and while Devonte Graham had a great game on Wednesday, Kyrie Irving he is not. This spread has also dropped two points on DraftKings Sportsbook, giving the Wolves more value.
Portland Blazers (-2.5) at Sacramento Kings
While it’s important not to be too reactionary early in the NBA season, the fact that the Kings were steamrolled in Phoenix on opening night is certainly a sign for concern. This is a young team that objectively overachieved last season and could be ripe for further regression after coughing up the fifth-most PPG (115.3) in the NBA last season.
Sacramento went 1-2 and hung with Portland in three meetings last year, but coughed up a whopping 136 points in their last meeting despite playing their starters against Portland’s reserves. Despite their loss to Denver on Wednesday, the Blazers are stronger with Kent Bazemore on the wing and Hassan Whiteside holding down the paint. The Kings were dominated by centers at times last year and Dewayne Dedmon got worked by Deandre Ayton in his Kings debut.
Portland is 22-12 ATS as a road favorite over the past two seasons and went 19-6 after the ASB last year before making a run to the Western Conference finals. Take the value on these Blazers, who opened at +1 before money flowed in on their side and the spread changed following news on Marvin Bagley (thumb) getting injured.
NBA October 25 Picks Against The Spread
Toronto Raptors (+3) at Boston Celtics
The Celtics worst fears were confirmed in their opener, as they were dominated in the paint. Now they face a trio of talented bigs in Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, and the unstoppable Pascal Siakam, with Enes Kanter (knee) ruled out.
Denver Nuggets (-11) vs Phoenix Suns
The Nuggets went 29-20 ATS at home last year and face a porous Suns defense that will now be without center Deandre Ayton (suspension).
Chicago Bulls (-1) at Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies have very little to play for and the young Bulls should be motivated to bounce back after a puzzling loss in Charlotte that was due mostly to defensive lapses.
Dallas Mavericks (+2.5) at New Orleans Pelicans
Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis should at least keep this game close against a young Pelicans squad that is still figuring things out.
Washington Wizards (+8.5) at Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder may be undervalued, but OKC doesn’t have the weapons to necessarily blow teams out, even one of the worst teams from the East.
New York Knicks (+8) at Brooklyn Nets
The Nets played “stand-around-and-watch Kyrie-ball” in their opener, which is not a consistent recipe for success. The Knicks have enough pop to stay close as long as Julius Randle (leg) is a go.