The 2019-20 NBA season opened last week and we have a huge 11-game slate this Monday.
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 28 Best Bets
Denver Nuggets (-5) at Sacramento Kings
Poor Luke Walton. After being scapegoated for the Lakers train wreck of a season last year, Walton is trying to steer a Kings team that overachieved last season and is dealing with budding egos and injuries so far in October. Nuggets HC Mike Malone, meanwhile, is pushing all the right buttons for a team that is projected to finish towards the top of Western Conference.
Marvin Bagley (thumb) is out indefinitely and Dewayne Dedmon has been a very poor replacement for traded center Willie Cauley-Stein. That leaves the Kings extremely vulnerable against superstar center Nikola Jokic. The Joker averaged 20 PPG, 14.3 RPG, and 7.7 APG while shooting 50% from the floor over 3 meetings with the Kings last year. He’s played a key role in the Nuggets winning 8 of their last 9 against the Kings by an average of 13 PPG. While Sacramento only lost by 4 and 2 points in their final two meetings with Denver last year, this team has taken a nosedive under Walton with losses of 29, 10, and 32 points to open the season.
Toronto Raptors (-5) vs Orlando Magic
The Raptors bounced back from a close loss at Boston with an emphatic drubbing of the overmatched Bulls on Saturday. While Orlando has a more experienced, cohesive group, the Magic appears stagnant after unloading most of its cap space to retain Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross.
Toronto went 42-13 at home last season and this is a small enough spread to consider a straight up win as a close enough probability to wager. Sure, the Raptors are now without Kawhi Leonard, but they went 17-5 without Kawhi last year. More notable is the fact Toronto went 13-0 against opponents with losing records when Kawhi sat.
Philadelphia 76ers (-5) at Atlanta Hawks
While the Hawks are off to a hot start and Trae Young has been lights out, the Sixers have the lengthy personnel necessary to contain him. Young did torch the Sixers in two home games late in the 2018-19 season, but struggled in the two earlier meetings last year. This Sixers team appears to be a different breed thanks in part to the addition of a disciplined defensive captain in Al Horford.
Atlanta went 16-17 against the spread (ATS) when listed as a home favorite last year and went 31-53 straight up after a win. This spread is generously low given the status of Joel Embiid (ankle), offering good value on the Sixers. Atlanta coughed up the second-highest FG% (53.93%) to opposing centers last year, so Horford and Ben Simmons are still capable of dominating the paint to lead Philly.
NBA October 28 Picks Against The Spread
Portland Blazers (+6) at San Antonio Spurs
The Blazers have dropped five straight in San Antonio, but this is the night they get over the hump and beat the aging Spurs, or at least keep it close down to the wire. This line has seen good movement in Portland’s direction to a favorable 6 points on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Milwaukee Bucks (-14.5) vs Cleveland Cavaliers
Don’t be fooled by their surprisingly comfy win over the Pacers on Saturday, the Cavs are not a good team. Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson won’t dominate the Bucks front line in the same way and Milwaukee will be raring to return to its elite form at home after blowing a 21-point lead in an overtime loss.
Oklahoma City Thunder (+9.5) at Houston Rockets
Oklahoma City has covered in all three games this season and Chris Paul will ensure that his team is fired up for this revenge game.
Phoenix Suns (+4) vs Utah Jazz
The Suns blew past huge spreads in a narrow loss at Denver Friday and actually won outright against the vaunted Clippers on Saturday. Taking them with a cushion at home is a fine prospect against a Utah team that’s still trying to gel with new pieces.
New York Knicks (+2) vs Chicago Bulls
Chicago’s defense has been abysmal so far this season and Toronto demonstrated a blue print for shutting down the young duo of Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen. Expect the Knicks to follow suit and earn a home win.
Golden State Warriors (+3) at New Orleans Pelicans
Don’t underestimate the heart of a champion. It’s gut check time for the Warriors and Steph Curry should lead them to their first win against a Pels team that may be without Jrue Holiday (knee).
Detroit Pistons (+2) vs Indiana Pacers
Andre Drummond absolutely dominated the Pacers with 32 points and 23 rebounds in the first meeting between these teams. That’s not something you can necessarily game plan to stop.
Los Angeles Clippers (-14.5) vs Charlotte Hornets
Even the young Hornets should show fatigue on the second night of a B2B set after battling the Lakers on Sunday. They’ll find the sledding much tougher against the Clippers defense tonight.