The 2019-20 NBA season opened last week and we have a huge 11-game slate this Wednesday.
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 30 Best Bets
Portland Blazers (-1.5) at Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder’s early-season success screams regression. Opponents have shot a league-worst 22.5% from downtown against OKC, which has faced the sixth-most 3PT attempts (35.5) per game. Meanwhile, Damian Lillard is an uncharacteristic 29.4% from deep this year and likely put in extra time after missing three potential game-tying threes in the final seconds at San Antonio on Monday. Lillard shredded OKC for 34.8 PPG on 46.2% FG shooting over 4 meetings last year and shot 50% from deep against Chris Paul and the Rockets, so this matchup is far from intimidating for Portland’s best player.
Portland went 23-13 after a loss last season and posted a stellar 14-3 record when listed as road favorites. OKC is 1-3 this year with its sole win coming against a befuddled Warriors defense. The Thunder fell, 97-85, at home to the Wizards and went 22-21 ATS at home last year. If Steven Adams (knee) is unable to go tonight, OKC will likely be sunk, so get your money in before the line shifts due to that news.
Los Angeles Clippers (+6.5) at Utah Jazz
The Clippers have looked like the best team in the NBA by far this season and are somehow getting points in a winnable spot on the road. While Utah was great at home last year, the Jazz went 47-42-2 ATS when listed as home favorites and the Clippers were 26-19-1 ATS on the road.
Since Kawhi Leonard is expected to sit this one out for rest purposes, the spread has moved to a comfortable 6.5 points on DraftKings Sportsbook. Leonard was a road warrior, but Lou Williams also shot a higher percentage and averaged 20.2 PPG on the road last season. Williams, Montrezl Harrell, and JaMychal Green should lead the Clippers excellent second unit in a competitive game down the stretch.
But this isn’t necessarily about the Clippers. It’s about a Jazz team that is still adjusting to the addition of Mike Conley and other key pieces. Bojan Bogdanovic has kept this offense afloat by shooting 45.5% from downtown, but will that be enough to match points with the top-rated Clippers offense? Utah is 28th in PPG (98.8) this year and coughed up 119 PPG to the Clips over three meetings last season. A blowout win for Utah seems a bit unlikely.
Cleveland Cavs (+1.5) vs Chicago Bulls
We basically just went through this with the Knicks getting a couple points at home against the Bulls on Monday, then promptly winning 105-98 despite an injury to starting PG Elfrid Payton. Chicago’s crunchtime offense was horrible with just 18 fourth-quarter points and the Bulls defense has been quite suspect so far this year.
Perhaps the most important stat is Chicago’s deficiency on the boards with Robin Lopez now in Milwaukee. The Bulls are yielding the most RPG (54.8) and offensive RPG (14.8) in the NBA despite ranking 21st in pace through four games. Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson is rocking a 19% total rebounding rate and Kevin Love is surging with a 23.9% rebounding rate this season.
Since both of these teams are bottom 10 in terms of pace, rebounding becomes even more vital with fewer possessions. To make matters worse for the Bulls, starting center Wendell Carter Jr. (thumb) is expected to play at less than 100 percent. Chicago went 14-29 on the road last year and Cleveland was 4-3 in the rare instance that the Cavs were listed as home favorites.
NBA October 30 Picks Against The Spread
Charlotte Hornets (+7.5) at Sacramento Kings
Charlotte was surprisingly competitive in matchups with the Lakers and Clippers before conceding late. The Kings rank 27th in defensive rating and have allowed the sixth-most 3PTM (12.5) per game while going 0-4, so expect the Hornets to hang around if they can knock down shots.
Milwaukee Bucks (-3) at Boston Celtics
The Celtics transition defense has been suspect and that makes them all to vulnerable to Euro Stepping, runaway-train, reigning MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Brooklyn Nets (-3.5) vs Indiana Pacers
The Pacers can’t score and no teams have had much luck containing Kyrie Irving so far this season.
New York Knicks (+9.5) at Orlando Magic
Orlando simply doesn’t play with enough pace for us to trust them to win by double digits. The Knicks have enough length down low – between Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, and R.J. Barrett – to muck this game up and keep it close.
Phoenix Suns (+5) at Golden State Warriors
The Warriors mighty home court advantage is greatly diminished in their new arena, as is the overall depth of their roster. Phoenix is a perfect 4-0 ATS this year and continues that trend tonight.
Philadelphia 76ers (-7.5) vs Minnesota Wolves
With Joel Embiid (ankle) back, the 76ers might actually be able to contain Karl-Anthony Towns, who is the entire Wolves offense right now. Philly has won five straight over Minnesota, and the last three have been by an average of 21 PPG.
Washington Wizards (+8) vs Houston Rockets
Washington was 23-17 ATS at home last season and the Rockets have struggled to separate from anyone with James Harden still looking for his outside shot.
Toronto Raptors (-9) vs Detroit Pistons
This number is really tough given Toronto’s diminished firepower this year. The Raptors have covered in consecutive home games, however, and the Pistons are in a precarious spot by depending on old Derrick Rose and one-dimensional Andre Drummond.