The 2019-20 NBA season opened last month and we have a great six-game slate this Tuesday.
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 November 5 Best Bets
Los Angeles Lakers (-7) at Chicago Bulls
The Bulls have been one of the worst teams in the league in terms of collective plus/minus when second-year center Wendell Carter Jr. is off the floor. There is a ton of responsibility on that young man’s shoulders to not only guard Anthony Davis, but stay out of foul trouble to give the Bulls any shot of hanging with the Lakers at home.
The Lakers are now first in the NBA in defensive rating under new coach Frank Vogel while the Bulls rank 23rd in offensive rating. Chicago has the worst Simple Rating System in the NBA per Basketball Reference, an indication that the Bulls have performed poorly against one of the easiest schedules to date. They should be handed a lesson tonight by the physical Lakers with LeBron James and Davis picking them apart.
The Lakers have covered in four of five games this year when listed as the favorite. Chicago was a league-worst 14-27 ATS in home games last season.
Atlanta Hawks (+5.5) vs San Antonio Spurs
The Hawks were around 3-point underdogs at home before news broke that John Collins would be suspended 25 games for use of a banned substance. That’s moved the line even higher in what is still a winnable game now that the Hawks have Trae Young (ankle) back in the lineup.
Young leads the NBA in Offensive Box Plus/Minus and should have little trouble scoring against what has thus far been a mediocre Spurs defense. San Antonio is sure to try and force Young off the 3-point line, but he’s proven capable of scoring or dishing to big men. With Collins sidelined, Alex Len, Jabari Parker, and De’Andre Hunter should still be able to finish on dimes from Young.
The Spurs are a far, far better team at home and went 16-25 while allowing 114 PPG on the road last season. The Hawks went 12-8 ATS with a rest advantage last year and haven’t played since last Thursday.
Boston Celtics (-6) at Cleveland Cavaliers
This matchup mostly comes down to the battle on the boards since the Cavs have depended on Tristan Thompson wreaking havoc in the paint with his relentless rebounding pursuit. The Celtics, despite being under sized, are yielding the fourth-fewest RPG (51.8) and offensive RPG (10.8) this year. They also allow the fewest 2PTM (24) per game at a modest 49% clip.
On offense, Boston has been incredibly disciplined with the fewest TO per game (11.6), which has offset poor overall shooting. Those shooting splits should regress towards the mean, especially against a Cavs team that is 22nd in defensive rating. Cleveland also forces the fewest TO per game (12.8) so far this year.
Jaylen Brown (illness) is expected to miss this game and Enes Kanter (knee) remains out, but young Robert Williams (hip) should suit up and be ready to battle with Thompson. Cleveland may have an advantage down low, but the Celtics backcourt trio of Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, and Gordon Hayward should dominate the Cavs inexperienced guards.
NBA November 5 Picks Against The Spread
Miami Heat (+4.5) at Denver Nuggets
Miami has coming out of the gates on fire and Denver is playing anything but lights out, with covers in just 2 of 6 games. The Heat should at least keep this one close if not pay off on the +155 Moneyline.
Oklahoma City Thunder (-2.5) vs Orlando Magic
The Thunder defense is stout enough to contain Nikola Vucevic and OKC has a marked advantage in the backcourt with three talented guards matching up against middling defenders in D.J. Augustin and Evan Fournier.
Indiana Pacers (-3.5) at Charlotte Hornets
The Pacers have been able to beat up on poor competition in the Eastern Conference recently and should get past Charlotte even if Domantas Sabonis (calf) can’t suit up.