The 2019-20 NBA season opened last month and we have a huge 11-game slate this Friday.
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 8 Best Bets
Miami Heat (+8) at Los Angeles Lakers
This generous number indicates that oddsmakers think Miami will be significantly affected by playing on zero days of rest, while the Lakers have been idle since Tuesday. But Miami went 7-5 ATS on zero days rest and posted the second-best record (19-10) ATS when listed as a road underdog last year. The Heat actually posted a better record (20-21) on the road than at home (19-22) last season, for what that’s worth.
More importantly, Miami has arguably looked like the best team in the East early on with a 6-1-1 record ATS this season. The Heat ranks sixth in defensive rating, seventh in rebounding, and second in opponent’s FG shooting (.441%) with good numbers in terms of defending the paint. Those numbers bode well for Miami’s chances to contain Anthony Davis and force the Lakers to take more jump shots. The Lakers rank 27th in 3-point shooting (.317%) this year, so forcing them to beat you with jumpers is the right approach.
Toronto Raptors (-2.5) at New Orleans Pelicans
When these teams met on Opening Night, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart helped the Pelicans force OT before they eventually fell, 130-122. These squads have been moving in opposite directions since with Toronto finding an effective, balanced attack without Kawhi Leonard.
The Raptors only two losses have come in Boston (partially due to biased officiating) and in Milwaukee against a highly-motivated Bucks squad. They have four starters (Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Onuoby, Pascal Siakam) sporting an offensive rating of 112 or higher. And Toronto’s defense has been great on the road, yielding just 103.7 PPG on 37.9% FG shooting. Facing Ingram the second time around, it will be much easier for the Raptors to use their length to bother him into tougher shots. The Pelicans don’t have many other reliable scorers right now and Lonzo Ball (illness) is questionable for this contest.
Utah Jazz (+3) vs Milwaukee Bucks
The Jazz appear to be home underdogs in this matchup because the Bucks just won (by exactly the 5-point spread) in L.A. over the Kawhi-less Clippers. But we don’t have nearly as much confidence that Milwaukee can beat a WCF contender at full strength. Utah has been fantastic at home for years with a 48-44-1 record ATS since 2017. They’re 4-0 with a +13.3 scoring differential at home this year after going 29-12 with a +7.8 differential last season.
Milwaukee is understandably dependent on Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is bound to produce in any matchup, but may struggle at the rim against perennial defensive POY candidate Rudy Gobert. Even with Giannis going off for 43 points in a trip to Utah last March, the Bucks lost by 4. Now the Jazz is playing even better defense and starting to figure things out offensively with both Bojan Bogdanovic and Joe Ingles sporting offensive ratings over 105. It’s worth noting that Milwaukee coughs up the fourth-most 3PTM (14.3) per game this season and Utah is shooting 40.2% from deep at home.
NBA November 8 Picks Against The Spread
Atlanta Hawks (+2) vs Sacramento Kings
The Hawks really let us down and laid an egg on Wednesday at home against Chicago. Look for them to bounce back in another winnable home game.
Memphis Grizzlies (+6.5) at Orlando Magic
The Grizzlies are unlikely to repeat Wednesday’s insane offensive production, but should do enough to hang with the low-scoring Magic in Orlando.
Philadelphia 76ers (+5.5) at Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets started to snap out of their early funk with a 20-point home win over Miami, but can’t be trusted yet against a very athletic Sixers squad. Denver could be without Gary Harris (ankle) and Paul Millsap (head) as well.
Dallas Mavericks (-11) vs New York Knicks
It’s a revenge game for Kristaps Porzingis, who can dominate the paint and prevent the frontcourt-heavy Knicks from getting much done offensively.
Cleveland Cavaliers (+5) at Washington Wizards
As long as Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson are both active, it’s hard to imagine the Wizards blowing out a feisty Cavs squad that can win the battle on the boards.
Minnesota Wolves (-12) vs Golden State Warriors
The G-League Warriors don’t have a big man capable of slowing down Karl-Anthony Towns, as Willie Cauley-Stein (foot) is still on a minutes limit and Omari Spellman is pretty much terrible.
Portland Blazers (-3) vs Brooklyn Nets
Portland has been very disappointing so far this year, but is capable of devising a good defensive game plan to slow down Kyrie Irving and win this one at home.
Detroit Pistons (+7.5) at Indiana Pacers
Bruce Brown is holding down the PG spot with Derrick Rose (hamstring) on the shelf and Andre Drummond should continue to dominate the Pacers down low.