The 2019-20 NBA season opened last month and we have a huge 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 December 2 Best Bets
Sacramento Kings (-5) vs Chicago Bulls
The Bulls are 1-4 with a -11.1 net rating over their last five outings and their sole win came when Zach LaVine shot an uncharacteristic 13-for-17 from downtown to barely edge the Hornets, 116-115. Now they’ll face a tough Kings team that ranks fourth in offensive rating (102.5) over its last four games.
Sacramento is 12-7 ATS as a home favorite and a league-best 30-17-2 ATS at home since the start of last season. The Kings have won five straight home games against excellent competition (Utah, Portland, Boston, Phoenix, and Denver), so facing the Bulls and their 29th-rated offense is little cause for concern.
The key stat in this one should be the battle on the boards, as the Bulls allow the most RPG (49.1) to opponents and the Kings allow the fourth-fewest RPG (42.6) to their foes.
Memphis Grizzlies (+10) vs Indiana Pacers
The young Grizzlies have been competitive against some of the best teams in the NBA in recent weeks and recently pushed the Kawhi-less Clippers to the brink in a 121-119 loss. They should pose a tough test for a Pacers team that’s 3-5 with a modest +2.3 PPG differential on the road this season.
Indiana has impressed lately, but is 0-3 ATS when listed as a road favorite this year. We can’t expect a repeat of Indy’s 126-114 home win over Memphis, which is coming off a win in Minnesota despite the absence of Jonas Valanciunas (illness) and Ja Morant (back). The Grizzlies could struggle down low if Brandon Clarke (hip) is unable to play tonight, but they’ve otherwise owned the paint with the most PPG (53.6) down low in the NBA this season. Indy is allowing the 11th-most PPG (49.3) in the paint over its last three outings.
Utah Jazz (+5.5) at Philadelphia 76ers
Utah is coming off a rough 1-3 stretch and the Sixers have won 7 straight. Philly is also 9-0 at home with a +10.8 PPG differential, so why on earth are we taking the Jazz to cover?
Well, the Sixers have looked vulnerable while recording their last three wins by 6, 6, and 3 points (with two of them coming at home). They fell, 106-104, in Utah a couple weeks ago with Josh Richardson posting a team-high 150 offensive rating. Richardson (hamstring) is doubtful tonight and that makes it unlikely Philly once again contains Donovan Mitchell, after he posted a 102 offensive rating on a 35.7% usage rate in the first meeting between these teams.
Philly has scored the fourth-fewest PPG (40) in the paint over its last three contests and Utah is allowing the tenth-fewest PPG (46.2) in the paint with Defensive POY Rudy Gobert leading the way. The Jazz has bounced back nicely with a 26-22 record ATS when playing with a rest disadvantage and is 18-15 ATS on zero days rest since the start of the 2017-18 season. Watch for this line to grow with action coming in on Philly, but you can go contrarian and potentially cash in on recency bias.
NBA December 2 Picks Against The Spread
Phoenix Suns (-4) at Charlotte Hornets
The Suns defense should finally rebound against a limited Hornets offense, and Phoenix has had no trouble scoring efficiently when Ricky Rubio is active.
Golden State Warriors (+6.5) at Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks have a league-worst 117.9 defensive rating over the past two weeks and can’t be trusted to blow out any team with that kind of porous defense.
Milwaukee Bucks (-16.5) vs New York Knicks
The Bucks have won 8 of their last 9 over the Knicks, but only covered 16 points in one of those meetings. The Knicks slow pace of play is cause for concern, but Milwaukee should dictate tempo at home and win handily.