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 3 Best Bets
Toronto Raptors (-5) vs Miami Heat
Betting the Raptors has been gold this season, as they’ve been consistently under valued since losing Kawhi Leonard. Keep in mind this team went 17-2 without Leonard last season and is now 9-2 with Kyle Lowry (thumb) out this season. Toronto has won seven straight with the second-best net rating (16.7) in the NBA during that span.
The Raptors are undefeated at home and 8-1 ATS in those games. While Miami and Toronto are both atop the NBA in terms of covering the spread this year, the Heat is 2-4-1 ATS when listed as a road underdog. Miami boasts a +18.2 PPG differential at home but is 6-5 with a -2.1 net rating on the road. The Raptors won all four meetings between these teams last year by an average of 10.3 PPG and they’ve been unbelievable lately with Pascal Siakam looking like one of the best players in the East and Nick Nurse coaching circles around the opposition.
Washington Wizards (-2) vs Orlando Magic
Scoring has not been an issue for a Wizards team that ranks fourth in offensive rating this year. Defense has certainly been an issue, but will it be a problem against an Orlando’s 29th-rated offense?
The Magic have stayed afloat with Nikola Vucevic (ankle) on the shelf but could really struggle if their perimeter shots aren’t falling. Even with Vooch active, Orlando is 1-7 with a 100.5 offensive rating on the road this season. Washington owns a 115.5 offensive rating at home and is 27-20 ATS in home games since the start of last season.
Bradley Beal scored 34 points the last time these teams met and the Magic prevailed, 125-121, in Orlando thanks to 30 points, 17 rebounds, and 6 assists from Vucevic. You should feel confident in the Wizards swinging that result with Orlando’s best player out.
Los Angeles Lakers (+2) at Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets have been great at home over the past two seasons and are sporting the best defensive rating in the league whether at home or on the road this year. Yet the Lakers aren’t far behind with the fifth-best defensive rating, and they’re well equipped to stop the Nuggets interior attack. With Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee, and Dwight Howard plugging the middle, the Purple and Gold allow the fifth-fewest PPG (42.8) in the paint and the fewest (36.7) over their last three contests. Denver is allowing the seventh-most PPG (51.3) in the paint during that 3-game span.
LeBron James clearly turned it up with a 34.3% usage rate in three meetings with Denver last season and will likely play inspired ball as his Lakers look to bounce back from losing their 10-game win streak on Sunday. Denver is coming off an overtime loss to Sacramento and is only 17-19-1 ATS following a loss since the start of last season. Trust the Lakers more than other teams when it comes to fighting in a tough road environment.
NBA December 3 Picks Against The Spread
Dallas Mavericks (-4.5) at New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans give up the second-most PPG (118.8) and the Mavericks lead the NBA in offensive rating. Luka Doncic should carve up New Orleans lackluster defense all night.
Houston Rockets (-5.5) at San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs rallied to beat the Clippers at home, but are still a rapidly aging team with huge defensive issues. That’s not a recipe for containing James Harden, who has scored 34-plus points in 7 straight outings.
Portland Blazers (+9) at Los Angeles Clippers
The Blazers have turned things around with the fourth-best net rating (10.7) over the past week and should give the Clippers a game even if Kawhi Leonard is active.
Detroit Pistons (-2.5) at Cleveland Cavaliers
The Pistons are one of the few teams capable of banging with the Cavs down low and Cleveland has nothing going on the perimeter with a youth-laden and inconsistent backcourt.