The 2019-20 NBA season is rolling and we have a huge 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 December 11 Best Bets
Boston Celtics (-1) at Indiana Pacers
The Celtics were initially listed as underdogs in a clear mistaken line and are now barely favorites despite their red-hot record of late. Boston has won six of seven and really just pummeled some very good teams in the Heat and Nuggets. Granted, those blowout wins were at home, but the C’s still lead the NBA in defensive rating on the road (99.8) and the Pacers rank 25th with a 106 offensive rating at home. Boston owns the seventh-best net rating (10.6) over its last seven games and just welcomed back Gordon Hayward (hand), who is rocking a career-best 122 offensive rating this season.
Kemba Walker averaged 24.3 PPG with a 124 offensive rating over three meetings with the Pacers last year and he only has to do a portion of the heavy lifting now with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown both playing out of their minds. The Celtics have won three straight in this series and their last two losses in Indy came by just 1 point, coincidentally enough. In considering how this game might play out, the scenario of a comfortable Pacers win is just so far from the likeliest outcome. Bet now before the spread increases.
Houston Rockets (-11.5) at Cleveland Cavaliers
Taking the Rockets with a double-digit spread against a feisty Kings team was a bad mistake on Monday. But so was NOT highly recommending the Celtics (-13) at home against a Cavs squad that has now become the worst in the NBA. It’s not necessarily about talent – the Cavs are just starting to quit on new HC Jon Beilein. Going up against the best scorer in the NBA over the past two decades, James Harden, they’ll need a tremendous defensive effort to keep things close. And Cleveland is unlikely to provide that effort, nor do they really have the personnel with Cedi Osman, Collin Sexton, and Jordan Clarkson serving as their first options against Harden.
The Beard put up stupid numbers (41.5 PPG, 12.5 APG) in two meetings against the Cavs last season, and has led the Rockets to wins of 32 and 28 points in two of his last three meetings with Cleveland. The Cavs are just 4-7-1 ATS at home this season and Houston is 4-3 ATS following a loss. The Rockets should come out with vengeance after losing at the buzzer to the Kings on Monday.
Chicago Bulls (-5) vs Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks are 0-5 this season on the second half of B2B sets and 1-4 ATS in those games. They provided an excellent effort in Miami last night, but completely ran out of gas in OT and had to get right on a plane to Chicago to face a decent Bulls team that just played the Raptors to a 1-point loss. Chicago is 2-0 ATS with a rest advantage this year and 4-2 ATS when listed as a home favorite.
These teams played a 4OT thriller last season, when they were both horrible on defense. Chicago’s offense is struggling, but the Bulls rank tenth in defensive rating (104.8) in home games this year. They rolled to a 113-93 win in Atlanta last month when the Hawks were hot. Since then the Hawks have plummeted to the bottom of the league in defensive rating over their last 15 games, and they own the worst defensive rating (118.4) in road tilts this season.
NBA December 11 Picks Against The Spread
Milwaukee Bucks (-13) vs New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans have dropped nine straight and the Bucks are red hot with a 15-game win streak and a league-best 15.6 net rating during that span.
Phoenix Suns (-7.5) vs Memphis Grizzlies
The Suns are playing much better ball now that Ricky Rubio is healthy and they just blew up a much better Wolves team at home. Look for another double-digit win tonight.
Sacramento Kings (-2) vs Oklahoma City Thunder
The Kings expect to get Marvin Bagley (thumb) back tonight and should be able to outscore the defensive-minded Thunder at home.
Los Angeles Clippers (-2) at Toronto Raptors
Getting blown out in Milwaukee last week could be a wake-up call for the Clippers. Kawhi Leonard will be well rested for a rematch with his former team.
Charlotte Hornets (+9.5) at Brooklyn Nets
The Hornets are actually 4-1 ATS on zero days rest this season, which isn’t that surprising from a group of players in their early 20s. With Cody Zeller back to hold down the middle, Charlotte should give Brooklyn a game tonight.
Minnesota Wolves (+1) vs Utah Jazz
There’s no reason to have confidence in the Jazz right now, especially on the road. Minnesota handled Utah on the road and lost when Andrew Wiggins was out. But the Wolves should have Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns for this one.
Los Angeles Lakers (-7.5) at Orlando Magic
The Lakers have been road warriors lately and have done a great job defending the 3-point line all season. With Nikola Vucevic out, the Magic are depending on the long ball to stay in games.
Golden State Warriors (-5) vs New York Knicks
The Knicks are 13-19 ATS when playing on zero days rest since the start of the 2017 season.