The 2019-20 NBA season is rolling and we have a huge 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 December 13 Best Bets
Los Angeles Clippers (-5) at Minnesota Wolves
A trend that is exploitable right now in the NBA is the Clippers being under valued after sputtering a bit out of the gates. Yet the title favorites are starting to come alive with three straight double-digit wins after getting blown out in Milwaukee last Friday. This is a B2B situation, but Kawhi Leonard looks like he’ll play the WCF opponent tonight and sits tomorrow in Chicago. His presence is moving the line up a bit, but the Clips are still a good bet for another win by 10-plus points.
Minnesota has puzzlingly been worse at home with a 3-8 record and the third-worst net rating (-6) in home games this season. The Wolves are a league-worst 2-8-1 ATS at home and the Clips have covered in five of their last six contests.
With Karl-Anthony Towns leading the way, the Wolves have scored the second-most PPG (55.3) in the paint over their last three outings. But the Clippers are allowing the third-fewest PPG (39.3) in the paint during that span and held KAT to 22.3 PPG over three meetings last year. With Kawhi and Paul George containing Andrew Wiggins, the Wolves probably won’t be able to keep pace against a team that owns a stellar 98.7 defensive rating over its last three contests. On the other side, Minnesota owns the worst defensive rating (130.5) in the NBA over three straight losses.
Philadelphia 76ers (-8.5) vs New Orleans Pelicans
The Sixers are coming off a huge in Boston with Al Horford resting and Horford will sit tonight, forcing Joel Embiid into another high-usage role. Philadelphia is clicking right now with a 114 offensive rating over its last 7 games and of course, the Sixers have been aces at home with a 12.4 net rating and 13-0 record this season.
New Orleans is starting to move towards a full tank with nine straight losses and only one cover during that span. The Pelicans just fell by 15 to the Bucks without Giannis and are similarly vulnerable against a lengthy Sixers team. Philly still has a size advantage at almost every position and should have a red carpet to the rim against a Pelicans team that coughs up the second-most PPG (119.8) and may be without big man Derrick Favors (personal) tonight. The Pels give up a whopping 122.8 PPG and 26.4 APG on the road, while the Sixers average 27.7 APG with a 110.5 offensive rating at home.
Indiana Pacers (-6) at Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks are wildly inconsistent and therefore aren’t a great team to bet heavy against when they’re playing at home. But if you’re looking to target teams over a larger sample size and can live with surprising results, this is a great time to take the efficient Pacers against a horrible defensive team.
Atlanta is giving up a whopping 65.3 PPG in the paint over its last three contests, which is by far the most in the NBA during that span. Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner should both capitalize on Atlanta’s porous interior defense with Malcolm Brogdon setting his big men up for easy hoops. Indiana is 8-6-1 ATS when coming off a win and the Pacers are healthier at this point than they’ve been in some time.
The Hawks, meanwhile, are 8-10 ATS after a loss and 10-13 ATS when listed as an underdog this season. Atlanta is posting the third-worst defensive rating (120.8) over its last three games and is 2-4 ATS over its last six games. Indy’s stingy defense allows the fourth-fewest 3PTA (31.6) per game and can make life very tough on Trae Young and the young Hawks.
NBA December 13 Picks Against The Spread
Los Angeles Lakers (-5.5) at Miami Heat
The Lakers are on a mission right now and will take this challenge very seriously against a Heat team that is 11-0 with a 14.7 net rating at home.
Milwaukee Bucks (-10) at Memphis Grizzlies
If you’re placing this bet before we know if Giannis is playing, you’re clearly getting great value on a Bucks team that’s on an historic pace. Milwaukee could clearly still cover this number without the reigning MVP.
Orlando Magic (+6) vs Houston Rockets
The Rockets failed to cover in Cleveland and the Magic covered at home recently against the Bucks, so a close game seems likely in this meeting.
Sacramento Kings (-8.5) vs New York Knicks
The Kings have been battling in some close games lately and will likely relish the opportunity to blow out the lowly Knicks and rest up.
Chicago Bulls (-6) vs Charlotte Hornets
The Bulls have proven capable of handling weak opponents and should dispatch the Hornets similarly to how they handled the Hawks at home on Wednesday.
Golden State Warriors (+13) at Utah Jazz
This is just a huge number for the struggling Jazz to cover, although the Warriors tend to pack it in if they get behind big, so we don’t have a ton of confidence backing a tanking team.