The 2019-20 NBA season is rolling and we have another great slate this Tuesday.
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 January 7 Best Bets
Memphis Grizzlies (-2.5) vs Minnesota Wolves
There is nothing to indicate that Karl-Anthony Towns (knee) is ready to snap his streak of 10 straight games on the sidelines. The Wolves are playing great defense with Towns and Andrew Wiggins (illness) generally unavailable, but run into a surprisingly talented offensive team tonight. Memphis is 4-2 with the league’s second-best offensive rating (118.8) over its last six games and is also 4-2 ATS during that span. Memphis has covered in 4 of its last 6 home games, with one of the exceptions an unlucky OT loss to the mighty Bucks.
The Grizzlies lead the NBA in PPG (54.4) in the paint, and the Wolves are coughing up 51.5 PPG in the paint on the road. Towns has not been an effective deterrent on the defensive end and Gorgui Dieng could struggle against the Grizzlies quicker, good shooting bigs. Brandon Clarke and Jaren Jackson Jr. are both shooting over 40% from 3 this season and Ja Morant is also shooting 40% from deep while averaging 10.4 assists per 100 possessions. The Grizz have already beaten the Wolves twice this year (by 16 and 8 points) and are actually jockeying for playoff positioning while Minnesota embraces the tank.
Oklahoma City Thunder (-2) at Brooklyn Nets
Both of these teams are in a B2B situation, but the Thunder has proven to be deeper and more consistent when faced with adversity. OKC is a league-best 25-12 ATS in all situations, and is 8-0 ATS with a rest disadvantage (5-0 on zero days rest). The Nets have dropped six straight and are a less impressive 3-3 ATS with a rest disadvantage (2-1 on zero days rest).
But the more important note is that the Nets are on a 6-game losing streak with the third-worst offensive rating (100.2) in the NBA during that span. Brooklyn can’t find ways to score down the stretch without Kyrie Irving (shoulder) and is 28th in PPG (25.2) in fourth quarters. The Thunder allows the second-fewest PPG (24) in fourth quarters with a stellar 97.9 defensive rating. OKC is 12-2 straight up when listed as a favorite and this spread is negligible.
Toronto Raptors (-2.5) vs Portland Blazers
This line is creeping away from a “Pick ‘Em” situation with news that C.J. McCollum (illness) may not be able to suit up tonight. The Blazers absolutely need their secondary scorer against a Raptors defense that’s been lights out of late, posting the third-best defensive rating (99.7) over their last five contests. Toronto is still missing Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol (hamstring) but certainly still has the athletes to defend with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris Boucher stepping in nicely.
Toronto is 12-7 ATS at home and Portland is 7-13 straight up on the road. The Blazers have dropped 6 of their last 7 with the second-worst defensive rating (118.8) during that span. They cough up 114.6 PPG on the road and are bottom 10 in terms of defensive rebounding and protecting the 3-point line. The Raptors hit 13.4 triples per game at a 36.7% clip when playing at home and Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet are due to start knocking down long range shots.
NBA January 7 Picks Against The Spread
Detroit Pistons (-3.5) at Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs have dropped four straight games, three by double digits, and one to the lowly Hornets. Kevin Love is openly frustrated on this rebuilding team and Cleveland is unlikely to offer much resistance in the paint.
Los Angeles Lakers (-13) vs New York Knicks
This is a huge number to cover against a suddenly competitive Knicks team, but the Knicks strength lies in the paint and the Lakers are the toughest team in the NBA in terms of defending the paint.
Sacramento Kings (+6.5) at Phoenix Suns
The Suns are only 4-7-1 ATS with a rest advantage and the Kings starters enjoyed plenty of rest in a blowout win over Golden State last night. This line has crept up towards an appealing point with Richaun Holmes (shoulder) questionable.