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 January 10 Best Bets
San Antonio Spurs (+1) at Memphis Grizzlies
Whatever was broken about the Spurs seems to be fixed. Gregg Popovich and his staff have made the proper adjustments by running more offense through DeMar DeRozan with great off-ball movement and his team is responding with the second-best offensive rating (121.9) over their last three games. That approach led to a competitive loss at Milwaukee, followed by wins over the Bucks and Celtics, so it’s safe to say the Spurs are returning to their status in the top half of the Western Conference.
Memphis is also playing great ball with the fourth-best net rating (11.6) while winning three straight. The Grizzlies average the most PPG (54.5) in the paint and second-most APG (27.5) with Ja Morant hitting his bigs and wings for open threes. Yet San Antonio is allowing the seventh-fewest APG (24.1), eighth-fewest 3PTM (12.5) per game, and third-fewest PPG (39.3) in the paint over their last three contests. The Spurs have covered in five straight road games, including a 145-115 win in Memphis on December 23.
New Orleans Pelicans (-4.5) at New York Knicks
While the Knicks have been far more competitive under interim HC Mike Miller, they still need their best players to have any shot against good teams. Julius Randle (personal) is out and Marcus Morris (neck) is questionable tonight with the surging Pels coming to town. The Pelicans are still without Jrue Holiday (elbow), but are still 6-2 straight up and 7-0-1 ATS over their last 8 contests. New Orleans owns the third-best net rating (7.2) in the NBA and the Knicks are 22nd (-3.5) in net rating during that span.
With Randle out, the Knicks have hit a wall with four straight losses by an average of 16.3 PPG. They coughed up 60 points in the paint in their most recent loss at Utah and will be playing their third game in four nights on Friday. New Orleans hits the third-most 3pt per game (14.2) and the Knicks allow the second-most 3PTM (13.6) per game. Brandon Ingram (finger) has been removed from the injury report and he’ll be the best player on the court by far with the Knicks missing arguably their two best scorers.
Utah Jazz (-12) vs Charlotte Hornets
The Jazz has morphed into the top 3-point shooting team in the NBA and the most efficient overall team recently with a league-best 13.4 net rating during a 7-game win streak. They’ve covered in 8 of their last 9 contests and have won five straight home games by an average of 13.6 PPG. Utah has routinely taken care of business with a 20-3 record (SU) against teams below .500 this season. And the Hornets are not even as good as their 15-25 record might suggest.
Charlotte owns the fifth-worst offensive rating (104.5) and averages just 101.7 PPG on the road this season. The Hornets cough up 12.4 3PTM per game (ninth-most) and face the seventh-most 3PTA per game. With Joe Ingles running the show while Mike Conley (hamstring) heals up, Utah has risen to the top with a collective 39% mark from downtown. The Jazz owns the fifth-best rebounding rate in the NBA and should be able to pull away from a Hornets squad that ranks dead last in PPG (24.7) during fourth quarters.
NBA January 10 Picks Against The Spread
Indiana Pacers (-3.5) at Chicago Bulls
The Pacers have won six straight over the Bulls and will be highly motivated to bounce back after getting trucked at home by the Heat on Wednesday.
Miami Heat (-3.5) at Brooklyn Heat
Miami has already won in Brooklyn this season and is now making a concerted effort to become a more consistent team on the road. The Nets are desperate to extend their losing streak to 8 games, but don’t have the same depth of talent as the Heat.
Washington Wizards (-1) vs Atlanta Hawks
The Wizards bounce back from a blowout loss in Orlando, as Ish Smith contains Trae Young with the help of Washington’s multitude of athletic, unproven wing players.
Milwaukee Bucks (-8.5) at Sacramento Kings
Did you know that the Bucks have 6 of the top 8 players this year in terms of plus/minus rating? Their overall team dominance is unprecedented and should yield another comfortable road win.
Dallas Mavericks (-1.5) vs Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis may sit this one out and LeBron is one of several Lakers battling an illness. If Davis is active, back the Lakers, but otherwise you can take Luka Doncic and the home team.
Phoenix Suns (-3) vs Orlando Magic
Orlando is 7-12-1 ATS when listed as an underdog, indicating that sportsbooks have a good bead on the Magic’s level of performance.
Golden State Warriors (+14.5) at Los Angeles Clippers
Paul George (hamstring) is out and it wouldn’t be shocking to see Kawhi Leonard, Lou Williams, and/or Pat Beverley take some rest with a much tougher game on tap Sunday in Denver.