The 2019-20 NBA season is rolling 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 January 13 Best Bets
New Orleans Pelicans (+1) at Detroit Pistons
The Pelicans are being undervalued after getting blown out in an obviously poor spot at Boston. It was the second night of a road B2B and the Celtics were highly motivated to snap a 3-game losing streak that was plagued by malaise. New Orleans had otherwise been extremely competitive with an 8-1 record ATS over their previous 9 games and that includes road victories at Portland, Denver, and Sacramento.
The Pistons are not a very dangerous home team with an 8-11 record ATS in Detroit this year. Only the Warriors have a worse net rating than the Pistons (-9.7) over their last 8 games and Detroit is rocking a league-worst 117.6 defensive rating while going 1-6 over its last 7 home games. Jaxson Hayes is giving New Orleans good enough minutes at center to contain Andre Drummond and there’s an outside chance the Pels get Derrick Favors (hamstring) and/or Jrue Holiday (elbow) back tonight. They’ve still been an above average offensive team with Holiday out thanks to the continued breakout of Brandon Ingram, so bank on the Pelicans outscoring an injury-riddled Pistons team tonight.
Oklahoma City Thunder (-2.5) at Minnesota Wolves
The best team against the spread in the NBA draws a favorable road matchup tonight with a modest spread. Minnesota is a league-worst 5-11-1 ATS at home and OKC is a league-best 14-5 ATS on the road. Chris Paul keeps this team in favorable positions down the stretch and the Thunder defense is yielding the second-fewest PPG (24) in fourth quarters. With the 22nd-rated offense, Minnesota thrives off fast break points, but the Thunder also leads the league in that department.
The Wolves have been feisty lately despite the continued absence of Karl-Anthony Towns (knee). Yet Towns absence will be felt against Steven Adams, who can certainly bully Gorgui Dieng for key rebounds. The PG position is in a bit of turmoil for the Wolves and Andrew Wiggins has been incredibly inefficient as a go-to-scorer. The Thunder’s only losses over the past two weeks have come at Philadelphia and against the Lakers, while OKC also beat a Rockets team that just demolished the Wolves by 30 points on Saturday.
Orlando Magic (+2) at Sacramento Kings
This seems to be an inefficiency in the market given how each team is playing currently. The Kings are 3-9 with the tenth-worst net rating (-3.7) over their last 12 games. Despite going 6-6 over their last 12 games, the Magic is fifth in net rating (6.7) over their last 8 and third in net rating (15.6) over their last 3 games. Orlando is getting quality play from Markelle Fultz, which will be key if D.J. Augustin (knee) remains out. There is a chance Aaron Gordon (calf) returns for Orlando tonight, but of course the offense will run through Nikola Vucevic.
Vucevic is averaging 20 PPG on 45.6% FG shooting since the start of December and will be a tough cover for Sacramento with Richaun Holmes (shoulder) inactive. Marvin Bagley (foot) is expected to return for the Kings, but he’s a natural PF and may show some rust on offense against a Magic team that ranks fifth in PPG (43.4) allowed in the paint. While Orlando has a much better record ATS (14-3) when listed as a favorite, the Magic could eventually become favored with most of the sharp money coming in on the road team.
NBA January 13 Picks Against The Spread
Indiana Pacers (-2) vs Philadelphia 76ers
The Sixers initial jolt from playing without Joel Embiid is starting to wear off and their struggles on the road are well document.
Boston Celtics (-10) vs Chicago Bulls
Don’t overestimate how important Wendell Carter Jr. is to the Bulls. They should struggle to stop Boston’s slashing wings as the Celtics look for a second straight blowout win at home.
Los Angeles Lakers (-14.5) vs Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron James (illness) is expected to play tonight and he should pace his new team to an easy win over the tanking Cavs.
Portland Blazers (-9.5) vs Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets are on the second half of a B2B set and have dropped their last two road games by a combined 25 points. The Blazers would be a more confident pick if Hassan Whiteside (illness) is active.