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 January 15 Best Bets
Dallas Mavericks (-3.5) at Sacramento Kings
The Mavericks earned some rest last night in a 124-97 blowout win over the Warriors, so the B2B situation shouldn’t scare off bettors. Dallas is also 12-5 ATS on the road, 5-3 ATS with a rest disadvantage, and 3-2 ATS with no rest between games. Most importantly, the Mavs are getting Kristaps Porzingis (knee) back in the lineup from an 8-game absence. Their offense continues to roll without Porzingis, but they dropped to 20th in defensive rating without the 7-foot-3 rim protector.
Sacramento has not been tough down low with the fewest RPG (50.4), FTA per game (19.4), and fifth-fewest PPG (44.4) in the paint. Those deficiencies will be highlighted further with Richaun Holmes (shoulder) out and Marvin Bagley (foot) still working his way back to health. Sacramento is just 7-13 ATS at home and 4-5 ATS with a rest advantage. The Kings rank 26th in offensive rating (105.4) over their last 6 home games and will likely struggle to keep pace with the Mavs top-rated offense. De’Aaron Fox is a great defender, but lacks the size necessary to contain Luka Doncic and doesn’t have much rim protection behind him.
Oklahoma City Thunder (-1.5) vs Toronto Raptors
Like several of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, the Raptors have not been the same type of team on the road. Toronto is 9-9 ATS on the road and just 4-6 ATS with a rest advantage, so the fact that the Thunder played Monday is not necessarily a key factor. OKC is also 6-0 ATS with a rest disadvantage and 12-8 ATS at home. The Thunder has the best record ATS (27-13) this year and have covered in 9 of their last 10 games.
While Toronto recently got Pascal Siakam and Norman Powell back from injury, the Raptors are still missing key pieces. Marc Gasol (hamstring) does more than what shows in the stat sheet and will be missed against Steven Adams. Fred VanVleet (hamstring) is arguably the third-most important player for Toronto and a key two-way player to match up with the Thunder’s three-guard attack. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been prolific lately and Chris Paul leads a clutch team with the second-best net rating (8.3) in fourth quarters. Their performance in tight games gives the Thunder a leg up in what’s projected to be another close finish.
Charlotte Hornets (+11) at Denver Nuggets
The feisty young Hornets have routinely exceeded expectations this season and with a record ATS to match. Charlotte is 13-10 ATS on the road and 7-4 ATS with a rest disadvantage. The Hornets have covered in four of their last five road games, including a surprising win at Dallas.
The Nuggets, meanwhile, continue to drag through the season with puzzling results like a home loss to the Cavs while looking ahead to the Clippers last weekend. Denver has a road game at Golden State tomorrow night, and although the Dubs aren’t contenders at all, the Nuggets could leave something in the tank given the situation. The Nuggets were unbelievable at home last year, but own a modest 1.7 net rating and are 3-2 over their last five home games. Denver last won by 11-plus points at home on Dec. 12 and that includes close wins over tanking teams like the Knicks and Wolves. Denver actually has the worst defensive rating (119.2) in the NBA over its last 8 home games, so the Hornets should be able to match points to prevent a blowout.
NBA January 15 Picks Against The Spread
Indiana Pacers (-3) at Minnesota Wolves
The Pacers are 17-7 straight up against teams below .500 and should cover this modest spread on the road.
Boston Celtics (-10) vs Detroit Pistons
The Celtics are rolling after dropping 3 straight and should make it 3 straight blowout home wins over weak opponents.
Brooklyn Nets (+8) at Philadelphia 76ers
This spread is drifting upwards, leading to sharp money backing the Nets. Kyrie Irving has the offense playing well enough to keep pace with the Joel Embiid-less Sixers.
Los Angeles Lakers (-9.5) vs Orlando Magic
The Lakers have been the best team in the NBA since Christmas and Orlando is playing 4 road games in 6 nights with the Clippers on deck tomorrow.
San Antonio Spurs (+5) at Miami Heat
While Miami has been great at home, the Spurs have covered in four of their last five road games and that includes brutal matchups at Milwaukee, Boston, and Toronto.
Houston Rockets (-8) vs Portland Blazers
Houston has covered in four straight home games with an average margin of victory of 19 PPG and the Blazers are arguably the worst defensive team in the NBA over the past two weeks.
Chicago Bulls (-4.5) vs Washington Wizards
The Wizards best asset is their ability to outwork opponents. But the hungry young Bulls play as hard as any team in the NBA.