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Trae Young

Before the 2019-20 NBA season heads to the all-star break, 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.

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NBA February 12 Best Bets

Atlanta Hawks (-1.5) at Cleveland Cavaliers

Confidence: 9.6/10

Jump on this line quickly before sharp action drives it up further. The Cavs have widely been regarded as the worst team in the NBA over the past few weeks and have been prone to decisive lapses under new HC Jon Beilein. Adding Andre Drummond via trade seems to have had a negative effect on team chemistry, by partially alienating team leader Tristan Thompson. With Drummond flexing and getting his numbers in his debut, the Cavs suffered their worst home loss in history, 133-92, to the Clippers on Sunday. Cleveland is now 9-18-1 ATS at home and just 3-10 ATS with a rest advantage. 

Therefore, it may not matter that this is the Hawks third game in four nights, especially with the ASB looming. The Hawks have been an average team since getting John Collins back from suspension and have a 0.1 net rating over their last 4 contests. The Cavs are 0-4 with a league-worst -17.2 net rating during that span. Cleveland ranks 29th in defensive rating and is by far the worst team in the league in terms of defending PGs. Trae Young should have a field day. While this may look like a fair fight between two teams at the bottom of the east, Atlanta is in far better position heading into the break.

Sacramento Kings (+7) at Dallas Mavericks

Confidence: 9.4/10

This spread is relatively high because Luka Doncic (ankle) is expected to make his return for Dallas after a 7-game absence. Yet we’ve seen the Mavs start slowly while re-integrating their MVP, as he shot 9-for-23 from the field and they only beat the Spurs by 4 the last time he returned from a sprained ankle. Dallas should tread cautiously with their franchise centerpiece as he prepares for a busy all-star weekend. 

And the Kings are no slouches at all. Sacramento has won 4 of 6 with a 4.0 net rating during that span and that includes a loss to the indomitable Bucks. The Kings dropped a close game (127-123) to Dallas last month, but had won four straight over the Mavs prior to that contest. The Kings are 13-8 ATS as road underdogs and won 3 straight road games by a combined margin of 42 points prior to visiting Milwaukee. Like many teams, the Kings are finding success by embracing small ball with Nemanja Bjelica at the 5 and that lineup should wreak havoc on the Mavs slower front court.

Los Angeles Lakers (-1.5) at Denver Nuggets

Confidence: 9.2/10

After a brief lull, the Lakers appear to be hitting another gear with the relief of the ASB within sight. This veteran team thrives on rest and will look for one more statement win before getting a week-plus off. The Nuggets are banged up and vulnerable with Will Barton (knee) and Michael Porter Jr. (ankle) out, and Malik Beasley traded. That leaves them with precious few perimeter scoring options to surround Nikola Jokic and the absence of Mason Plumlee (foot) leaves them vulnerable against the Lakers bigger lineups. Denver is coughing up 47.3 PPG in the paint at home this season and the Lakers are second offensively in that category (53.5 PPG) and are scoring 57.3 PPG in the paint over their last 3 outings. 

The Lakers won in Denver (105-96) in December despite getting just 13 points from starters other than LeBron James and Anthony Davis. They’ve gotten more balanced production of late and now rank second in offensive efficiency on the road this season. The Lakers allow the fewest PPG (24.3) in fourth quarters this season, indicating their toughness down the stretch. Again, with their next game at home on Feb. 21, this veteran team should give a spirited effort tonight.

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NBA February 12 Picks Against The Spread

Milwaukee Bucks (-3) at Indiana Pacers

Confidence: 8.4/10

The Bucks have dominated this matchup in four straight meetings and can maintain their incredible efficiency even without Giannis Antetokounmpo (personal).

Memphis Grizzlies (-4.5) vs Portland Blazers

Confidence: 8/10

Memphis has been lights out offensively all year, but is suddenly dominating on both ends with the second-best defensive rating (98.8) over their last 4 outings.

Minnesota Wolves (-8.5) vs Charlotte Hornets

Confidence: 7.5/10

The new-look Wolves were stymied down the stretch by the white-hot Raptors, but should bounce back at home against a listless Hornets team.

Orlando Magic (-7.5) vs Detroit Pistons

Confidence: 7.5/10

Home teams have historically dominated in this matchup and the Pistons are likely to struggle offensively again with Derrick Rose (groin) out through the break.

Washington Wizards (+2.5) at New York Knicks

Confidence: 7.2/10

These teams are evenly matched and the Wizards haven’t shown much of a dropoff in B2B situations.

Toronto Raptors (-3.5) at Brooklyn Nets

Confidence: 7/10

The Nets are absolutely on fire right now with the top net rating (16.1) over their last 4 contests, but we’re not picking against a team on a franchise-best 15-game win streak.

Utah Jazz (-4.5) vs Miami Heat

Confidence: 6.8/10

Miami has dropped its last three road games against competitive WCF teams and is only 7-11 SU when listed as an underdog.

Phoenix Suns (-8) vs Golden State Warriors

Confidence: 6/10

The Suns were humiliated Monday by the surging Lakers and should take out their frustrations on the tanking Warriors.