The 2019-20 NBA season is in full swing after the all-star break, and we have a juicy 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 February 25 Best Bets
Sacramento Kings (-6.5) at Golden State Warriors
The Kings are another team embracing the small-ball movement with Nemanja Bjelica logging heavy minutes at center and that approach has unlocked new acquisition Kent Bazemore. Bazemore will be motivated to face one of his former teams tonight and he’s been helping Sacramento ramp up its pace of play with 56 points, 16 rebounds, and 6 steals over his last 3 appearances. The Kings are sporting a league-best 74.4 net rating in “clutch time” (when games are within 5 points or fewer in the final 5 minutes) and are locking up opposing backcourts with De’Aaron Fox leading the way.
The Warriors have really struggled offensively since moving Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III at the trade deadline. They’re dead last in offensive rating (102.3) with the worst net rating (-17.2) in the league by far during a 6-game losing skid against good competition. The Kings have been no slouches with a 111.3 offensive rating to go 4-2 during that span. Golden State often becomes listless when Draymond Green (pelvic) isn’t out there to lead this young group and he’s questionable tonight along with starting big Marquese Chriss (calf). The Kings can still sniff the playoffs and they’ve capitalized against teams with losing records by winning 5 straight in those matchups (+9.8 PPG differential).
Denver Nuggets (-13) vs Detroit Pistons
Earlier this month, the Pistons caught the Nuggets in a letdown spot and beat them in OT the day after Denver beat the Bucks in Milwaukee. We don’t expect the rematch to be close at all in the altitude at Pepsi Center. Excepting two losses to the Lakers, the Nuggets have a 19-2 record at home since late November. They’re well rested after easily defeating the Wolves on Sunday and should be ready to ramp up any restrictions on Michael Porter Jr. (ankle) and Will Barton (knee).
With Andre Drummond traded, the Pistons have become much more vulnerable down low and will have no answers for Nikola Jokic. This tanking team managed to find offense off the bench with Langston Galloway and Brandon Knight to keep things close in Portland, but Denver’s fifth-ranked scoring defense is a different animal. We should see another exercise in futility similar to when the Pistons scored just 41 points in a blowout loss to Milwaukee last Thursday.
Milwaukee Bucks (-1.5) at Toronto Raptors
This is certainly a tough spot for the Bucks on the second half of a B2B set, but they’ve been nearly bulletproof with a 6-1 record ATS on 0 days rest this season. It’s extremely rare to get Milwaukee at a virtual Pick ‘Em line and it’s worth firing a decent-sized bet on the best regular season team we’ve seen in recent history. They certainly planned ahead for this game by resting Brook Lopez (back) and playing their studs moderate minutes at Washington last night.
Toronto is tough to beat at home, but has not capitalized in these situations with a 3-9 record ATS when playing with a rest advantage. They’ve really beaten up on some bad teams during their recent hot streak, yet still own a 10-12 record against teams with winning records. In an expected close game, Giannis Antetokounmpo should pace a Bucks squad that scores a league-leading 30.6 PPG in fourth quarters on the road. This is still a revenge spot for Giannis and company after losing to Toronto in the ECF finals and there is no Kawhi Leonard to lock up the reigning MVP. The Bucks have 4 of their last 5 regular season meetings with the Raptors, including two in Toronto. Last night’s OT slippage against the Wizards shows that was a trap game, and that the Bucks are fully focused on this showdown north of the border.
NBA February 25 Picks Against The Spread
New Orleans Pelicans (+7.5) at Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have been excellent in crunch time on both ends of the floor, but if they require late-game heroics against the red-hot Pelicans, that means they likely won’t be covering this number.
Oklahoma City Thunder (-7) at Chicago Bulls
The Bulls have been the worst “clutch time” team in the NBA this month and the Thunder has been the best.
Portland Blazers (+7) vs Boston Celtics
The Blazers are in real trouble without Damian Lillard (groin), but there is value in fading the public now that this line has grown bigger. The Celtics will be without Kemba Walker (knee) again.
Indiana Pacers (-10.5) vs Charlotte Hornets
The Pacers tend to crush bad teams at home and they’re in need of a bounce back effort after taking a whopping in Toronto.