The 2019-20 NBA season is back 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 February 28 Best Bets
Phoenix Suns (-7.5) vs Detroit Pistons
The Suns visited Detroit early in February and lost a fourth straight in rather disheartening fashion. Since then, they’ve been great ATS with a blowout win over Houston and three wins in good spots against the Warriors, Bulls, and Jazz. While Phoenix is still unable to vie with the league’s elites, Detroit is quite clearly the worst team in the NBA with a gutted roster.
The Pistons are on a 7-game skid with their last 3 losses coming by an average of 13.3 PPG. They’ve also dropped 7 straight road games and have a -10.2 net rating during those contests. With Andre Drummond traded and Reggie Jackson waived, this team is a bit listless. Tonight, Sekou Doumbouya (knee) and Bruce Brown Jr. (knee) are questionable, while Derrick Rose (groin) is unlikely to top 30 minutes. Rose has posted a negative plus/minus rating in every game since Jan. 18 and is part of a dysfunctional starting lineup for these Pistons. The only way Detroit stays in games is if their reserve guards penetrate to find their bigs, but Phoenix is second in AST/TO ratio (1.453) forced this year. The Suns allow the second-fewest PPG (38.7) in the paint over their last 3 outings and are 11th in defensive efficiency at home this year.
Washington Wizards (+10.5) at Utah Jazz
Some teams can be trusted to bounce back. The Jazz don’t appear to be one of those teams. Utah has gone on long streaks this season with a league-best 19-2 stretch (against mostly bad teams) sandwiched by periods of poor results against the spread. Utah actually ranks dead last in defensive rating (121.9) with a -5.6 net rating during its current 4-game losing streak. The Jazz is 7-14 ATS after a loss and 12-15-1 ATS as a home favorite. They’ve failed to cover in 8 of their last 9 home games.
Washington isn’t bad either. With Bradley Beal averaging 41 PPG over his last 4 outings, the Wizards rank fifth in offensive rating (120.6) with 3 losses coming by 5.6 PPG. Beal has been lights out all year, but the difference for Washington lately is getting competent PG play from both Ish Smith and Shabazz Napier. The Wizards are 24-19 ATS as underdogs and the Jazz are playing their fifth game in 7 nights.
Los Angeles Clippers (-6) vs Denver Nuggets
The Clippers are back to full strength and should be backed consistently in non-B2B situations. Travel has been minimal for this team and they’re off Saturday, so we should see a full playoff-caliber effort from Kawhi Leonard and company with the No. 2 spot in the WCF on the line. The Clippers are 7-0 when Leonard plays along with Paul George (hamstring) and Pat Beverley (groin). They’ve hit another gear recently with Marcus Morris finding his stride as a new addition. The Clips don’t have a traditional center to match up with Nikola Jokic, but Morris or Montrezl Harrell could actually give The Joker more trouble than a slower big man.
Denver is 20-23-4 ATS in WCF games out of the Northwest Division and 16-22-1 ATS following a win. The Nuggets have a -8.1 net rating in fourth quarters over their last 4 games and are 2-2 with a -1.6 net rating on the road this month. The Clippers are 4-1 with a +9.5 net rating at home this month and absolutely locked in for a 27-point win in their only home game since the ASB.
NBA February 28 Picks Against The Spread
Dallas Mavericks (+4) at Miami Heat
What’s wrong with Miami? This team has been awful in crunch time lately and the Mavericks might even be able to win on the road if Luka Doncic (thumb) sits. If he’s active, they’re getting great value.
Brooklyn Nets (-3) at Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks lost their only healthy center in Dewayne Dedmon and DeAndre Jordan is owning the paint for Brooklyn.
Toronto Raptors (-14) vs Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets are in the midst of an exhausting stretch and the Raptors are primed to erupt after taking a tough loss to Milwaukee on Tuesday.
Oklahoma City Thunder (+10.5) at Milwaukee Bucks
Don’t doubt the Thunder. Even on the second half of a B2B at the best team in the league, Chris Paul’s squad will compete.
Dallas Mavericks (+2) at Miami Heat
What’s wrong with Miami? This team has been awful in crunch time lately and the Mavericks are elite on the road with Luka Doncic closing.
New Orleans Pelicans (-12) vs Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs have been playing much better since Jon Beilein got fired, but are about to run into a brick wall in the form of Zion Williamson.
Orlando Magic (-7.5) vs Minnesota Wolves
The Wolves pulled off an emotional comeback in Miami on Wednesday, so they’ll come back to earth against an improving Magic defense.
Memphis Grizzlies (-3.5) vs Sacramento Kings
The Grizzlies are due to bounce back while the Kings are banged up and on the second half of a B2B set.