It’s a solid eight-game slate of action in the NBA tonight, though half of the games carry spreads of eight points or higher, which can make things tricky for betting purposes.
But not to worry, I have some angles on a few games regardless. As always, I include my favorite parlays and teasers in addition to my picks if you are someone who likes to dabble in multi-game bets as well.
In this article, I’ll be providing my favorite picks against the spread, game totals, parlays, and teasers for the first full NBA slate of the season that tips off at 7:00 PM EST on Monday, November 20. Follow me for more NBA bets and daily insights @ThunderDanDFS!
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NBA Betting Picks: Game Totals
Sacramento Kings (-1) @ New Orleans Pelicans (238 total)
This has to be the game of the night in terms of two pretty good Western Conference teams going up against each other. Vegas has the Kings installed as favorites, but barely at just -1 and that likely has to do with how Sacto dismantled the Mavericks last night behind another monster outing from their big man Domantas Sabonis.
Domantas Sabonis tonight:
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) November 20, 2023
Since De’Aaron Fox has returned from injury, the Kings have reeled off four wins in a row to extend their active winning streak to six games. This team is playing as well as any team in the association right now but faces one of my favorite dark horses in the West, the New Orleans Pelicans, for the first time this season.
The Pels have won two of their last three, dropping their last game by just one point to a good Minnesota team. They won’t have C.J. McCollum tonight, but they will have their trio of Zion Williamson, Jonas Valanciunas, and Brandon Ingram. New Orleans has the size to keep Sabonis in check and is getting some great contributions from young guards, Dyson Daniels and Jordan Hawkins.
Having said all of that…I want no part of picking a winner here. But my model thinks that this total is too high tonight. As in like EIGHT points too high, which is one of the biggest outliers I have seen this season. While both teams are certainly talented offensively, neither team plays all that fast and both teams rate out pretty neutrally when it comes to defense, too. So basically we are looking at a game with a projected neutral pace that has a total that is around 15 points above the league average. Both teams would have to score incredibly efficiently tonight or play much faster than they usually do for this one to go over, so I am comfortably backing the under at 238.
The Pick: UNDER 238 total points (-110 DraftKings)
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NBA Betting Picks: ML and Spreads
Miami Heat (-1.5) @ Chicago Bulls (208.5 total)
The Bulls have been a mess lately and playing some pretty uninspired basketball. They were held to just 33 points in the first half TWICE in a row and then went down against Miami 20-1 when these two teams faced off on Saturday night.
But somehow the Bulls crept back into that game and actually pulled out the win 102-97. They outscored the Heat in the second, third, and fourth quarters – finishing the game with a 34-21 advantage in the final frame. It’s probably no coincidence that defensive wiz Alex Caruso entered the starting lineup and has helped stabilize the perimeter defense for Chicago.
So what can we expect tonight? Probably another low-scoring affair (and Vegas agrees with just a 208.5 total) but I think Miami isn’t likely to let Chicago off the hook this time. The Heat are clearly suffering on offense without their best shooter Tyler Herro, however, I think Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo can carry this team to a win tonight. Miami will need to get more out of it’s bench unit, but Josh Richardson, Jaime Jacquez Jr., Kevin Love, and Caleb Martin are a solid group that is likely to shoot better than a combined 4-15 from deep.
The Pick: MIA ML (-118 DraftKings)
Houston Rockets (+7) @ Golden State Warriors (220 total)
The Houston Rockets are…good? They certainly are playing some pretty solid basketball right now. After opening up the season in October 0-3, they went on a six-game winning streak in November before losing close games to the Clippers and Lakers in L.A.
We knew they would have young talent at every position this season, but what we didn’t know was how long it would take them to gel and if veteran Fred VanVleet was the answer at point guard to help that process along.
Fred VanVleet‘s stats vs. Los Angeles:
3 THREE POINTERS
16 ASSISTS pic.twitter.com/7mWZYI4Em6
— NBA Canada (@NBACanada) November 20, 2023
Well FVV has this team ahead of schedule and his 16 assists from last night prove, to some extent, that he is indeed making his teammates better. When you pair FVV’s solid playmaking with what Alperen Sengun is doing from the center position, Houston has a formidable duo that offers some stability to offset the sometimes streaky shooting of Jalen Green, Dillon Brooks, and Jabari Smith Jr.
Am I a full believer in the Rockets for the rest of the season? No, not yet, but I do think they can cover a 7-point spread tonight against a Warriors team that has been absolutely reeling. Steph Curry is back in the lineup, but the Dubs have still dropped six in a row and have been unable to stop teams like we were used to seeing them do in their heyday. No Draymond Green tonight certainly doesn’t help their chances of dealing with Sengun either. I like the Rockets to cover and I wouldn’t be surprised if they even pulled off an upset.
The pick: Rockets +7 (-110 DraftKings)
Favorite ML Parlay: DEN + BOS + LAC (+102 DK)
Favorite Teaser (buying 8 points – super teaser on DK): NYK +11, HOU +15, NOP +9 (-120 DK)