Bryce’s NBA Daily Picks Recap 2019-20:
This Week: 3-8
*all 1 unit plays*
Our first truly bad day in the first couple weeks of the NBA season. Despite being on the second game of a back-to-back after fumbling a huge lead to the Lakers, the Bulls throttled our Hawks after Trae Young had his worst game of the season. Orlando defied all odds (and statistics) and edged out Dallas in our first-half bet, so a quick 0-2 start didn’t help the cause.
The Warriors did all they could to cover +15.5 against the Rockets, but their abysmal defense while Houston hit threes found us a couple points short. Milwaukee was able to do what they needed to and get a win against the Kawhi-less Clippers, but we again missed a couple by just a couple points.
Thankfully, the always reliable under in Utah Jazz games allowed us to end the night on the losing side gentleman’s sweep.
A tough day for sure but that won’t stop us from getting back after it – three more picks for tonight’s three games in the NBA!
#1.) Oklahoma City Thunder @ San Antonio Spurs Under 212.5 Total Points (-115)
This is one of my favorite plays of the night, and sharp money is already agreeing, moving the total down two points already to its current total of 212.5.
The under is a strong play for a couple of reasons, including each team’s defense. OKC’s defense has been one of the best so far this season, coming in allowing the third least PPG at 100.7, and are first in FG% and 3PT FG% allowed in the league. While not necessarily elite, San Antonio’s defense has been solid as well, ranking in the top half of almost every defensive category.
Both the Thunder and Spurs offenses are another reason to bet the under. While SAS has put up decent numbers this year (111.0 PPG), the way they rely on scoring on mid-range points will be a huge concern. The Spurs rank ninth worst in points in the paint per game and second to last in 3PT FG attempts and makes per game. Offenses like that are not high-octane, something they have proved by scoring 100 points or less in 4 of their first 7 games. OKC’s offense, while more balanced, hasn’t been great either – the score the 6th least PPG at 104.5.
OKC has a good defense but slow tempo offense, Spurs possess a decent defense with an unreliable offense – making me take the total under 212.5.
#2.) Miami Heat @ Phoenix Suns Total Under 218 (-110)
While this line has actually jumped up a couple points, I am still playing the under in this Heat/Suns matchup that features two of the best defenses in the NBA.
Both Miami and Phoenix rank very well in several major defensive categories. Each are top-10 in PPG allowed, FG% allowed, and steals per game, while they are also 1st and 2nd in 3PT FG% allowed and opponent turnovers per game, respectively. The teams are also a combined 4-9-1 to the under this year and have had 2+ days rest, so they should be ready to battle tonight.
No one can wrap their heads around the Suns being good, and with the Heat also being a solid team looking to bounce back after a loss, I see this under 218.5 coming through.
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#3.) Los Angeles Clippers -5.5 (-110) vs Portland Trail Blazers
This is my favorite play of the night. The Clippers are on a back-to-back, but are a completely different team with Kawhi on the floor, while Portland just lost handily to the Warriors – who are playing literally no players who have proved they will stick in the NBA.
At face value, LAC doesn’t seem like great when at 5-3. However, with Kawhi in the lineup, they are 5-1 with only a loss to a very underrated Suns team on the road. At home with Kawhi playing, they are are perfect 4-0 with an average scoring margin of +10. They are also 3-1 ATS at home with Kawhi, only failing to cover by half a point against the Hornets.
While their offensive numbers look good, there is no reason to trust the Trail Blazers. Portland has a top-10 offense, but these stats have been inflated in their last two games, where they scored 128 against the Embiid-less 76ers and (only) 118 versus the Warriors. They have kept games close, but I believe they will run into a different beast against a rested Kawhi & a Clippers team trying to not lose back-to-back nights.