There are only seven games on the slate tonight in the Association, and there are at least that many stars who will be sitting out this evening for various reasons. This makes things even more difficult for the oddsmakers as they’re still trying to sort the league’s contenders from the pretenders as we head into the heart of November. As trends are continuing to take shape, we’ve done our own research and highlighted the best plays from tonight’s card.
Detroit Pistons at Toronto Raptors
Best Bet: Toronto -8.5 (PointsBet)
One look at the moneyline tells you that the Raptors are virtual locks tonight, which makes sense given that the cellar-dwelling Pistons are on the tail end of a back-to-back. Toronto, meanwhile, just pulled off an impressive 115-109 comeback victory against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday, and are making a quick pit stop at home before heading out on a six-game road trip.
To be fair, 8.5 points is a lot to lay for a Toronto team that has two double-digit victories all season. That number becomes a lot more attractive when you realize that Detroit is last in the league in scoring (96.6 PPG heading into the weekend). Defensively, they’ve been abysmal away from Little Caesars Arena: In five road games, the Pistons have allowed opponents to score an average of 110 points per game.
Still not convinced? The Pistons are 1-7 against the spread in games against teams with a winning record, while Toronto is 6-2 ATS in their last eight games where they faced a team with a winning percentage less than .400.
Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers
Best Bet: Under 203 (DraftKings)
Both the Celtics (Jaylen Brown) and the Cavaliers (Collin Sexton) will be without their leading scorers in this one so, despite the exceptionally low total, it’s fair to wonder where the points will come from tonight.
Scoring has been a challenge for Boston recently: In the Celtics’ last four games, the under has gone 3-0-1, and Ime Udoka’s squad has averaged a shade under 99 points per game in those contests. On the plus side, they’ve also gone 3-1 during that stretch thanks to a defense that has surrendered a mere 88 PPG.
The numbers tell a bit of a different story for Cleveland, who’s winning record belies the fact they rank in the bottom third in the NBA when it comes to scoring. The Cavs’ calling card so far this season has been their defense, so all signs are pointing to this one sneaking under the number.
Minnesota Timberwolves at Los Angeles Clippers
Best Bet: Clippers -6.5 (DraftKings)
Thanks to a 45-point third quarter, the Clippers handed the Timberwolves an 11-point defeat back on November 3, and then turned around two days later and smoked them 104-84. Both of those games were in Minnesota, and while tonight’s contest is in Los Angeles, the result figures to be similar to the first two times these teams met.
While revenge may serve as motivation for the Timberwolves in this one, they’ll have their work cut out for them after battling the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night. Besides, retribution will only go so far against a red-hot Clippers team that’s won their last six games by an average of 10.2 PPG. Los Angeles is 4-1 ATS in their last five outings, and are 5-2 at the Staples Center this season.
For what it’s worth, the under (currently at 222.5 at BetMGM) isn’t a bad play here, either: Even with the Timberwolves and Clippers finding their respective shooting strokes recently, both teams rank in the bottom half of the NBA in points per game.
Washington Wizards at Orlando Magic
Best Bet: Wizards ML (BetMGM)
This game comes down to a single question: Will Cole Anthony score 29 points tonight? Whenever the Magic point guard has done so this season, Orlando is undefeated (3-0). When he hasn’t, the team is winless (0-9).
Washington’s Defensive Rating of 104.1 is the fifth-best mark in the entire league, so the odds are in favor of them keeping Anthony in check. During their current three-game winning streak, the Wizards haven’t allowed a single opponent to break the 95-point barrier.
The calculus on this matchup is a bit different tonight with Bradley Beal (bereavement) out of the lineup for Washington. Don’t let that scare you off, however: Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, and Spencer Dinwiddie are capable of picking up the slack against a Magic team that allows opponents to score 109 points per game.