How to Bet the NBA for October 19
The 2018-19 NBA regular season schedule has been rather inconsistent so far. Tuesday brought just 2 games, while Wednesday gave us an 11-game smorgasbord. Then on Thursday, there were just 3 games. The NBA is ramping things up on Friday, however, with 9 games on the schedule. I can think of few better things to do with my Friday night that hang out on my couch, order a pizza, and watch a full slate of hoops.
Even if your favorite team isn’t among the 18 teams hitting courts around the league in Friday, you can still get in on the action by placing some bets. There are a number of prop bets available ahead of tonight’s action, so let’s dive in and look at how to be on the NBA for Friday, October 19.
For those looking to jump straight into the betting action for October 19th, here are the top sites we recommend:
Sacramento Kings at New Orleans Pelicans
- Spread: Pelicans -11 ½
- Moneyline: Kings +200, Pelicans -195
- Over/Under: 224 ½ points (-110o, -110u)
The Kings will be hitting the road and traveling to the Big Easy to take on the Pelicans in the second game of each team’s season on Friday night. The Pelicans have been installed as heavy 11 ½-point favorites here. That’s no surprise considering how both teams looked in their respective openers. The Pelicans notched arguably the most impressive win of any team on Wednesday when they went into Houston and drubbed the heavily-favored Rockets by the score of 131-112. The Kings, meanwhile, will be looking for win No. 1 after losing at the hands of the Utah Jazz, 123-117
Many had Anthony Davis pegged as the favorite to take home MVP honors coming into the season, and he certainly looked the part against Houston. The Brow was completely dominant on both end of the floor, finishing with 32 points, 16 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 blocks in the win. He connected on 13 of his 21 attempts from the field and hit 6 of his 7 free throw attempts. He’s an absolute monster, and it’s safe to say the Kings don’t have anybody on the roster capable of giving him much trouble. I expect him to feast once again here tonight.
Not to be outdone, Nikola Mirotic also quietly put up a huge game, finishing with 30 points and 10 rebounds against the Rockets. The big man also hit 6 of his 8 looks from beyond the 3-point line. Newcomer Elfrid Payton finished with a tidy triple-double with 10 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds. It was an impressive overall team effort from New Orleans. Alvin Gentry wants his team to run, and the Pelicans looked flat-out faster than the Rockets.
The Kings put together a strong second half to impressively stick with the Jazz in their first game. Utah was ultimately able to get the last laugh, but there was reason for optimism for Sacramento. De’Aaron Fox looked great, finishing with 21 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds in the loss. Willie Cauley-Stein gave Rudy Gobert fits on his way to 23 points of his own along with 7 boards and a couple of blocks. Nemanja Bjelica put up 18 points with 8 rebounds in his team debut.
The Pelicans last season with an average of 102.7 possessions per game. Interestingly enough, the Kings ranked dead-last in the same category with an average of 97.1 possessions per 48 minutes. Sacramento was just 27th in defensive rating, while New Orleans was 12th. The Pels may be able to cover that spread, but I think the real number to attack from a betting perspective is the total. 224 ½ points is a lot, but the Pelicans are going to be involved in no shortage of track meets this season. The Kings aren’t the paciest team in the league, but their defense is just bad.
I’m expecting a shootout here, so I think taking the over on 224 1/2 is how you bet Pelicans-Kings tonight.
Kemba Walker Total Points
- Over 24 ½ -130
- Under 24 ½ +120
Kemba Walker became the first player to score 40 points in game this season when he bagged 41 points against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Hornets’ season opener. Milwaukee built a huge first-half lead before Charlotte stormed back in the second half. The Bucks ultimately won the game by a point, but it was a valiant effort by the Hornets. Needless to say, Walker led the way.
Milwaukee is expected to be a pretty decent defensive team this season. The Bucks have all sorts of lanky, rangy defenders and most expect a more disciplined approach with new head coach Mike Budenholzer in place. In the first game, however, the Bucks had no answer whatsoever for Kemba. Walker shot a blistering 15-of-29 from the field in 39 minutes on his way to the aforementioned 41 points. He canned 7 of his 13 looks from beyond the 3-point line and hit 4 of his 5 attempts from the free throw line. Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon and company couldn’t do anything to stop him.
Now, Walker and the Hornets will head south to Orlando to take on the 1-0 Magic Friday night. Orlando is coming off a solid win of its own over the Miami Heat in their own opener. While it was an impressive win for the Magic, Orlando struggled to contain Heat point guard Goran Dragic. Dragic was a menace, finishing with a game-high 26 points on excellent 9-for-13 shooting from the field despite the defeat.
The Magic are going to struggle defensively all season long, especially against point guards that can score the basketball. D.J. Augustin is about as tiny as they come at the position, and he has been a defensive liability for his entire career. Dragic isn’t the most aggressive guard in the league in terms of seeking out his own shot, yet he still managed to put up a big offensive night against Augustin and his backup, Jerian Grant.
Augustin finished last season with a DRPM (defensive real plus-minus) of 0.01, which isn’t egregiously bad, but it’s quite mediocre. Grant, who was a member of the Bulls last season, finished with a mark of -0.64. Not great, Bob! I think Walker will have his way with the undersized Orlando backcourt in this one. While I’m not necessarily expecting another 40-point effort out of him, I think the over on 24 ½ points is pretty easily attainable. He’s options A, B and C for the Hornets’ offense.
Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors
- Spread: Raptors -2 ½
- Moneyline: Celtics +135, Raptors -120
- Over/Under: 207 points
Most believe the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors will be the class of the Eastern Conference this season. The Celtics and Sixers met in Boston for the first game of the new NBA campaign on Tuesday, where the Celts came away with a fairly easy 105-87 victory. The Celtics will look to run their record to a perfect 2-0 when they head north for another tough test in Toronto against the Raptors tonight. The Raps are coming off of a 116-104 win at home against the Cavs in their opener.
I have been vocal all summer about how much I love the Raptors as a betting option this season, but I do admittedly expect some growing pains early in the season. Toronto is incorporating a new offensive focal point in Kawhi Leonard, while the Raps also have a new head coach in Nick Nurse. I think the Raptors make plenty of sense as an NBA future betting flier, but I won’t be surprised if they get off to something of an uneven start.
The Celtics, on the other hand, look like a well-oiled machine. Boston will have some adjustments to make as Gordon Hayward continues to make his way back after missing just about all of last season, but it was smooth sailing for Brad Stevens’ boys against Philly. The fact that the Celtics managed to notch an 18-point victory over a quality Sixers side despite Kyrie Irving shooting just 2-for-14 from the floor speaks volumes about this team’s depth.
Jayson Tatum showed no signs of a sophomore slump, finishing with a team-high 23 points in the win. Marcus Morris scored 16 points off the bench, but no other Celtic scored more than 12 in what was quite the balanced effort. I don’t expect Tatum to be quite as effective offensively in this one, however, as I imagine he’ll be defended for most of the game by Kawhi.
Still, the Celtics are far more of a finished product at this point than the Raptors are. Toronto arguably has more talent top-to-bottom on the roster, but I think Boston can use this opportunity as an early-season statement game. Going into Toronto and winning is no easy task, but it helps that the Celtics have arguably the best coach in the league preparing them here.
I get why the Raptors are favored, but I love the value you can get on the Celtics to cover the spread and possibly even win the game outright. Boston won’t be listed as a betting underdog very often this season, so I think we have to jump on the chance to do so here tonight. Give me the Celtics to win this one at +135 on the moneyline.
Golden State Warriors at Utah Jazz
- Spread: Warriors -2 ½
- Moneyline: Warriors -150, Jazz +140
- Over/Under: 218 points
The 2-time defending champs picked up a hard-fought 108-100 win in their first game of the season over the Oklahoma City Thunder back on Tuesday, while the Jazz are 1-0 after their aforementioned 123-117 triumph in Sacramento the next night. The 2 Western Conference powerhouses will now do battle from Salt Lake City here on Friday night.
The Jazz have a history of giving the Warriors problems, particularly when Utah is at home. The Jazz are arguably the NBA’s top defensive team, and they’re one of the few clubs in the league capable of making things a little bit more difficult for Golden State. The Jazz actually took 3 of the 4 head-to-head meetings between these teams last season, including both games at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
The Dubs are used to running up-and-down the floor and gunning from 3-point range at will. The Jazz’ defensive scheme works hard to prevent both. Utah is one of the slowest-paced teams in the league, though they reportedly have plans to up the tempo a little bit this season. Still, the Jazz thrive on slowing the pace of the game and turning it into an ugly, defensive battle.
The Warriors are capable of getting down and dirty. They ya know. It’s just their preferred style. Rudy Gobert is essentially a wall in the paint, which makes it incredibly tough for opposing guards and wings to get to the basket. Steph Curry is an elite marksman, but he’s underrated in his ability to slash through defenders and get right to the rim. Gobert’s presence will thwart what would otherwise be relatively easy attempts for Curry against lesser defensive teams.
Now, Utah has the offensive weapons to keep up. Donovan Mitchell stormed onto the scene last year as a rookie, and he is showing no signs of slowing down. Mitchell emerged as the No. 1 offensive option for the Jazz as a rookie, and most believe he’ll be ready to take the next step in Year 2. Mitchell averaged 20 points per game on 46 percent shooting from the field in the 4 meetings against the Warriors last season. The fact that he put up decent numbers while being defended (for the most part) by an elite defender in Klay Thompson was quite impressive.
I just tend to like Utah when they’re at home, particularly when the oddsmakers set them as underdogs. The crowd will be buzzing for the Jazz’ home opener, and I think they take it to Golden State in this one. I’m not necessarily predicting a blowout in Utah’s favor, but the Warriors just don’t look like themselves when they’re in Utah. I like the Jazz as a ‘dog both against the spread and on the moneyline. There’s quite a bit of betting value to be had in taking Utah at home. That’s how I’d bet on this one. You won’t often see Utah priced at +140 in a home game.