Editor’s Note: Now, all our premium tools for Fantasy, DFS and Betting are included in one subscription at one low price. Customers can subscribe to NBC Sports EDGE+ monthly ($9.99) or save 20% on an annual subscription ($95.88). And don't forget to use promo code SAVE10 to get 10% off. Click here to learn more!
After 12 weeks of NBA action, the Warriors top the standing with the best record in the league, and reinforcements have finally arrived to make Golden State even scarier. Klay Thompson made his highly-anticipated season debut after more than two years away from the court due to a torn ACL and subsequent Achilles tear. Thompson, one of the greatest shooters of all time, came out of the gates with a 1-5 showing in the first quarter but settled in as the game progressed.
Two of Thompson's three triples came in the third quarter as the Warriors outscored Cleveland by 14 in the period, easily covering a -1.5 third quarter spread. Golden State's dominance in the third quarter was one of the defining factors of the team's championship seasons, as the Warriors led the league in "virtually every category in the third quarter" over a four year span, according to a 2018 ESPN article from Baxter Holmes.
This year, the Warriors pace the league in third quarter at +15.8 points per 100 possessions, the only team with a double digit positive differential. Golden State is also the only team limiting opponents to fewer than 1 point per possession in the quarter, with a 98.4 third quarter defensive rating. I'll be targeting the Warriors on the third quarter live spread whenever I can until the books adjust.
Double-digit favorites covered 54.55% of games last season but underdogs have the advantage so far this year, with double-digit favorites covering just 44.16% of games.
No team has been favored by double digits more than the Jazz, but Utah went just 5-11 ATS in those games for -6.45 units. The Jazz are favored by 11.5 points tonight in Detroit after failing to cover in the team's first two games as double-digit road favorites this season.
While the Pistons sport a record of just 7-24 through 31 games, the Pistons went 17-19 ATS so far this year, including 5-5 ATS in the last 10 games.
EDGE: Detroit Pistons +11.5 (1 Unit)
Editor’s Note: There has never been a scoreless NBA game, yet PointsBet is offering $125 in free bets to anyone using the code NEWYEAR, who places a $1 bet on any NBA game in which at least one point is scored. Just a single point. Go to PointsBet.com or download the app today, enter the code NEWYEAR to get in on the action.
Favorites of exactly -6.5 covered in 57.89% of games so far this year (22-16), compared to favorites of -7.5 covering just 38.89% of the time (14-22). The moneyline winning percentages on both situations are similar, suggesting that the point makes a significant difference in a team's chances to cover the spread. I grabbed Knicks -6.5 overnight to get on the right side of the key number. Seven is the second-most common margin of victory over the last two seasons, according to the NBC Sports EDGE+ Key Numbers tool.
Favorites of 6.5 or less covered 51.65% of games so far this season compared to favorites of seven or more points going just 89-107-3 ATS (45.41%). The Knicks are the second-most profitable team as favorites of 6.5 or less, with an 11-5 ATS record for +5 units.
EDGE: New York Knicks -6.5 (1 Unit)
Milwaukee went just 18-22 ATS to start the year and will play tonight's game without Jrue Holiday. The Hornets have been one of the more surprising teams of the season with a 23-16 ATS record and 20-19 record straight up.
Charlotte has the roster fully healthy for tonight's matchup and took down Milwaukee only two days ago as underdogs. I expect another outright win for the Hornets, with another big game for LaMelo Ball without Jrue Holiday to guard him. I’m even more confident with the Bucks coming off a back-to-back, since teams without rest went just 73-87-2 (45.83%) so far this year.
EDGE: Charlotte Hornets +2 (2 Units)
PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links. NJ, IA, IN, IL, CO, MI, VA, WV only. 21+. T&C apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.