After a weak 2-game slate to make way for NFL’s Thursday Night Football and Game 5 of the 2022 World Series, the NBA is backed with a stacked 12-game card Friday. Below, I’ll go over my NBA locks for November 4th.
Toronto Raptors (5-3) at Dallas Mavericks (4-3)
First of all, I have Toronto power rated higher than Dallas and home court advantage is allegedly less meaningful thus far in 2021-22.
The Raptors have a slightly higher non-garbage time net rating (nRTG), per CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG) and better strength-of-schedule-adjusted nRTG, according to Basketball Reference.
Also, Toronto is 4-1 against the spread (ATS) in the last five meetings with Dallas because the Mavs are a one-man show and Raptors coach Nick Nurse is one of the best defensive masterminds in the NBA.
Mavericks’ Luka Doncic has the highest usage rate in the league and Dallas lacks another playmaker after former G Jalen Brunson signed with the New York Knicks in free agency.
The Raptors have a ton of perimeter length to throw at Luka between Fs Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam. Toronto PG Fred VanVleet is a pest that can ball-pressure Luka starting at half court.
Lastly, the Raptors have a strength-on-weakness edge over the Mavs in the fastbreak. Toronto gets out in transition at the highest frequency the NBA and the 2nd-best fastbreak offensive efficiency. The Mavs have the 4th-worst defensive efficiency in transition.
NBA Best Bet #1: Raptors +3 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook, down to +2
Golden State Warriors (3-6) at New Orleans Pelicans (4-3)
The Warriors are 0-4 on their current five-game road swing, three were vs. teams that missed the playoffs last season. The Pelicans play well in their home building, and the Dubs are on the 2nd of a back-to-back.
New Orleans will most likely get two more starters back for this game: Brandon Ingram and SF Herb Jones. Ingram leads the Pelicans in non-garbage time on/off net rating (nRTG) at +29.8 (per CTG) and Jones is one of the best defenders in the NBA.
Also, New Orleans is the worst type of team for a Golden State team who is playing its 3rd game in four days. The Pelicans are 5th in adjusted offensive rebounding rate and attempt the 4th-highest volume of field goals at the rim.
Golden State ranks 25th in adjusted defensive rating (per CTG) and its best defenders (Fs Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green) are at a disadvantage in this game. Ingram vs. Wiggins: Gimme Ingram. Zion Williamson vs. Draymond: I’ll take Zion.
Furthermore, a bad defense having its best defender bullied can be demoralizing. Everyone would name Draymond as the best guy for the job but Zion should physically dominate him regardless.
Most importantly, the Warriors won’t be The Warriors again until Klay Thompson busts his slump. Klay is shooting a career-low from the field (36.4%) and from three (32.9%).
Finally, this is a Pros vs. Joe’s game in the betting market as of the time of writing. Per VSIN, roughly 75% of the cash is on New Orleans whereas more than 60% of the bets placed are on Golden State. Let’s follow the money …
NBA Best Bet #2: Pelicans -4.5 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook, up to -5
Milwaukee Bucks (7-0) at Minnesota Timberwolves (4-4)
My analysis for Bucks-Timberwolves is pretty simple; Giannis Antetokounmpo is going to enjoy bullying Minnesota’s frontcourt.
Giannis is clearly the best player in the world. He’s 2nd in PER, points per game (PPG), Win Shares per 48 Minutes, usage rate, and 1st in defensive Win Shares.
On paper, the T-Wolves have an awesome defensive frontcourt but Milwaukee’s size negates Minnesota’s. Bucks C Brook Lopez is a legit seven footer who can space the floor by shooting 3s and T-Wolves big Karl-Anthony Towns cannot check Giannis.
Also, Milwaukee will win the battle of possessions vs. Minnesota. The Bucks have a higher net rebounding rate and net turnover rate than the T-Wolves.
It’s a chalk play but Milwaukee has been profitable in these spots since the beginning of last season. Over that span, the Bucks are 13-3 ATS as road favorites of -5 or less with a +5.3 ATS differential.
NBA Best Bet #3: Bucks -3.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook, up to -4.5
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