The Pistons have lost eight straight but get a shot at the Hawks who are likely without top scorer Trae Young. Detroit is still missing several key players with injuries. The Clippers made the big trade for James Harden and haven’t won a game since, now they get to go up against the defending NBA champs in Denver.
NBA Expert Picks and Best Bets | November 14
Atlanta Hawks at Detroit Pistons Best Bet:
The NBA is trying to crack down on teams holding out players citing “load management” but coaches and players have already found a loophole with players now missing games for “personal reasons.”
Hawks star guard Trae Young will miss tonight’s game with that listing after scoring 27 points in a loss to the Heat. Atlanta will need Dejounte Murray to pick up the slack.
No Murray has moved the line at Michigan sportsbooks toward the Pistons in this one. Detroit has the worst record in the NBA at 2-9 and has lost eight straight. It’s not good when they signed a player off the street: Kevin Knox II cut by Portland and he immediately becomes a key offensive piece.
Atlanta has won the last four meetings, but I like the Pistons to win if not keep it close. They’re still playing hard and haven’t been blown out during this losing streak.
Dallas Mavericks at New Orleans Pelicans Best Bet:
There are lots of different philosophies on betting back-to-back games by two teams in the NBA, but try not to overthink it. Dallas is way better than New Orleans.
DraftKings has the Mavs as 3.5-point favorites on the road after the spread was the same in the meeting Sunday night. Dallas won that game 136-124, and it wasn’t that close. Dallas led by 24 points in the fourth and coasted. The Pelicans just don’t have anyone who can guard Kyrie Irving or Luka Doncic, plus they are missing CJ McCollum with an injury.
Dallas scores the second most points in the NBA at 124.1 a night. The Pelicans have lost five in a row. This is an In-Season Tournament game. Dallas is just better than an unmotivated New Orleans right now and will cover easily.
LA Clippers at Denver Nuggets Best Bet:
The Clippers wanted James Harden. They got James Harden.
They haven’t won since. LA is 0-4 since making the trade for the bearded wonder and BetMGM has them as big underdogs tonight on TNT.
Harden is averaging just 13.5 points since coming over to the Clip Joint from Philly, but as soon as he’s on the floor, other teams start attacking him. Harden isn’t known for his defense.
Nuggets MVP Nikola Jokic is still doing his thing. He’s up to four triple doubles already this season and averaging just under 30 points a night. He’s doing it now without Jamal Murray who will miss the rest of the month with a hamstring injury. Denver has won six in a row against the Clippers. Denver is 8-2 overall, but 5-5 against the spread, but I like Denver to cover tonight. The Nuggets are still a team that shares the basketball. The Clippers still don’t know what they are.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.