NBA Three at 3: Best Bets for Tuesday, November 30
Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, we'll be giving you three of our NBA best bets at 3:00 p.m. ET. There are a lot of exciting games on the slate for tonight, but you aren't going to want to miss the doubleheader that TNT has in store for you. At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Nets will be hosting the Knicks in what has become a fun cross-town rivalry. Then, the Suns look to tie their franchise record winning streak of 17 in a row when they host the Warriors at 10:00 p.m. ET. Golden State is currently sitting in first place in the Western Conference. With that said, here are our three plays for tonight:
1. Knicks at Nets - The Nets are coming off a 6-point loss to the Suns, but they had won 12 of their previous 14 games before dropping that one. This is still a Brooklyn team that is playing some very good basketball right now, so a loss to arguably the Western Conference's best team shouldn't shake bettors too much. The Nets now get to face a Knicks team that just removed Kemba Walker from its rotation. New York made that move because Tom Thibodeau's defense was underperforming with Walker in the lineup, but it might have been made a game too early. The Nets are currently sixth in the league in defensive rating, so the Knicks are going to miss Walker's ability to put the ball in the hoop in this one. And on the other end of the floor, New York might be better defensively with recent changes to the rotation, but stopping a team with James Harden and Kevin Durant isn't the same as playing defense against any other team. The Knicks lack the one-on-one defenders to stay in front of both of those guys, which is part of the reason this one could turn into a pretty lopsided affair. Brooklyn is also 14-6 against the spread when facing division opponents under head coach Steve Nash.
THE PICK: Nets -7 (-110)
2. Warriors at Suns - Tonight's meeting between the Warriors and Suns just might be a preview of the Western Conference Finals. It is, however, a matchup that will feature Golden State playing without Klay Thompson and James Wiseman, who are both likely to be big parts of this rotation when they finally return from injuries. Thompson was one of the game's best two-way players before suffering ACL and Achilles injuries, and he is widely viewed as one of the best shooters to ever play the game. Meanwhile, Wiseman is a big, talented athlete that would matchup decently with Phoenix center Deandre Ayton. When considering that not much separates these teams at full strength, it's hard not to factor in two absences like that. Phoenix really should win this game at home, and don't be surprised if the Suns do a better job of containing Steph Curry than other teams have this season. Even as he gets up there in age, Chris Paul is still a good perimeter defender for this Phoenix team. Meanwhile, Mikal Bridges is arguably the frontrunner for Defensive Player of the Year right now. The Suns could opt to throw him on Curry at times, and having a lockdown guy like Bridges is part of the reason Phoenix is third in the league in defensive rating this year. On the other end, the Suns are seventh in the league in offensive rating and Devin Booker has scored at least 30 in three straight games. The Warriors are very good defensively this season, but the Suns should get good looks in this spot. Phoenix is also 20-5 against the spread as a home favorite of 6 or less points since the start of last season. The average margin of victory for Phoenix in those games was 9.7 points per contest.
THE PICK: Suns -2 (-115)
3. Pistons at Trail Blazers - The Pistons have been rather unimpressive to start the season, as they're currently 4-16 and have the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference. Detroit has, however, covered in four of its last five games. The team is also 8-4 against the spread in its last 12 contests. Look for that recent run of covers to continue in Portland, as the Pistons happen to match up rather nicely against the Blazers. It's no secret that Portland's duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum is the engine of this Blazers team, but Detroit actually has a very good defensive backcourt. Both Killian Hayes and Cade Cunningham, the top pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, are plus defenders on the perimeter, and they'll do everything in their power to make sure that things are somewhat tough on Lillard and McCollum here. Ultimately, Detroit's 28th-ranked offensive rating is something that will prevent the Pistons from truly competing to win this game, but they should have no problem keeping it somewhat close until the end. Since Dwayne Casey became head coach of the Pistons, Detroit is 12-2 against the spread when playing on the road after three consecutive road games. The Pistons are also 10-1 against the spread after having lost four in a row since the start of last season. Portland, meanwhile, is a lousy 12-20-2 against the spread when coming off a game against a divisional opponent. (UPDATE: After this story was published, Damian Lillard was ruled out for the Blazers. This spread is no longer available)
THE PICK: Pistons +9.5 (-110)