The NBA regular season is in full swing. Sunday marks our second-straight day with 10 games, starting with the Mavericks vs. the Clippers at 3:30 p.m. ET and wrapping up with the Timberwolves vs. the Lakers at 10 p.m. ET. I was able to go 3-0 with my best bets on Saturday’s slate, so hopefully, we can keep it rolling on Sunday.
There’s no better way to take advantage of all this basketball than by joining the fun at DraftKings Sportsbook. Here are three of my favorite bets on Sunday’s slate.
Dallas Mavericks @ Los Angeles Clippers (-4.5):
I think people might have forgotten how good the Clippers are. They had a disastrous collapse during the playoffs, but they were dealing with chemistry issues and clearly struggled in the bubble environment. That said, they entered the playoffs as the favorites to win the NBA title. They have just as much talent as any other team in the league, and they’ve put that on display through their first two contests. The Clippers were able to secure a comfortable win over the Lakers on opening night and followed that up with a blowout win vs. the Nuggets on Christmas. Those teams met in the Western Conference Finals last season, so you couldn’t ask for a much more impressive start.
The Clippers also acquired Serge Ibaka during the offseason, and he has the potential to make a huge impact. He’s replacing Montrezl Harrell — the reigning Sixth Man of the Year — but Ibaka is a much more natural fit next to Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. He doesn’t need the ball to be a factor offensively, and he’s a significantly better defender. The combo of Leonard, George, Ibaka, Patrick Beverley, and Marcus Morris has the potential to be the best defensive lineup in the entire league.
On the other hand, the Mavericks are clearly struggling. They lost a competitive game vs. the Suns in their first contest and were blown out by the Lakers on Christmas. The Mavericks are a team that figures to be competitive this season, but they’re dealing with a huge injury to start the year. Kristaps Porzingis is still recovering from a knee injury, and he’s a ways away from returning to the lineup.
Without Porzingis, they are clearly outmanned in this matchup. Things will get better for the Mavericks as the season progresses, but I think they’re looking at an 0-3 start to the year.
I never expected to be bullish on the Cavaliers this season, but I have been very impressed with their play through their first two games. It stems from the play of young guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, who were the Cavaliers’ lottery picks in two of the past three seasons. They have started the year red hot, shooting a combined 60.6% from the field and 66.6% from 3-point range. Those games haven’t come against great competition — the Hornets and Pistons are two of the worst teams in the league — but it’s a positive sign for the Cavs’ future.
They’re in an interesting spot Sunday vs. the 76ers. Philly has the potential to be one of the best teams in the East, but they’ve failed to live up to that potential over the past few seasons. They have struggled, in particular, as road favorites since the start of the 2018 season, posting a mark of 24-12-0 against the spread. That makes them the second-least profitable team in that situation, trailing only the Rockets.
Golden State Warriors (-3) @ Chicago Bulls:
This is a huge game for the Warriors. They’ve played two very tough games to start the season, and they have looked absolutely dreadful. They lost by 26 to the Nets and 39 to the Bucks, and only one team in NBA history has been outscored by a greater margin through their first two games in the history of the league.
However, this is a prime, get-right spot for the Warriors. For starters, the Bulls are not in nearly the same weight class as the Nets and Bucks, and they’ll also be playing on the second leg of a back-to-back. The Warriors did not play on Saturday, so they will have the rest advantage in this contest.
It also sounds like Draymond Green will be back in the lineup. He’s currently listed as questionable, but he was able to practice in full on Saturday. The Warriors have hemorrhaged points this season, and Green should help them immensely on the defensive end of the court. He’s not an elite offensive player, but he should be able to help on that side of the ball as well. He’s developed excellent chemistry with Steph Curry over the past few seasons, so he should hopefully be able to free up his star teammate for some easier looks.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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