The NBA regular season is officially in full swing. We have a six-game slate on tap for Saturday, starting with the Kings vs. the Rockets at 5 p.m. ET and wrapping up with two games at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of my favorite wagers on DraftKings Sportsbook for Saturday’s NBA slate.
New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers (-9):
The Pacers never seem to get the respect in the betting market that they deserve.
This is one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, but they’re simply not viewed that way. They’ve gotten off to an excellent start this season, posting wins in four of their first five games, and their only blemish was a five-point loss to the Celtics. They’ve already played the Knicks once this season and they recorded a comfortable 14-point win in that contest.
Overall, the Pacers rank fifth in offensive efficiency and sixth in defensive efficiency to start the year. Their net rating of +9.45 ranks fifth in the league, meaning they’ve outscored their opponents by +9.45 points per 100 possessions through their first five games.
On the other hand, the Knicks have been one of the worst teams in the league in that metric to start the year. They’ve posted a net rating of -4.47, which ranks just 24th among the 30 NBA squads.
I like the Pacers’ chances to roll to a comfortable victory in this matchup.
Charlotte Hornets @ Philadelphia 76ers (-10):
The 76ers are rolling to start the season. They’ve won four of their first five games, and they currently rank sixth in the league in net rating.
They made the decision to overhaul their roster a bit during the offseason and the early results are promising. Al Horford was shipped to the Thunder and the Sixers brought in a bunch of complementary pieces in return. Seth Curry and Danny Green have given this team much more perimeter spacing around Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, so the roster seems to fit together more naturally this season.
Still, I think this is too many points to be giving the Hornets. Charlotte may not have any idea what their plan is for the long haul – their salary cap is an absolute abomination – but they do have a competitive roster at the moment. Their three-man core of Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward and Devonte’ Graham may not be good enough to make them real contenders, but it should keep them competitive on most nights. They also have some promising young players in guys like LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges and P.J. Washington.
Add it all up, and the Hornets are a respectable 14th in net rating to start the season. I think they should be able to keep this game competitive.
Domantas Sabonis Rebounds:
Over 11.5 (-110)
Let’s wrap this up with a player prop bet. Sabonis is my pick for the most underrated player in the league. He finished last season with an average of 18.5 points, 12.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game and the list of players to average comparable marks in all three categories is small and full of Hall-of-Famers.
He’s gotten off to another fantastic start this season, but his rebounding is down a touch at 11.0. That said, this is a great spot for him to get right in that department. The Knicks are mediocre on the glass, ranking just 19th in team rebound rate, and they also struggle on the offensive end of the court. That should lead to plenty of opportunities for Sabonis to rack up defensive rebounds. He finished with 13 rebounds in his first matchup vs. the Knicks this season and he should be able to grab at least 12 tonight.
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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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