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NBA Best Bets: Basketball Picks, Predictions to Consider on DraftKings Sportsbook for January 3

Matt LaMarca gives his best bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for Sunday’s eight-game NBA betting card.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Denver Nuggets Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL takes center stage on Sunday, but don’t forget about basketball. We have an eight-game slate on tap, starting with the Pistons vs. the Celtics at 3 p.m. ET and wrapping up with the Warriors vs. the Blazers at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Let’s dive into some of my favorite wagers on DraftKings Sportsbook for Sunday’s NBA slate.

Place your NBA bets at DraftKings Sportsbook and bet online by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.


Los Angeles Lakers (-9) @ Memphis Grizzlies:

Grizzlies +9

The Grizzlies appear to be a preferred target for the sharp bettors on Sunday’s slate. They’ve received just 32% of the early spread bets, but those bets have accounted for 93% of the spread dollars. That means the significant, high-dollar wagers have been landing on Memphis, which has caused this line to drop from Grizzlies +10 to Grizzlies +9 on DraftKings Sportsbook.

The injury report is one reason why the sharps may be interested in the Grizzlies. LeBron James is currently listed as questionable with an ankle injury, and while he’s been able to play through a questionable designation for most of the season, perhaps this is a game where he gets some rest. James has talked about prioritizing load management more this season, so expect him to miss some games from time-to-time.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is also listed as questionable. His absence would obviously mean a lot less than James’, but KCP has been very productive when on the court this season. He’s shooting a blistering 52.6% from 3-point range, and the Lakers’ have increased their Net Rating by +14.9 points per 100 possessions with KCP on the court in 2020-21, per Cleaning the Glass.


Denver Nuggets (-8.5) @ Minnesota Timberwolves:

Nuggets -8.5

The Nuggets have gotten off to a slow start this season, but this is a perfect spot for them to get right. The Timberwolves have been nothing short of a disaster with Karl-Anthony Towns out of the lineup recently. They’ve lost each of their past three games, and they’ve lost them all by a margin of at least 21 points. That includes a dreadful home loss to the Wizards in their last outing.

Nikola Jokic should be able to have his way in this spot. He’s been terrific through his first five games, averaging 23.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 13.0 assists, and the Timberwolves have been playing a small lineup with Towns and Josh Okogie out.


Portland Trail Blazers (-5.5) vs. Golden State Warriors:

Warriors +5.5

Maybe I’m a sucker, but I’m not ready to give up on the Warriors quite yet. I’m not saying they’re going to make a run at a Western Conference title or anything like that, but they clearly have the potential to play much better than they have to start the season.

Draymond Green being back in the lineup should be a huge help. He was limited to just 17.6 minutes in his first game this season, but the Warriors will be a better defensive team as he starts to play more. He will likely still be limited in today’s contest, but his playing time should increase.

Kelly Oubre is also a prime candidate for some positive regression moving forward. He’s been absolutely horrid to start his tenure with the Warriors, shooting 27.4% from the field and 4.0% from 3-point range. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a player with a 3-point shooting percentage in the single digits, but that’s where we’re at with Oubre. He was excellent during his previous 1.5 seasons with the Suns, so he should be able to bounce back at some point.

Overall, the Warriors are another popular target today for the sharp bettors. They’re receiving 67% of the spread dollars despite garnering just 9% of the spread tickets.

Place your NBA bets at DraftKings Sportsbook and bet online by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.


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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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