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NBA Best Bets: Basketball Picks, Predictions to Consider on DraftKings Sportsbook for January 9

Matt LaMarca gives his best bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for Saturday’s NBA betting card.

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL takes center stage this weekend, but don’t forget about the NBA! We’ve got an eight-game slate on Saturday, starting with the 76ers vs. the Nuggets at 3 p.m. ET and wrapping up with the Kings vs. the Trail Blazers at 10 p.m. ET.

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

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


Atlanta Hawks (-4.5) @ Charlotte Hornets:

Hawks -4.5

One of the most interesting storylines early in the NBA season is how little home-court advantage has mattered in 2021. It’s possible that it’s just a small sample size anomaly, but it’s also possible that the lack of fans has had a real impact in that area. So far, road teams have posted a record of 73-58-0 against the spread in 2020-21.

With that in mind, I don’t think the Hawks are getting enough respect here. The Hawks’ record of 4-4 doesn’t jump off the page, but they’ve been one of the better teams in basketball according to Net Rating. They’ve outscored opponents by an average of +4.17 points per 100 possessions so far this season, which is the seventh-highest mark in the league.

On the other side, Charlotte has struggled. Their record isn’t much worse at 4-5, but they’ve been outscored by an average of -2.04 points per 100 possessions. That ranks merely 22nd in the league.

I think this line should be closer to seven or eight points if we’re operating under the assumption that home-court advantage is dead.


Orlando Magic @ Dallas Mavericks (-7.5):

Magic +7.5

The Mavericks have turned things around after a slow start to the season. Luka Doncic has played brilliantly over his past three games, averaging 32.7 points, 10.3 assists and 13.3 rebounds, and the Mavericks have won all three contests.

However, they are going to be extremely shorthanded today vs. the Magic. Not only is Kristaps Porzingis still out of the lineup, but Josh Richardson, Jalen Brunson and Dorian Finney-Smith have all been ruled out due to health protocols. All three players rank in the top seven in terms of minutes per game for the Mavericks this season, with Richardson and Finney-Smith both ranking in the top three. That leaves a huge hole in their rotation.

Trey Burke is someone who will likely be asked to take on a larger role, and the Mavericks have been significantly worse with Burke on the court this season. They’ve decreased their Net Rating by -14.0 points per 100 possessions, and their defense, in particular, has been shredded in that situation.

The Magic are dealing with some issues of their own, but I’m willing to roll the dice on them as moderate underdogs.


Cleveland Cavaliers @ Milwaukee Bucks (-15.5):

Bucks -15.5

The Bucks have had a disappointing start to the season from a win-loss perspective, but they remain arguably the best regular-season team in the league. They’ve outscored their opponents by an average of +10.0 points per 100 possessions this season, which is the top mark in basketball.

Meanwhile, the Cavaliers are in a really tough spot from an injury perspective. Kevin Love and Darius Garland have both been ruled out, and Collin Sexton is listed as questionable after being a late scratch in their last contest. The Cavs' offense has been a disaster with Love and Garland off the court this season, averaging just 96.2 points per 100 possessions over a solid sample size of 215 minutes. If Sexton is also ruled out, the Cavs could struggle to crack 90 points.

The Bucks have not been the same team defensively this season, but they did rank first in the league in defensive efficiency last year. They still have the ability to put the clamps on teams on that end of the court, and their offense has been the best in the league this season.

Overall, it’s hard to envision a scenario where the Cavs keep this game competitive.

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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