Sunday features a seven-game NBA slate and first tip is at 3:30 PM ET with the Spurs visiting the Lakers. This betting article will ignore the afternoon NBA game that will be lost in the sauce that is the NFL, and will focus on the six evening games that start at 6:00 PM ET or later. In my last Best Bets appearance, my NBA Picks were a perfect 3-0. That’s on top of an unbelievable NASCAR betting run that no one reading this article cares about, so let’s dive into some of my favorite wagers and look to continue the hot streak on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Stephen Curry over 29.5 points (-110)
This is the Charlotte native’s first game in the Queen City since the 2018-19 season. The son of Hornets legend and TV color commentator, Del Curry, likes to show out in front of his hometown and with his pops sitting in the front row.
Narrative street aside — although it is a very strong one — 30 points from Curry is not much. He has not exceeded this number many times this season, but that’s because Golden State has made easy work of inferior opponents, and the team has not needed 30 points from Curry. The Hornets are an average team, but at home they’re only 4.5 point dogs. This should be a competitive contest that requires four quarters of play from Steph Curry.
The Hornets have enough offensive weapons that they can keep this game close or at least respectable. It’s a tall order against the best defense in the NBA (96.5 defensive efficiency rating), but the Hornets have a top-10 offense. The Hornets also play at the second-fastest pace in the NBA, and this should open up plenty of scoring opportunities for Steph Curry.
The biggest concern is that this game gets out of hand. The Warriors have the best defensive efficiency rating and the second-best offensive efficiency rating in the NBA. They can blow out any opponent on any night, and they usually do regardless of the line. However, many of their big wins this season have come at home. This is the Warriors’ first road game in eight games (Oct. 27), and the Sportsbook says it’s only a 4.5 point spread. If the game is within a handful of points, then Curry will easily go over this number.
Los Angeles Clipper -3.5 (-110)
The Clippers are on the back-end of a back-to-back, but it’s a home back-to-back. The Bulls are on game two of a brutal five game West Coast trip, made even worse by the absence of Nikola Vucevic (Health and Safety Protocols). Their first game of the trip was ugly, but it wasn’t surprising to see the best team in the NBA, the Warriors, beat the Vuc-less Bulls by 26 points.
This line does not capture the direction of these teams. On paper, the Bulls are more talented and are more rested. Therefore, the initial line seems to make sense. However, this line underestimates what Vucevic meant to an already weakened Chicago frontcourt. It also overestimates the impact of the back-to-back. Los Angeles cruised to a comfortable win on Saturday night against Minnesota — a below average team worn down by a West Coast trip and too many games in too few days.
The Clippers should be ready to go on Sunday, and while the Bulls have rested stars, those stars did not matter when Golden State destroyed them on Friday night. The truth is that the Bulls weren’t very good before they lost Vucevic. In their last five games, they have been blown out by the Warriors and lost two games to the 76ers, who were playing with backups due to COVID. They beat the Nets, but Brooklyn was on a back-to-back on the road and playing their third game in four nights — also, the Nets are old, more on that in the next bet. In the Bulls other contest they beat the Mavs — nothing to write home about. The Clippers are the better team and are at home, they should cover this number.
Parlay - Oklahoma City Thunder +9 and Under 214.5 (+256)
Let’s get crazy, but is this that crazy? Brooklyn is 9-4, but they have not looked great. The team has struggled to adjust to life without Kyrie Irving. Kevin Durant is the same old Kevin Durant, but James Harden is not the same. He’s not shooting and when he is, the shots are not falling. Also, with the new rules change, he’s not getting to the foul line anymore. Over his career, he averaged 10.4 FTA per game, but this season he is averaging 5.5 FTA. The bottom line is there isn’t much fire power on this team.
The saving grace for the Nets is that they are playing great defense under second-year head coach Steve Nash. Brooklyn has the fourth-best defensive efficiency rating (101.4) and should not has any problem controlling a Thunder offense that ranks second to last (97.3 offensive efficiency rating). However, no one should have a problem limiting the Thunder, and yet OKC has won four straight and covered in seven of the last eight games.
It’s hard to tell who the Thunder are at this point. It’s early in the season and they are a young team with a handful of players that could be stars someday, but not now. Don’t tell them that. They have not allowed more than 104 points in the last six games, and that includes matchups with the Warriors, Kings and Spurs — each are in the top 5 in pace and are in the top half of the league in offensive efficiency.
The Thunder might not be a good team, but they think they are and psychology seems to play a major role in the modern NBA. Meanwhile, the Nets are a veteran team that doesn’t need to trick themselves into being good because they are good. They’re also old, the fourth-oldest team in the league, and this is the final game of a six-game road trip. The Nets will likely win this game because they’re the better team, but this game will be close and low scoring.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) 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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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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