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NBA Best Bets: Basketball Picks, Predictions to Consider on DraftKings Sportsbook for December 12

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

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Most of Sunday’s betting action is focused on the NFL, but don’t forget about hoops! The NBA is offering up a four-game slate on Sunday, and the action gets underway at 3:30 p.m. ET.

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

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


Brooklyn Nets @ Detroit Pistons:

Pistons +7.0

The theme of the day is big-name players getting the day off. Both of these teams will be missing key pieces, with James Harden resting for the Nets and Jerami Grant sidelined with a thumb injury for the Pistons.

The Nets are undoubtedly still the better team, but they’re obviously not as intimidating without Harden. They’ve outscored opponents by just +2.6 points per 100 possessions with Harden off the court this season. The team is also still without Joe Harris, so they don’t have a ton of options to fill his role in the backcourt.

The Pistons will miss Grant, but they have a few options who can at least try to replace him. Saddiq Bey is a natural fit in place of Grant, while Josh Jackson can also absorb a few additional minutes.

Ultimately, I’ll take my chances with the Pistons in this spot.


Dallas Mavericks @ Oklahoma City Thunder:

Thunder +4.0

The Mavericks are another team dealing with a key absence. They will be without Luka Doncic, who is their driving force offensively. He leads the team in points, rebounds and assists per game, so he quite literally does everything for them.

The Mavericks have actually held their own with Doncic off the court this season, but those numbers are a bit inflated by garbage time. If you look at their minutes with Kristaps Porzingis on the court and Doncic off, they tell a different story. They’ve been outscored by 5.4 points per 100 possessions in those minutes, and the Mavericks will be in that situation a bunch on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Thunder enter this contest at essentially full strength. Most importantly, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey are both healthy at the moment, and they’ve been the team’s top two players this season. They should be able to keep this game competitive with Doncic out of the lineup.


Minnesota Timberwolves @ Portland Trail Blazers:

Jusuf Nurkic Under 16.5 points

Let’s wrap things up with a player prop bet. This line seems way too high for Nurkic, who has averaged less than 13.5 points per game this season. He did score 31 points two games ago – which may have caused this line to increase – but that stands out as a major outlier.

Additionally, it sounds like there’s a chance that Damian Lillard will return to the lineup. If that happens, Nurkic will have fewer chances to score the ball, making this line feel even more inflated. His usage rate has decreased by roughly 1 percent when sharing the court with Lillard this season. This stands out as one of the best bets of the day.

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 customer (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 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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