The NBA is offering up a solid slate of basketball on Sunday. The action gets underway with an afternoon contest between the Celtics and Pelicans at 3:30 p.m. ET and wraps with the Kings vs. the Bucks at 9 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of my favorite wagers on DraftKings Sportsbook for Sunday’s NBA slate.
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If you’ve followed my NBA picks for any period of time, you know that I absolutely love betting the under on Sunday afternoon NBA games. Even though the players might not be able to go out on Saturday night due to COVID-19, their bodies still aren’t used to play games at this time of day. The under has gone 11-5 this season in games starting before 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, and it’s 362-304-12 dating back to 2006.
This total also feels high to begin with. Neither of these two teams plays at a particularly fast pace – New Orleans is tied for 21st and Boston is tied for 23rd – and the Celtics have been mediocre in terms of offensive efficiency this season. The Pelicans are awful defensively, but the combination of a slow pace and an unusual start time should make this game lower scoring than usual.
The Knicks have been one of the bigger surprises this season. They’ve jumped out to a 14-16 record, which currently has them in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings. This team was expected to be one of the worst in basketball, but they would actually be in the playoffs if they started today.
The Knicks also rank 16th in Net Rating, which gives them an expected record of 15-15. They are clearly not as bad as initially anticipated, thanks mostly to the excellent play of Julius Randle.
Still, there are reasons to believe the Knicks are overvalued in this contest vs. the Timberwolves.
The Knicks have played one of the easier schedules in basketball this season, so they look like a team that is poised for some regression. They have specifically gone just 4-6 when facing Western Conference opponents.
The Timberwolves have been the worst team in the Western Conference this season, but they should be much better moving forward with Karl-Anthony Towns back in the lineup. He’s their best player by an alarming degree. They’ve increased their Net Rating by 10.1 points per 100 possessions with Towns on the floor this season, so they’ve been much more competitive with him in the lineup.
Theo Maledon over 9.5 points (+104)
Let’s wrap things up with a player prop. Maledon has become a big part of the Thunder’s rotation recently, and he’s started each of the past nine games that he’s been active.
He’s coming off just five points in his last contest, which makes this an excellent time to buy low on him. He’s averaged 10.4 points per game in his nine starts, and he’s scored at least 10 points in five of his past eight games. He’s also played at least 30.1 minutes in his past two games, so he’s still seeing plenty of court time.
Maledon is also in a great spot tonight vs. the Cavaliers. They rank just 25th in defensive efficiency, so the Thunder should be more efficient than usual offensively. They’re currently implied for 111 points, which represents a significant increase from their average of 106.9.
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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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