Saturday’s NBA slate features seven games to choose from. The action gets underway with a pair of contests at 7 p.m. ET and wraps up with a primetime showdown between the Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of my favorite wagers on DraftKings Sportsbook for Saturday’s NBA slate.
Utah Jazz (-10.5) @ Orlando Magic:
Utah is coming off a rare loss yesterday vs. the Heat, which makes this a potential buy-low spot.
Utah has been insanely good so far this season. They own the best record in the league at 26-7, and no other team is within 3.0 games in the standings. They also rank first in the league in Net Rating and Basketball Reference’s Simple Rating System. Overall, they’ve moved from +4000 to win the title at the start of the year to just +850 on DraftKings Sportsbook.
On the other side of this matchup, the Magic have been one of the worst teams in basketball this season. They own the third-worst Net Rating – they’ve been outscored by an average of 6.57 points per 100 possessions – so they simply don’t have the talent to matchup with Utah.
The Magic have struggled in particular against Western Conference opponents this season, posting a record of just 4-8 against the spread. I like the Jazz to roll to an easy victory in this contest, especially since Utah is coming off a loss.
New Orleans Pelicans (-3.5) @ San Antonio Spurs:
The Pelicans are pretty much an automatic over bet at this point. They’ve averaged 124.9 points per 100 possessions over their past nine games, which is a historically good mark. They’ve also allowed 126.6 points per 100 possessions over that time frame, which is historically awful. To put that in perspective, the Nets lead the league with an average of 119.72 points per 100 possessions this season, while the Kings allow the most points per 100 possessions at 119.81. The Pels have cruised past both of those marks recently.
Overall, all nine of those contests have gone over 231.5 points, and the average combined score was a whopping 249 points. That gives us plenty of wiggle room with tonight’s total.
The Spurs don’t stand out as an explosive offensive team, but they should still have more than enough talent to succeed in this matchup. DeMar DeRozan will play and LaMarcus Aldridge is questionable, so the Spurs will definitely benefit from having at least one of those starters back in action.
San Antonio has also played at the 10th-fastest pace this season, so this is a slight pace-up spot for New Orleans.
Indiana Pacers (-0.5) @ New York Knicks:
The Knicks have been one of the best stories in basketball this season. They were expected to compete for the worst record in the league, but they’re currently sitting in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. That puts them slightly ahead of the Pacers, who have slipped in the standings after losing seven of their past 10 games.
Still, I’m much more bullish on the Pacers than the Knicks moving forward.
Indiana actually ranks 11th in the league in Net Rating, so they’ve been a bit unlucky in terms of their record. They have a clear edge vs. the Knicks in terms of talent, so I would expect them to right the ship a bit on Saturday.
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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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