Saturday features a solid 11-game NBA slate, including a nine-game main slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of my favorite wagers on DraftKings Sportsbook for Saturday’s NBA slate.
Brooklyn Nets @ Philadelphia 76ers (-3.5)
The big news heading into this contest involves Kevin Durant. The Nets’ superstar was unable to start Friday’s game due to health and safety protocols, was cleared to come off the bench, and then was removed from the game early and ruled out. He was not happy about the decision – check out his Twitter feed if you don’t believe me – and he is currently listed as questionable for tonight’s game vs. the 76ers.
Kyrie Irving has also been ruled out due to an injury to his right index finger. That means there’s a situation where the Nets could be without two of their top three players tonight.
The Nets should still be able to survive with just James Harden, but it would give them much less room for error. Their depth is questionable at best at the moment, and their defense has been shaky all season. If their offense can’t put up their usual 120-plus points, the Nets are going to struggle to compete.
The 76ers have their own injury issues to deal with. Most notably, Joel Embiid is listed as questionable with a knee injury, but he was able to play through the injury in his last contest. I tentatively expect him to be in the lineup, and if that’s the case, the 76ers should be able to take care of business.
The short-handed Thunder lost to the Timberwolves last night, but it was a very competitive game right until the end. The contest was tied until D’Angelo Russell drilled a 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds left to ultimately secure the win.
We’re still waiting on the Thunder’s injury report for Saturday’s rematch, but I like their chances even if they’re shorthanded once again. Hamidou Diallo filled in admirably as the emergency point guard – he racked up a career-high 10 assists – and Al Horford had a throwback performance with 26 points over 29 minutes. They’re not exactly loaded with talent with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, George Hill and Lu Dort sidelined, but the cupboard isn’t bare either.
Meanwhile, the Timberwolves continue to play without Karl-Anthony Towns, which is one of the most important absences in the league. The Timberwolves have been drastically worse with Towns off the court this season, with their Net Rating decreasing by 18.5 points per 100 possessions. That puts him in the 97th percentile for all qualified players, per Cleaning the Glass.
San Antonio Spurs (-1) @ Houston Rockets:
The sharps are lining up in droves to bet on the Spurs tonight. They’ve received 54% of the spread bets in this contest, but those bets have accounted for 98% of the spread dollars. That’s a massive discrepancy, and a discrepancy that large is typically a good indicator of sharp activity.
Both of these teams are dealing with some big injuries, but the Spurs are much more equipped to overcome them. LaMarcus Aldridge being out of the lineup might actually be a positive for San Antonio: They’ve increased their Net Rating by 12.7 points per 100 possessions with Aldridge off the court this season. Things have been even better for San Antonio with Lonnie Walker off the court, increasing their Net Rating by 15.4 points per 100 possessions.
On the other side, the Rockets could be without two of their most important players in Christian Wood and John Wall. Wood has already been ruled out, while Wall is listed as questionable. Those two players have been big positives for the Rockets this season, so those absences would be drastically more important.
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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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