Sunday’s NBA card is light on action. There was one afternoon contest – a 1 p.m. ET tip-off between the Suns and Hornets – followed by a three-game slate main slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of my favorite wagers on DraftKings Sportsbook for Sunday’s NBA slate.
Portland Trail Blazers (-1.5) @ Toronto Raptors:
Trail Blazers -1.5
These two teams just completed a trade before the deadline and now they will square off against each other. The deal sent Norman Powell to Portland, and they now boast one of the best scoring backcourts in the league. Powell racked up 22 points while shooting 53.8% from the field and 71.4% from 3-point range in his Blazers’ debut and the team managed to pull out a win despite Damian Lillard being out of the lineup.
Lillard is expected to return to the lineup tonight, and I don’t think the Raptors can keep up from a scoring perspective. They have been horrid of late, losing 12 of their past 14 games while posting a Net Rating of -6.2 points per 100 possessions.
Orlando Magic @ Los Angeles Lakers (-6.5):
The Magic have arguably the worst roster in the NBA at this point in the season. They traded away Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon before the deadline, who were arguably their three best players. Terrence Ross has also been out of the lineup due to a knee injury, and he’s questionable vs. the Lakers.
That said, I’m not sure the Lakers deserve to be favored by 6.5 points over anyone right now. This team simply isn’t that good without LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
That’s obviously not a huge shock – taking away two MVP-caliber players is going to have a big impact on a team – but they’ve lost four of their past five games. Overall, the team has been outscored by 3.5 points per 100 possessions with Davis and James off the court this season. That sample size also includes garbage time, so you can expect the number to be worse when the Lakers’ backups are playing against starting units.
Finally, the Magic are expected to get some reinforcements on Sunday. Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter and R.J. Hampton are all available to debut, and that should be a slight boost to their rotation. None of those players is a true difference-maker, but they’re a lot better than some of the players the Magic rolled out in their last contest.
Atlanta Hawks @ Denver Nuggets (-4.5):
Jamal Murray Over 18.5 points (-118)
Let’s wrap things up with a player prop bet. Murray has been red hot recently, averaging 23.3 points over his past six games while shooting a staggering 52.5% from 3-point range. Overall, he’s scored at least 19 points in each of those six contests.
He should have the opportunity for another big outing vs. the Hawks. Atlanta’s defense has been solid since switching to Nate McMillan at head coach, but Murray still has a very exploitable matchup vs. Trae Young. Young is one of the worst defensive point guards in the league, ranking dead last among 88 qualifiers at the position in ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus/Minus.
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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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