Sunday’s NBA main slate features seven games. The action gets underway at 6 p.m. ET and the final games tip off at 8:30 p.m. ET. Let’s survey the slate and pick the best bets for Sunday night.
Celtics -3 (-110)
It’s hard to bet against the Celtics, even on the road and especially at a small number. The Celtics have covered in seven of their last nine road games. In the two contests where Boston failed to cover, they were -9.5 and -12.5 road favorites. Since their epic turnaround, the Celtics are 4-0 SU and ATS on the road vs. teams with winning records. Even before the lights switched on, the Celtics were a very respectful 6-5 ATS in that situation.
Over the last 15 games — the numbers stretch further but this is the quickest data to pull — the Celtics have the best defense efficiency rating (106.0) and Net Rating +12.3. That is championship caliber play, yet somehow the DraftKings Sportsbook gives Boston only the seventh-best odds to win it all. The Nuggets are also playing good basketball with the 11th-best offense and sixth-best defense over the last five games, but that’s not the best and Boston has been the best. Furthermore, the Nuggets have struggled in this scenario. Denver has dropped their last four games as home dogs this season (1-4 ATS).
Jazz -5 (-110)
The Garden is dead. Don’t bother watering it. Lay the points like planting a seed in the Garden. The Knicks are 1-7 ATS as home dogs this season and the average margin of victory is -8.6.
Trends don’t say everything, but what is current form if not a trend? The Knicks have won five of the last seven games and half of their opponents were quality teams. Over the last five games, they have the No. 1 rated defense in the NBA (101.8). So which trends wins out: the home dog slide or current form?
The answer lies in their opponent. The Knicks could cover at home against a below-average team or even a slightly above-average team. Unfortunately for New York, the Jazz are better than that. Even without Bojan Bogdanovic, the Jazz are too strong for the Knicks. With Utah’s midseason slump in the rear view mirror, the Jazz’s offense and defense have come back to life. Over the last five games, the Jazz rank seventh in offensive efficiency rating (119.1) and third in defense (108.5). It is worth noting that Mike Conley doesn't work weekends, but the Jazz have won the last two times he rested. Conley will again celebrate the sabbath and skip the matchup in New York, but the Jazz should be fine. They won their last two contests without the veteran by 13 points and nine points.
Warriors -6.5 (-110)
Steph Curry is out, so what now? Does the Warriors’ turnaround halt? The Warriors’ resurgence was not because of Curry. The team started playing solid defense again, and the entire roster started contributing offensively. The first unit and the second unit were each doing their part. Before losing to the Celtics (possibly the best team in the NBA), the Warriors won four in a row. They have covered in five of the last six games and five of those teams were playoff teams. Over that span, the Warriors have a top-10 offense and the 12th-best defense.
The Warriors are not perfect, but the Spurs are far from perfect. They are far from perfect when healthy, but with their current limited roster, the Spurs are terrible. In the last five games, the Spurs’ Net Rating is -20.3 (27th). Their offense ranks 20th and their defense ranks 28th. They’ve lost eight of their last 11 games, and in their last four losses, three were by double digits.
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