There are only 15 days left in the NBA regular season, and the playoffs are really taking shape. Jockeying for position has begun. Some teams are resting starters for better lottery odds, while others are surging for seeding. Sunday provides a nine-game schedule for NBA fans. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite bets for the day.
Season to Date: 25-20-2, +2.65 units
Also, take a look at our other best bets for Sunday:
Sunday’s Best NBA Bets
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
Memphis Grizzlies at Atlanta Hawks
After some struggles, Memphis came home and swept a four-game stand while welcoming back Ja Morant. They looked like the 2-seed team in the West that they’ve been all season. Sunday, however, they take to the road in Atlanta to face the Hawks.
The Hawks currently sit in the 8-seed in the East, having a lot of motivation to catch the Nets at the 7-seed and get the home-court advantage in the Play-In tournament. Their season hasn’t gone exactly how they had hoped, but this is still a very talented team that can turn it on any night. Hosting a team that struggles on the road like Memphis, I like Atlanta to cover the spread.
Memphis has been nothing short of dreadful on the road this season. They’re 14-22 SU and an abysmal 12-23-1 ATS away from the FedEx Forum. It’s expected that teams will perform a little worse offensively on the road than at home, but it’s the fact that the Grizzlies’ third-ranked adjusted defensive doesn’t travel.
On the road, Memphis puts itself in holes with an increased opponent free-throw rate, going from .246 at home to .286 on the road. This is a particularly welcome development for a team like the Hawks that shoot free throws at an over 80% clip as a team.
The Grizzlies’ road struggles are well-documented, and the Hawks are well-equipped to take advantage of this. I’m going to fade the red-hot Grizzlies and go with Atlanta as one of my best bets.
Pick: 1.15u on Hawks +2.5 (-115)
Brooklyn Nets at Orlando Magic
The Nets will travel to Orlando to finish a Florida back-to-back after facing Miami on Saturday night. It has been a rough stretch for Brooklyn, who is 1-5 SU and 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games. They’re finally starting to look like a team that traded away all of their stars at the deadline. This will be the third game in four nights for the Nets, which is typically a recipe for disaster.
Orlando, though being 12 games under .500 on the season, has managed an 18-19 SU record at home. This has also resulted in a 20-17 ATS record at home as well. Being a young team, they’ve played exceptional defense, sitting at 16th in adjusted defense. This has helped them stay in games when their offense cannot keep up.
The Orlando defense should be able to do enough to keep a Brooklyn offense at bay that has struggled recently, outside of a huge outburst last night. The third game in four nights should take a toll on a Brooklyn team that hasn’t quite figured out the new rotations. I’ll stick with the home trends for Orlando and back the Magic on the spread.
Pick: 1.1u on Magic -2 (-110)
Houston Rockets at Cleveland Cavaliers
The Rockets travel out to Cleveland on Sunday to take on a surging Cavalier team. Houston is likely more interested in getting their young players’ experience than actually winning games. Unlike many teams in their stratosphere as far as the record, Houston actually has been playing their normal lineup. This is probably why the spread sits at only 14.0. Still, I think this is too short.
Cleveland is the top team in the league, per adjusted net rating, and at home against Houston, the 29th-ranked team. They should be more like a 17.5-point favorite. Houston’s young guards lead the charge for the worst offense in the league at taking care of the ball, with a 15.7% turnover rate. That’s a recipe for disaster against a team like Cleveland that is very adept at turning opponents over. The size of Cleveland should also be a huge advantage over Houston. It negates one of the few things Houston does really well on the court, rebound.
In the previous matchup in January, Cleveland won easily 113-95. I expect a very similar outcome in this game. Even with a double-digit spread, I’m confidently backing Cleveland on the spread for one of my best bets.
Pick: 1.05u on Cavaliers -14.0 (-105)