After a massive 11-game slate on Friday, we’ve got another action-packed slate on Saturday. There are seven games to choose from, and the action gets underway with a trio of contests starting at 8 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of my favorite wagers on DraftKings Sportsbook for Saturday’s NBA slate.
I am betting against the Timberwolves without Karl-Anthony Towns in every possible opportunity this season. They have absolutely fallen apart without Towns on the court this season. They average 16.5 fewer points per 100 possessions on offense and allow 6.8 additional points per 100 possessions on defense. Add it all up, and the Timberwolves are being outscored by 13.8 points per 100 possessions with Towns off the court.
Unsurprisingly, this team has not been able to compete with Towns out of the lineup. They are just 1-9 in 10 contests and they’ve been outscored by an average of 14.2 points in those games. That includes an 18-point drubbing vs. the Hawks last night.
The Pelicans aren’t a great team, but they’re more than good enough to take care of business vs. the Timberwolves. The fact that they’re fully rested while the Timberwolves are on the second leg of a back-to-back shouldn’t hurt either.
Denver Nuggets (-2.5) @ Phoenix Suns:
These two teams squared off last night, and the Nuggets ended up securing a 130-126 victory in overtime. It was a great game, but the effects of that contest could be felt tonight.
Most of the starters in that game logged heavy minutes. Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic both played at least 39.7 minutes for the Nuggets, while four starters played at least 37.2 minutes for the Suns. The Suns in particular could be in a tough spot since none of their bench players saw more than 19.5 minutes of court time. Devin Booker is also doubtful with a hamstring injury, and the Suns have averaged 6.5 fewer points per 100 possessions and allowed 10.3 fewer points per 100 possessions with him off the court this season. That’s a great combination for an under.
Overall, expect some tired legs in tonight’s rematch, which tends to lead to poor shooting. I’ll roll the dice on the under.
Houston Rockets @ Dallas Mavericks (-9.5):
The Mavericks are a good basketball team, but this feels like a lot of points to be giving the Rockets. Houston is likely going to be without Christian Wood – which is definitely a big blow – but they still have some talent on the roster. Victor Oladipo and Eric Gordon are both capable scorers, while DeMarcus Cousins has been a dominant player in the past. Those three guys weren’t great last night – they combined to shoot just 25.5% from the field – but they were still able to secure a win vs. the Pistons. They are clearly due for some positive regression.
Tonight’s matchup vs. the Mavericks will be a much stiffer test, but Dallas is not a juggernaut. They’re just 8-7 through their first 15 games and they rank 10th in Net Rating. They figure to improve moving forward with Kristaps Porzingis back in the lineup, but they’ve gone just 3-3 through Porzingis’ first six games. They’re still playing without a large portion of their rotation – Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell, Dorian Finney-Smith and Josh Richardson are all out of the lineup – so I think the Rockets can keep this game close.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Kristaps Porzingis (injury management) is listed as doubtful for tonight’s game vs. the Rockets.
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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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