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NBA Best Bets: Basketball Picks, Predictions to Consider on DraftKings Sportsbook for January 31

Matt LaMarca gives his best bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for Sunday’s NBA betting card.

NBA: Washington Wizards at New Orleans Pelicans Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Feeling down with no football on Sunday? Might I suggest a little NBA action instead? There are six games on the docket for Sunday, starting with the Clippers vs. the Knicks at 1 p.m. ET and wrapping up with the Cavaliers vs. the Timberwolves at 8 p.m. ET.

Let’s dive into some of my favorite wagers on DraftKings Sportsbook for Sunday’s NBA slate.

Place your NBA bets at DraftKings Sportsbook and bet online by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

Utah Jazz @ Denver Nuggets:

Under 220.5

It’s Sunday, so you know what that means — time for an afternoon under! Betting the under on Sunday afternoon basketball games has become one of my favorite spots to target, and they have been wildly profitable to start the year. The under has posted a record of 6-2 on Sunday in games starting before 7 p.m. ET, and that trend is 357-301-12 dating back to 2006. That’s a nice win rate over a large sample size.

Additionally, the Jazz and Nuggets are among the slowest teams in the league. Utah ranks just 25th in pace this season, while Denver ranks 27th. Both squads are elite offensively, but the slow pace should result in minimal possessions for them to put those skills on display.

Finally, there’s a chance that Donovan Mitchell will miss his third straight game for the Jazz. Utah has been a much better defensive team with Mitchell off the court this season, allowing 10.0 fewer points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass.

Add it all up, and there’s more than enough to roll the dice with the under in this contest.

Brooklyn Nets (-7.5) @ Washington Wizards:

Wizards +7.5

The Wizards have been an absolute disaster this season. They’ve won just three of their first 15 games, and they rank just 25th in Net Rating. Bradley Beal has had a fantastic season, but he’s gotten virtually no support from his teammates.

That said, the Wizards have also been playing extremely shorthanded recently. They were hit extremely hard by COVID-19, which forced guys like Isaac Bonga, Anthony Gill and Jordan Bell into sizable roles. Those guys are all borderline NBA players, yet they were being counted on to player starter minutes. That’s not a good formula for success.

Thankfully, the Wizards are nearing full strength. Rui Hachimura and Davis Bertans both returned to the lineup recently, and they will be joined by Deni Avdija, Troy Brown Jr. and Ish Smith vs. the Nets. Those three players will likely be limited in their first game back, but that is still a massive upgrade for their bench.

The Nets could also be a bit thinner than usual. James Harden is listed as questionable with a thigh injury, and he’s had a huge impact on the Nets since joining the squad. They’ve increased their Net Rating by +13.9 points per 100 possessions with Harden on the court, which is the second-highest mark on the team. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving should still be able to lead this team to a win without Harden, but it might be a bit closer than expected.

Cleveland Cavaliers (-3.5) @ Minnesota Timberwolves:

Cavaliers -3.5

Karl-Anthony Towns remains out for the Timberwolves, and that’s enough of a reason to bet against them. It is impossible to understate how bad this team has been without Towns this season. Their offensive efficiency has dropped by 15.4 points per 100 possessions with Towns off the floor, while they’re allowing an additional 6.8 points per 100 possessions on defense. That gives Towns a Net Rating differential of +22.3, which ranks in the 99th percentile, per Cleaning the Glass.

Overall, the Timberwolves have been outscored by an average of 13.1 points per 100 possessions without Towns this season. That is a disastrous mark.

The Cavaliers are far from an elite squad, but they’ve been competent when at full strength. Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Larry Nance Jr. should all be in the lineup for this contest, which should give them enough firepower to take care of this lowly Timberwolves squad.

Place your NBA bets at DraftKings Sportsbook and bet online by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

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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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