We’ve arrived at our first NBA Saturday of the season, and we have a loaded slate of games tipping off at 6:10 p.m. ET. With so many games come so many opportunities to make money. Here’s what jumps out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
It’s early in the season, so we have to take the limited data we have with a grain of salt, but some things are certainly worth reading into.
One of them is the Dallas Mavericks’ performance and game plan under new head coach Jason Kidd. It was noticeable how flat this team looked on offense against the Hawks, and how little Tim Hardaway Jr. was involved. He did score 14 points on the night, but he registered a very low 17.7% usage rate, which could indicate Kidd is trying to work others into this offense. One of those people could be the newly-acquired Reggie Bullock, who played 15 minutes, and another is certainly Jalen Brunson, who nearly played as much as Hardaway.
There are some more mouths to feed here in Dallas, and Kidd has also seemed keen on going big at times. That might leave Hardaway as the odd man out, and I think a matchup with a tough Raptors defense could be a good spot to fade him.
The Pelicans are a very bad team. Without Zion Williamson and in the wake of the departure of Lonzo Ball, this team just has no great ways to score. On top of that, they’ve been without Josh Hart in the early going, and he could very well miss Saturday’s game as well.
New Orleans has had its doors blown off in both games this season — by an average of 18 points — yet was never an underdog of more than 6.5 points. I really think this team is just this bad at the moment, giving up 50.9% shooting from deep and 122.5 points per game right now.
The Pelicans are also much worse inside than they were a year ago since Steven Adams left town and Williamson was placed on the shelf. They can’t rebound and they can’t defend the post, which will make containing Karl Anthony-Towns a nightmare. This is a lot of points to lay with a relatively mediocre team, but I’m willing to do it.
The Clippers were not only the top 3-point shooting team a season ago, but they also ranked sixth in defending beyond the arc. So, checking out a matchup with the Grizzlies — a team that shot very well from deep in their season-opening victory and contained the 3-point shot — I see some good fortune on L.A.’s side.
The Clippers were victims of some bad luck on Thursday night, watching as Stephen Curry hit eight 3-pointers — many of which came from very deep, in unguardable territory. With all of that, the Clippers had a chance to win this game and lost by two. I’d expect things to regress positively to the mean here.
The Grizzlies don’t have a great 3-point weapon like that and should be slowed by this perimeter defense. You also need to consider Eric Bledsoe and Marcus Morris were in foul trouble, which helped turn the tides. Those two will provide good defense against Memphis, assuming they can stay on the floor.
Simply put, the Clippers looked fantastic in a losing effort, with a great game from Paul George and a solid re-debut by Bledsoe, and there is so much room for improvement.
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