Saturday features a five-game NBA slate and the action gets underway with an afternoon showdown between the 76ers and Suns at 3:10 p.m. ET and wraps up with a matchup between the Heat and Jazz at 9 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of my favorite wagers on DraftKings Sportsbook for Saturday’s NBA slate.
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Indiana Pacers (-1.5) @ Atlanta Hawks:
The Pacers appear to be one of the preferred targets today for sharp bettors. They’ve garnered just 42% of the spread bets in this matchup, but those bets have accounted for 76% of the spread dollars. A discrepancy that large indicates that the big bets – i.e. the ones that come from professional bettors – are landing on the Pacers.
The Hawks remain without DeAndre Hunter, which is a huge absence. He’s been one of their most important players this season, and the Hawks’ Net Rating has decreased by 12.2 points per 100 possessions with him off the floor. That puts him in the 88th percentile for qualified players this season, per Cleaning the Glass.
Indiana will also have the rest advantage in this contest. The Hawks are playing on the second leg of a back-to-back, while the Pacers have been off since Thursday.
Miami Heat @ Utah Jazz (-6):
The Jazz are here to stay. They own the best record in the NBA, rank first in Net Rating and put together a dominant win last night vs. the Milwaukee Bucks. The fact that they did it without Mike Conley – who is one of their best players – is even more impressive.
They’ll face another test tonight vs. the Miami Heat, but they have a few things working in their favor. For starters, Goran Dragic is not expected to suit up for the Heat. Dragic has powered their offense for most of the season, and the Heat have averaged an additional +9.0 points per 100 possessions with him on the court. They’ve also increased their effective field goal percentage by 4.1%. Both of those marks are the top mark on the squad.
With Dragic out of the lineup, the Heat are going to struggle to score against a squad that ranks second in defensive efficiency.
Miami has also been a team that tends to struggle on the road. They own a mark of just 5-6 against the spread when on the road this season after going just 12-19-1 in that situation last year.
Finally, the Jazz appear to be another sharp target. They’ve received a whopping 92% of the early spread dollars in this contest.
This is an absurdly high total, but frankly, I don’t care. This matchup is the main attraction on today’s NBA slate, and I think both teams are going to put on a show.
The Nets have been an over machine since acquiring James Harden. They’ve unsurprisingly been an offensive juggernaut with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Harden in town, averaging a stout 120.0 points per 100 possessions, but they’ve been almost equally as bad defensively. They’ve allowed an average of 119.6 points per 100 possessions over their past 14 games, which is easily the worst mark in the league.
Now they head to Golden State, which has played at the second-fastest pace this season. Putting the Nets in a pace-up situation should lead to tons of points on both ends of the court.
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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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