Thursday night offers just a three-game card in the NBA on DraftKings Sportsbook, and I’m likely passing.
If you really want some action, I would lean to the Portland Trail Blazers at home against the Nuggets in a pick’em-type game, but don’t think there’s much of an edge there. That said, I feel there are a couple of big games on Friday night likely worth taking a side on, and a game on Saturday I’ll certainly have a position on.
Outside of those full game plays, I’ll make note of a betting trends spots on the first half that could wind up making sense. Obviously, plenty can change, but think of this as a basic betting guide to get you through the weekend before the news rush hits.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Friday: Phoenix Suns at New Orleans Pelicans
Don’t look now, but the Pelicans are now the No. 1-seed in the Western Conference, and the winner of this game on Friday night will walk out of the arena holding that title for the time being.
The Suns have had a rough go lately, getting blown out in back-to-back games by the Mavericks and then Celtics. This will be a get-right spot for them on Friday night, but this should be a hungry Pelicans squad at home. New Orleans has now won 9-of-11, and while Brandon Ingram will sit this one out, the Pels are 7-2 in his absence. New Orleans comes in on a 8-4 ATS run, winning eight of its last nine at home.
Phoenix won the first matchup earlier in the season, but after least year’s playoff series, I like the Pelicans at home on Friday if they are priced as dogs. NOLA has covered by 5.6 points per game as a dog this season, including 2-1 ATS (+7.3 point margin ATS) as a home dog.
One note on this one — these two teams do play in New Orleans again on Sunday afternoon. We’ll see how this first game goes, but it could be a good spot to back the team that loses on Friday in the Sunday matchup.
Friday: Milwaukee Bucks at Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks are on a bit of a role this week with wins over the Suns and Nuggets, but I think it might be time to sell high on them. The Bucks have performed very well as road favorites, going 5-2 straight up so far this season (Dallas will be a home dog for the first time).
The Bucks won and covered against the Mavs earlier in the season in Milwaukee, and while the Mavs are a different team at home, the Bucks did win on their trip to Dallas last season, covering as short favorites. Ultimately, if Giannis Antentokounmpo and Luka Doncic can even each other out, I feel the Bucks have more pieces to get the job done here. Ultimately, I may pass on this one because of how much better Dallas is at home, but lean to the Bucks.
For a prop, I’d consider a unique one — Luka Doncic OVER 9.5 first quarter points. Big number, but Doncic is the NBA’s leading first quarter scorer at an insane 11.4 1Q PPG. He doesn’t just start games hot, we also get an edge here with how Dallas runs its rotation — Luka has played all 12 minutes of the first quarter in every game he’s played this season.
Saturday: Boston Celtics at Golden State Warriors
This is the spot I’ve had circled all week. I do wish the Celtics had lost at the Suns on Wednesday to set up an even better spot, or at least looked human and not blown them out of the water to get a more manageable price here. But it is what it is.
The NBA Finals rematch should open a pretty short number in Golden State, and I love the spot for the Celtics. Boston is a wrecking ball right now, and they’ll be ready to go Saturday night against the team that took a championship from them after getting out to a 2-1 lead.
We know Boston matches up well with the Warriors, but depth was a little bit of an issue. Well now the Celtics are the significantly deeper team, and have taken their game to the next level. I’m expecting big things from the C’s in this spot, and likely will have them as my largest play of the week.
Sunday: Chicago Bulls at Atlanta Hawks
We faded the Bulls on the first half line last weekend on Friday in Golden State and then Sunday in Sacramento and won both relatively easily. This could set up another great spot to fade them early game in Atlanta.
The Hawks have been nothing special at home, but no red flag here at 7-6 1H ATS. But the Bulls are full fade on the road — 2-11 1H ATS with a -6.6 points per game margin. To make the spot even better, the Bulls have a big game on Saturday night, hosting the Mavericks before departing on just a one-game trip.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment.