NBA picks, betting trends: DraftKings sports betting odds, best basketball bets, predictions for January 30
There are eight NBA games on Sunday, but only five will make it to the main roster which kicks off at 6:00 p.m. ET with the final game at 8:00 p.m. ET. Let’s take a look at the slate and choose the best bets for Sunday night.
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Editor’s note: Jazz PG/SG Donovan Mitchell (concussion) was ruled out tonight against the Timberwolves.
Are we trying to catch a falling knife or make the Jazz hit rock bottom? Utah has lost 10 of its last 12 games. However, things could change on Sunday. Their schedule has been brutal lately – two games against Phoenix, at Golden State and Memphis. Rudy Gobert will be out again, but if Donovan Mitchell clears concussion protocols, he should be able to return to his usual role and lead this team to victory (that line opened with the Jazz +1). Even without Mitchell, which this line suggests will be the case, the remaining Jazz roster has a chance to fight the Timberwolves below par.
D’Angelo Russell and Patrick Beverley are questionable against the Jazz. Russell missed Minnesota’s last game and Beverley missed the last five. Josh Okogie is also questionable, leaving Minnesota’s backcourt woefully thin. Obviously, the real injury to watch is Mitchell, and with the early-line move, it looks like the big bucks think he’s about to play. If he is available, this line will swing even more in favor of the Jazz. Not a problem, but what about Jazz without Mitchell. In the last six games without Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz’s No. 1-ranked offense has fallen to 18th. In December, they had the sixth-best defense in the NBA, but without Mitchell, they rank 23rd. On the surface, those numbers suggest they don’t stand a chance against the below-average Timberwolves, but those data points all come from tough matchups.
The best games to analyze are the matchups with the Rockets and Pistons. Mitchell missed both of those contests. The Jazz lost to the Rockets, but the Rockets made almost 50% of their 3-point attempts. Facing the Pistons, the Jazz won by ten. The Timberwolves are better than those two teams, but not by much. Minnesota has failed to cover seven of its last nine games.
Editor’s note: Mavericks PF Kristaps Porzingis (knee) was ruled out against the Magic on Sunday, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
Dallas has gone four blowouts in a row and three have gone in their favor. This is favorable to the Mavs on several fronts. The obvious is that if the Mavs run over their opponents, they’re likely to cover for the fourth time in five games (the blowout loss was to Golden State and the Mavs shot a measly 35% from the field). The second benefit of playing in blowouts every game for more than a week is that their stars are rested. Luka recorded just 31 minutes against the shorthanded Pacers and Porzingis played 11 minutes Saturday night. Normally, traveling from a home game to Orlando for the second game in a row would be a serious disadvantage (which is one of the reasons this line isn’t higher), but given the Mavs’ recent schedule, they should be fine, especially against arguably the worst team in the league (10-40, 22-28 ATS)
The Magic opened the season with one of the busiest schedules in NBA history, but it could have been a giveaway (4-18 at home, 6-16 ATS). Orlando has won two of its last three games. They beat the shorthanded Bulls (Alex Caruso, Zach Lavine and Lonzo Ball were out) who were in the middle of a long stretch of road games. They also beat the Pistons in a game where the Magic were a rare favorite. Most tellingly, the Magic have been double-digit dogs 19 times this season. The Magic have covered four of their last five games as an underdog with less than 10 points but more than five. However, those covers were against weak teams that were just heavy favorites because the Magic are so bad. Based on the spreads given to these teams, the Mavs should be a double-digit favorite in this contest.
Cavaliers -7.5 (-110)
This season, when healthy, the Cavs have not only been one of the best teams in the East, but they have also been a covering machine. While they will be without Lauri Markkanen, Jarret Allen is back in the lineup. Kevin Love has been incredible in a constrained veteran role and Rajon Rondo provides valuable minutes off the bench. The same can be said of Cedi Osman. The Cavs may not have the best first team, but their rotation is deep and there isn’t much of a drop when the second line enters the field. That can’t be said of most teams and that’s why Cleveland not only wins but covers.
In contrast, Detroit’s starters are weak (very young) and their bench is weaker. Detroit ranks dead last in the net ranking (-9.6). Their offensive efficiency rating is the second-worst in the NBA and their defense is seven points off the bottom. Further proof is that the Pistons just lost to the Magic on Jan. 28 and failed to cover the +3 spread. Cleveland is 3-1 ATS this season when favored by 7.5 or more points. They failed to cover their last big gap, and it was a high 12-point spread, but the Cavs held a 17-point lead late in the third quarter against the Thunder before turning icy and shooting 26 .7% from the field in the fourth quarter and returning the ball seven times.
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