The NBA is giving us a huge slate for a Sunday. There was a postponement, but that still leaves us with a choice of eight games. The action kicks off with an afternoon contest between the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks at 3:30 p.m. ET, then there’s a seven-game main slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of my favorite bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for Sunday’s NBA slate.
The Timberwolves are in a difficult situation right now. D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley are both out of the roster, and Karl-Anthony Towns is still limited following an extended absence due to COVID-19. He’s averaged just 32.7 minutes in his last 10 games, which is low for a star player even in 2021.
It just doesn’t leave Minnesota with a ton of viable options. Anthony Edwards is being asked to take part of the game offensively, and he may not be ready for that kind of responsibility. Edwards definitely has a ton of talent – if you don’t believe me ask Yuta Watanabe – but it is still very raw. He’s only shooting 37.2% from field and 31.4% from 3-point distance this season, and he’s been forced to take at least 20 shots in each of his last two games. You cannot survive such poor efficiency at such a high volume.
Overall, the Timberwolves have lost each of their last seven games, and things don’t seem to be getting any easier today against the Suns. Phoenix has been somewhat quietly one of the best basketball teams this season, placing fourth in the league overall. They also rank in the top seven in terms of offensive and defensive efficiency, so they should have no problem caring for the lowly Timberwolves. The fact that Minnesota are in the second leg from a back-to-back doesn’t hurt either.
It could certainly be a square game, but it’s hard to ignore the difference in form between these two teams at the moment. The Wizards are on the rise – they’ve won seven of their last eight games, with the only loss going to the Clippers – while the Celtics have lost six of their last nine.
Russell Westbrook’s improvement in play has been central to the Wizards’ recent success. It still has a bit of trouble in terms of efficiency, but it scores less than 3 points. He’s gone from an average of 4.4 3-point attempts in his first 16 games to just 1.9 in his last eight games. It has allowed him to focus more on what he does best – attacking the rim and racking up assists and rebounds.
There is a chance that Westbrook is sitting on the second stage with a back-to-back, but there is no indication that will happen at this time. Westbrook was in the Wizards’ last consecutive set for the first time since his last year with the Thunder. As long as he’s in the lineup, the Wizards should be able to hang on to a shaken team.
The Heat turned things around after a slow start to the season. They have won nine of their last 12 games, including impressive victories recently over the Lakers and Jazz. This was good enough to propel them to the seventh best record in the East and the best record in the Southeast Division.
Now they face a team of Hawks who could do without a host of important players. De’Andre Hunter and Bogdan Bogdanovic remain on the sidelines with long-term injuries, and Cam Reddish has also been ruled out after initially being listed as questionable. Those three out of the roster have resulted in some big minutes for guys like Tony Snell and Solomon Hill recently, which just isn’t a good formula for winning games.
Trae Young is also questionable, and his absence would be a potential fatal blow to the Hawks. Their net score has dropped 10.0 points per 100 possessions with Young off the field this season, and their offense has absolutely dropped in that situation. I like the idea of grabbing that number now, because that gap will approach double digits if Young is ultimately excluded.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Hawks PG Trae Young (adductor) has been upgraded in probable for tonight’s game against the Heat.
The Sharps also seem to like the Heat, with Miami collecting 91% of betting dollars on just 58% of bets.
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