Mega NBA Sunday Betting, DFS Guide: Will Rockets Continue to Own Nuggets?

Mega NBA Sunday Betting, DFS Guide: Will Rockets Continue to Own Nuggets? article feature image

This SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY, come on down to the Action Network, where we’ll be breaking down all five NBA games in detail. I hope you’re not hungover because this baby is loaded with so much detail your head’s gonna spin. We don’t want to cause any adverse reactions, so proceed at your own risk. — Mark Gallant

All info as of Sunday morning. Check back during the day and keep an eye on our Twitter handle for any updates.

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1 p.m. ET

What I’m watching for: The Hornets actually match up pretty well with Detroit. The Hornets’ scheme allows one-on-one play on the wings while focusing on rotations to the corner and protecting the rim. They can handle Andre Drummond with Dwight Howard, and Blake Griffin isn’t good enough from mid-range to really hurt them. Wings have hurt Charlotte through the years, and the leading scorers in the first two games between these teams this year? Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley — two wings who aren’t on the squad anymore. Unless Reggie Bullock has an absurd game, this is a pretty good spot for the Hornets. — Matt Moore

What the metrics say: The Pistons have hit a downswing after that brief hot run following the Griffin trade. It doesn’t seem that he’s the problem, however: Their main lineup of Ish Smith-Reggie Bullock-Stanley Johnson-Griffin-Drummond has posted a +5.5 net rating in 311 minutes together. They’ve done it mostly on defense, holding opponents to just 96.8 points per 100 possessions, although it is troubling how terrible the Pistons as a whole have been on that side of the ball recently. It seems the only way Stan Van Gundy is going to get this team to the playoffs is to start riding his starters incredibly heavy minutes, as the bench units just aren’t getting it done. — Bryan Mears

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Trend to know: The Pistons enter this contest on a six-game ATS losing streak (their longest since November 2014), and since January 1, they own the worst ATS record in the NBA (6-17). In Blake Griffin’s debut on February 1, Detroit entered having lost seven of its past nine ATS. Since then, the Pistons are 1-8 ATS, with today’s game being just the second time they’ve been listed as the underdog during that time frame. Since acquiring Griffin, Detroit has played a little better on offense and at a faster pace, but the expectations have led to some inflated lines, as the Pistons have failed to cover the spread in four of their straight-up wins. — Evan Abrams

Betting Market: The spread has not seen any interesting action, but the total has. While bets and dollars are slightly favoring the ‘over’, a steam move triggered by Pinnacle on the ‘under’ has moved the total from 214.5 to 212 across the market. — Mark Gallant


3 p.m. ET

What I’m watching for: The Pelicans are 5-5 since the Boogie injury, albeit with more positive signs lately. But part of why New Orleans won the first matchup between these teams was how Milwaukee struggles with size. Without Cousins, it gives the Bucks the ability to play more lineups and to manage their attack. Milwaukee is seventh in net rating in its past 10 games, and the Bucks have actually defended at a high level. Jrue Holiday needs a huge game here. — Matt Moore

What the metrics say: The Pels have put up very impressive offensive performances over the past four games, scoring 124, 139, 118 and 138 points against some decent defenses. The Bucks could be a different animal, though. As Matt mentioned above, the Bucks have been awesome over their past 10 games, especially on defense, where they rank third with a stout 102.5 Defensive Rating. They’ve gone 7-3 over that span, and 3-1 at home. In their first matchup this season, the Pels scored at will, putting up 119.8 points/100. They took a whopping 47 percent of their shots from the rim, and they made 52.0 percent of their 3s. That was with Boogie, though; can the Pels keep up this hot offensive run against an equally hot defensive team? — Bryan Mears

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Trend No. 1 to know: Since Cousins went down for the season, the Pelicans are 5-5 SU and 4-6 ATS, having won four in a row SU behind heroic efforts from Anthony Davis (42.3 PPG and 14.8 RPG). Since January 28 — New Orleans’ first game without Boogie — Davis has the third-highest usage rate in the NBA (34.2%), behind James Harden and Joel Embiid. In the first four months of the season, Davis’ usage rate was 27.5 percent, 27th among players with a minimum of 500 minutes played. — Evan Abrams

Trend No. 2 to know: Since losing Boogie, the Pelicans have turned from the sixth-fastest team (101.48) to easily the fastest team over that stretch (105.61). That’s certainly something to keep in mind as they evolve without Cousins — Evan Abrams


3:30 p.m. ET | ESPN

What I’m watching for: The Spurs are in free fall; the Cavs are 4-1 since the trade deadline. I just don’t know enough about this Cavs defense, which has been second in the NBA in that very short stint in defensive rating, to know whether they can handle the precision of San Antonio’s offense. The Spurs’ system should win the day … but they are losing to teams like the Nuggets, who they have historically owned. The matchups, the situation, the trends — they all seem to fade the Spurs, who if they lose this game are going to suddenly find themselves in a very serious playoff positioning situation. — Matt Moore

Betting Market: Once again, public bettors are all over the Cavs. Sharp bettors don’t feel the same way, though. At Pinnacle, perhaps the sharpest offshore book, Cleveland has gone from -5 to -4 despite getting nearly 80% of bets. We’ve tracked four bet signals on the spread and all four have been on San Antonio. Cleveland remains at -4.5 at many books, but this type of action represents a clear pros vs. Joes divide. — Mark Gallant

What the metrics say: Early returns on the new Cavs are promising, especially offensively. Their most-used lineup since the trade deadline — a combination of George Hill-JR Smith-LeBron James-Cedi Osman-Tristan Thompson — has steamrolled opponents, posting a 127.8 Offensive Rating and +19.8 Net Rating in 97 minutes. Even the top lineup without LeBron — an all-bench unit headed by the Lakers guys — has dominated, posting a +30.8 net rating in 52 minutes together. They’ll get a tough test today, however, against a Spurs team that ranks second in defensive efficiency. — Bryan Mears

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Trend No. 1 to know: LeBron James has faced the Spurs 14 times in total since the 2013-14 season. He’s gone 4-10 SU and 5-9 ATS, having lost three consecutives games SU and ATS. — Evan Abrams

Trend No. 2 to know: San Antonio enters this game on a four-game SU losing streak. Since 2005, no team has been more profitable when facing a non-conference opponent when they are on a SU losing streak than the Spurs. San Antonio is 63-36-1 ATS (63.6%) in that spot, good for a 24.4 percent ROI. — Evan Abrams


8 p.m. ET

What I’m watching for: I’ve never been more Sato-sfied. Tomas Satoransky has been absolutely killing it for the Wizards with John Wall out. What’s interesting is multiple league sources confirmed this week that their teams were in talks for Satoransky at the trade deadline, but all deals fell apart for a variety of reasons. He’s big, he’s a playmaker, he’s efficient, and the team is behind him. Watching him vs. Ben Simmons is reason enough to tune in. — Matt Moore

What the metrics say: This is an important game for playoff positioning, and the 76ers come in red hot of late. They’re fifth with a +8.6 net rating over the past 10 games, and their defense ranks second to only the Jazz during that span. Each team has held serve at home in the first three meetings this year, with the most recent being a 13-point win by Philly just a couple weeks ago. Joel Embiid showed why he’s likely the Defensive Player of the Year frontrunner in that one, as Washington didn’t even go near the rim. The Wizards took just 24 percent of their shots at the hoop, which ranks in the seventh percentile of all games this season. If Embiid deters them from efficient shots again, the room for error is smaller and the Wizards will need some hot shooting to keep up with the surging 76ers. — Bryan Mears

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

DFS nugget: Ben Simmons has finally busted out of his rookie slump, posting an average Plus/Minus of +4.14 on FanDuel over his past 10 games. That includes exceeding expectations in six straight prior to seeing just 28.5 minutes in a blowout win against the Magic. His upside at the PF position is unmatched – his ceiling projection is more than 15 points higher than the No. 2 option – which makes him very appealing in guaranteed prize pools (GPPs). — Matt LaMarca

Trend to know: The Wizards are 10-18 ATS (35.7%) at home this season. In the past decade, teams covering fewer than 40 percent of their home games this late into the season cover the spread at a very different rate based on if the public is backing them or not when they play at home.

  • Spread ticket percentage of 49% or less: 53.4% win rate, +3.9% ROI
  • Spread ticket percentage of 50-plus%: 43.0% win rate, -15.8% ROI

Fifty-eight percent of the early betting tickets were on the Wizards at the time of publication. — Evan Abrams


8 p.m. ET

What I’m watching for: Denver can’t match up with this team. Everyone knows it. Denver knows it. The coaches know it. The front offices know it. The fans know it. The Rockets’ precision in the pick and roll, their specific athleticism advantages, their quick-release shooting, how they control tempo — they all render Denver powerless. Don’t be surprised by a beatdown and the over. — Matt Moore

What the metrics say: Yeah, Matt’s right. The Rockets won the first two games by a combined 56 points, and they had no issues at any point offensively, scoring 135.7 and 126.0 points/100. Those games are both in the 93rd-plus percentile of offensive performances this season. Houston took 42 percent of its shots from the rim and 39 percent from the 3-point line, and Denver wasn’t able to stop anything from going in from those areas. This is how bad the most recent game was: Cleaning the Glass scrubs out garbage time from its game logs, and for the last meeting it says garbage time started at 12:00 left in the fourth quarter. The whole freaking last quarter was garbage time! We’ll see if the Nuggets can at least make this one more interesting than that. — Bryan Mears

Betting Market: Three separate bet signals on the ‘under’ have moved the total against what public bettors were expecting. Though nearly 80% of bets are on the ‘over’, these sharp moves on the ‘under’ have moved the line from 228 to 225 since opening. — Mark Gallant

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

DFS nugget: The top matchup on the Rockets belongs to Chris Paul. He has an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.31, which leads all point guards on today’s slate. He’s been dreadful recently, averaging a Plus/Minus of -5.80 over his past 10 games, but Paul’s salary has decreased by $500 on DraftKings and $700 on FanDuel over that time frame. This could be a nice opportunity to buy low on him. — Matt LaMarca

Trend No. 1 to know: The Nuggets are 17-3 SU and 13-6-1 ATS at home against the Western Conference this season. Their 17-3 SU mark at home is the most profitable in-conference record in the NBA. — Evan Abrams

Trend No. 2 to know: Under Mike D’Antoni, the Rockets are 29-33 ATS when facing opponents with an above-.500 SU record. But since February 1, Houston is 6-0 SU and ATS, covering the spread by 13.8 PPG. — Evan Abrams

Top photo via Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports