NBA Sunday Betting: Westbrook-Lillard, No Steph in Warriors-Jazz, More

NBA Sunday Betting: Westbrook-Lillard, No Steph in Warriors-Jazz, More article feature image

Do you know what the last thing in the world I would want to be right now is? The knee of a star point guard. Good Lord Almighty, I wouldn’t want to be Chris Paul’s or Russell Westbrook’s knees. Much like the Terminator eliminating one Sarah Connor after another, some evil presence is going after knees at a ferocious pace. My guess is that Derrick Rose performed some type of ritual to harness the power of other point guards’ knees to revive his own, but I have no proof of such tomfoolery.

Nevertheless, I believe there are some games for us to go over… — 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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3:30 p.m. ET

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

What the metrics say: Giannis Antetokounmpo was questionable to suit up after missing Friday’s win with a sprained ankle, but has been given the green light. As you might expect, he is very important to the Bucks’ success: They have been 12.9 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor this season, which is in the 96th percentile of all players. The defense has really tanked anytime he’s been off the floor, giving up a miserable 9.9 points/100 more than with him on. Opponents have increased their effective field goal rate by 4.0 percent, their offensive rebound rate by 4.5 percent and their free throw rate by 3.6 percent with Giannis off the floor. Put simply, he’s a legit MVP candidate and helps his team in almost every area of the floor. — Bryan Mears

Betting market: With the Greek Freak set to play, the Bucks have gone from +2.5 to +1.5. The total has also gone up a boat load, as his presence has caused it to rise from 203.5 to 208 since opening. — Mark Gallant

Trend to know: Over the past decade, the Spurs are the most-profitable team against the spread by a large margin, covering 53.9 percent of their games. Over that span, when San Antonio has a win rate under 60 percent, it is 60-36-2 ATS (62.5%), covering the spread by 2.2 PPG. — Evan Abrams


6 p.m. ET

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

What the metrics say: The Raptors have lost two of their past four games and almost dropped their most recent contest at home against Brooklyn. The issue has been their defense: They gave up 129.0 points/100 to Oklahoma City and 141.9 points/100 to Cleveland. Both of those marks are in the bottom 3% of defensive performances this season. They’ll need to be better than that against the Clippers, who rank in the top 10 this season in offensive efficiency, effective field goal percentage, offensive rebound rate and offensive foul rate. The Clips won their only meeting this season in what was a defensive slugfest, so if the Raptors don’t regain their focus, they could be upset at home here. — Bryan Mears

DFS nugget: On paper, the Raptors are a team to target on today’s slate. They lead all teams with an implied team total of 117 points, and the Clippers rank sixth in pace this season. That said, the Raptors are a very tough team to peg for DFS purposes, thanks in part to one of the best benches in the history of the NBA. One player from that bench who’s worth considering is Fred VanVleet. He’s averaged 0.94 fantasy points per minute this season and has seen at least 27.5 minutes in four of his past five games. — Matt LaMarca

Trend to know: The Raptors enter this game against the Clippers on a five-game ATS losing streak. Since 2005, teams with a win rate of 70% or higher in January or later who are on an ATS losing streak of five or more games are 27-16-1 ATS (62.8%) in their next game. — Evan Abrams


7 p.m. ET

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

What the metrics say: After reeling off 13 in a row, the Blazers have now lost to the Rockets and the Celtics. Unfortunately, things may not get easier against the Thunder, who have won seven of their past eight. Portland lost those two recent games on the defensive end, allowing a poor 132.2 and 112.9 points/100. I like the Blazers to bounce back here: They rank fifth in effective field goal percentage allowed this season, and they won all three of their previous meetings against OKC this season thanks to excellent defensive performances. In their most recent affair in early March, they held Westbrook to 12-of-31 shooting, and the rest of the team couldn’t compensate. If Westbrook’s struggles against Portland’s defense continues, the Blazers will be able to bounce back from their back-to-back losses. — Bryan Mears

DFS nugget: Corey Brewer has somewhat quietly become an important part of the Thunder’s rotation recently. He’s played at least 28 minutes in eight straight games and has averaged 0.88 fantasy points per minute over the past month. Brewer is still priced down across the industry and looks like a solid value play on today’s slate. — Matt LaMarca

Trend No. 1 to know: The Blazers have had recent success against the Thunder, covering and winning their past five games against OKC. Since the 2013-14 season, the Blazers are 13-6 SU against the Thunder. — Evan Abrams

Trend No. 2 to know: Against the Western Conference this season, the Blazers and Thunder could not be on more opposite planets. — Evan Abrams

  • Blazers: 23-16-3 ATS, +2.8 ATS differential
  • Thunder: 16-29 ATS, -2.2 ATS differential


8:30 p.m. ET

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

What the metrics say: Stephen Curry is probably somehow underrated in the NBA now. He has to share the spotlight with Kevin Durant, but he still has the metrics of an MVP-like player. The Warriors are a ridiculous 10.9 points/100 better with him on the floor this season, and that number jumps up to a stupid 15.1 points/100 on offense. The Dubs increase their effective field goal percentage by 6.6 percent, their free throw rate by 4.9 percent and they play much faster as well. That is one of the more underrated on/off stats in the league; Steph affects his team’s pace more than any player in the NBA. Considering Golden State plays the Jazz, who rank bottom-five in pace, the under could be worth a look. — Bryan Mears

Betting market: This game is seeing some of the most interesting action on the slate on both the side and total. Nobody was liking the Warriors’ B-Squad in the first place and that remains the same after the Draymond Green injury news, as Utah is getting 70% of bets and 90% of early dollars.  The under is not seeing the same sharp and square agreement, though. Fifty-six percent of bets are on the over, but 77% of dollars are on the under. The total has dropped four points since opening at Bookmaker and has shown no signs of stopping. — Mark Gallant

Did you know? Over the Warriors’ past four games without Durant and Klay Thompson, just 25 minutes of Steph Curry and just a little over two games of Draymond Green, here are Golden State’s team efficiency ratings:

  • Net: +3.7
  • Off/Def: 102.9 | 99.2
  • Pace: 97.53
  • eFG%: 51.3%

Meanwhile, here are the Spurs’ same numbers over the full 2017-18 season so far…

  • Net: +3.6
  • Off/Def: 105.3 | 101.8
  • Pace: 97.20
  • eFG%: 50.9% — Evan Abrams

Trend No. 1 to know: This is the first time Golden State has been a home underdog under Steve Kerr. The last time the Warriors were getting points in Oakland was Feb. 20, 2014, against the Houston Rockets. Including the playoffs, the Dubs are 12-12 SU and ATS as underdogs under Kerr. — John Ewing

Trend No. 2 to know: Since 2005, only four teams with a win rate of 70% or higher, playing in March or later as a home underdog, have faced an opponent with a win rate below 60 percent. Those teams are 0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS. — Evan Abrams

Quick Hits on the Rest of the Slate


1 p.m. ET

Trend No. 1 to know: Cleveland has been the least-profitable team against the spread as a road favorite this season, going 6-17 ATS and costing a $100 bettor $1,140. — John Ewing

Trend No. 2 to know: Since LeBron James returned to the Cavs in 2014-15, Cleveland is 11-26 ATS (29.7%) vs. Eastern Conference opponents with a win rate below 33%. Over that span, the Cavs are failing to cover the spread by over 5.0 PPG. — Evan Abrams


5 p.m. ET

Trend to know: Since Jan. 1st, the Heat are 22-11-4 ATS (66.7%) — the most-profitable team in the NBA. Over that span, Miami hasn’t lost three games in a row ATS, and they are 15-5-3 ATS (75%) against the Eastern Conference, covering by 3.5 PPG. — Evan Abrams


6 p.m. ET

DFS nugget: The Knicks will reportedly be pretty thin in their frontcourt on today’s slate, with Lance Thomas and Kyle O’Quinn joining Kristaps Porzingis on the sidelines. That could result in a few additional minutes for Luke Kornet, who has averaged 1.04 fantasy points per minute over the past month. He’s priced at the near minimum across the industry. — Matt LaMarca

Trend No. 1 to know: Washington opened as a double-digit favorite. Big favorites have not performed well against bad teams (win rate of 40% or less) this season, going 38-56-4 (40%) ATS. However, the Wizards have been the exception to the rule, going 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS when giving poor opponents 10 or points. — John Ewing

Trend No. 2 to know: Since November of 2013, the Wizards are 15-1 SU and 12-4 ATS against the Knicks, with a PPG differential of +7.4. The Wizards’ last loss against the Knicks came in October of 2015 behind 37 points from former Knick Carmelo Anthony. — Evan Abrams


6 p.m. ET

Trend No. 1 to know: Under Brad Stevens, when the line has gotten better for Boston (opened -6.5, now -6) the Celtics have gone 99-65-3 (60%) ATS. However, the Celtics performed better as underdogs (55-26-1, 68% ATS) than as favorites (44-39-2, 53% ATS) in this sample. — John Ewing

Trend No. 2 to know: Boston has not only been able to hold serve this season without Kyrie Irving, it has actually been a very profitable team. The Celtics are 8-4 SU and 9-3 ATS without Kyrie, including 7-2 SU since the end of January. — Evan Abrams


8 p.m. ET

DFS nugget: Taurean Prince has the potential to be a usage monster today for the Hawks. He’s posted a usage rate of at least 29.9 percent in four of his past seven games, and the Hawks could be without starting PG Dennis Schroder on today’s slate. So far this season, Prince has seen a usage bump of +6.6 percent with Schroder and Kent Bazemore off the floor. — Matt LaMarca

Trend to know: Since 2005, teams playing at home with a win rate of 70% or higher versus a team with a win rate below 30%, in a non-conference game, are 116-8 straight-up (93.5%). Since 2010, home teams are 64-2 SU in this spot. — Evan Abrams

Betting market: Heavy reverse line movement has taken place in this game, with Atlanta moving from +15 to +12 despite just 28% of bets. They are, however, commanding 53% of dollars. — Mark Gallant

Photo credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports