NBA Odds, Expert Picks: Best Bets For Clippers vs. Nuggets, Timberwolves vs. Warriors
Justin Tafoya/Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets.
- The NBA has a packed slate with four nationally televised games, and our Action Network NBA betting experts have best bets for all four games.
- Find totals, moneylines and spread picks for each game, including Clippers vs. Nuggets.
- Read on for all six best bets and analysis below.
The NBA has games all day on Sunday, including nine total matchups and four nationally televised games. Our NBA betting experts have six best bets for those nationally televised games, including three picks for Suns vs. Bucks at 1 p.m. ET. Find our betting analysts’ best bets and analysis below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Suns vs. Bucks Moneyline
Alex Hinton: The Phoenix Suns will be in Milwaukee to battle the Bucks in a rematch of the 2021 NBA Finals. It is possible that we get a rematch in this year’s NBA Finals. The Bucks are certainly playing like a team capable of getting back to the Finals as they are currently riding a 13-game winning streak. In that span, they have a +12 Net Rating.
The winning streak has coincided with the return of former two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has been dominant during the stretch. However, Antetokounmp is listed as doubtful for Sunday with a right quad contusion. It is important to note that he left the Bucks’ last two games early because of injuries, and the Bucks still won by double digits against the Bulls and Heat.
However, the last time the Bucks faced a title contender, they needed overtime to survive against the Celtics down all five starters. Enter the Suns, who have been playing well themselves. They have won nine of their past 13 games over the same stretch and have a +4.3 Net Rating in that span.
The Suns have gotten healthy of late with the return of Devin Booker to the starting lineup. Booker is averaging 23.2 PPG in the five games since his return. Meanwhile, Deandre Ayton is averaging 22.9 points and 10.1 rebounds while shooting nearly 70% from the field. In the two meetings last year, Ayton dominated by averaging 28.5 points and shooting 79% from the field.
Since losing to the Bucks in the finals, the Suns will always have a little extra motivation when facing them. You can take +4 to be safer. However, with Antetokounmpo, I am trusting Booker and the Suns to get this done on the road and end the Bucks’ winning streak.
Pick: Suns ML +136
Suns vs. Bucks Spread
Andrew O’Connor-Watts: Buckle up for this one because I’m fading the Suns, even with Giannis Antetokounmpo listed as doubtful. Since trading for Kevin Durant, the Suns are 2-2-1 ATS according to Sports Insights—about as average as it comes.
By trading for Durant, Phoenix sacrificed depth for a higher championship ceiling, and until he returns (targeting Mar. 1), that ceiling is theoretical, but the issue of depth is very much a reality.
In their last game, the Suns failed to cover a nine-point spread against the Thunder without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and the result of that game could have ramifications tonight.
Here’s data from BetLabs showing the statistics for fading opponents the game immediately after they play the Thunder:
The Bucks are also on a 13-game winning streak during which they’ve gone 9-4 ATS entering the NBA Finals rematch from the 2020-2021 season. I don’t see them the Bucks rolling over for this one.
To top it all off, Milwaukee has played surprisingly well without Antetokounmpo, going 6-5 straight up and 6-4-1 ATS. Wait until Antetokounmpo’s is officially ruled out before placing the bet as this number should drop once his status is official. Take the Bucks down to -3.5.
Pick: Bucks -3.5
Suns vs. Bucks 1H Total
Jim Turvey: Unfortunately for the NBA, Giannis Antetokounmpo is doubtful, and Kevin Durant is out, but there’s still plenty to be intrigued by in Sunday’s matinee matchup.
The Bucks opened as five-point favorites, but as game time approaches, the line has moved to Bucks -3.5.
I am going to target the first half. I’m doing this because these are two of the five teams that most frequently have gone to the under in the first half this season.
The Suns are a wild 40-21-0 to the under in the first half this season, an ROI of +25.4%–easily the highest in the NBA. The Bucks have always skewed to that direction, as well though, having gone 34-25-0 (+10.0% ROI) to the under before the break this season.
When combined with all the matchup data above suggesting an under, I quite like the first half under for the Bucks and Suns on Sunday’s ABC matchup.
Lakers vs. Mavericks 1H Spread
Malik Smith: The Lakers haven’t done well in early games this season. In matchups that begin before 7 p.m. ET, the Lakers are 2-4 against the spread and that includes their Christmas Day loss to the Mavericks. You may remember, however, that the Lakers were leading that game at the half. I think that’s where we’ll find the most value in this game.
This season, the Lakers are 34-26 against the first half spread, including 25-18 as dogs in the first half. The Mavericks are 24-35-2 ATS in the first half and 16-23-2 as favorites.
In those same games that started before 7 p.m. ET, the Lakers were 5-1 ATS in the first half. With L.A. coming off a few days rest and I think we’ll see James and Co. come out with some urgency early. I’m betting them at +1.5, and I’ll also take a stab at the Lakers’ first half moneyline at plus money.
Pick: Lakers 1H +1.5
Timberwolves vs. Warriors 1H/1Q Over
Andrew O’Connor-Watts: These teams played at the beginning of the month and the Warriors lost in overtime. I expect them to start fat, but they could be without their two best defenders in Draymond Green (knee), who’s been tagged as questionable, and Andrew Wiggins (personal), who is doubtful and without a timetable to return.
Additionally, there are some compelling trends that push me toward some early overs.
The Wolves have been one of the worst teams at protecting the 3-point line, ranking just 22nd in Defensive 3-point Accuracy (37.2%) on the season and 18th in 3-Point Frequency (35.6%), per Cleaning the Glass.
The Warriors shoot an insanely high volume of 3-pointers, even without Stephen Curry in the lineup. In the past seven games without Curry, the Warriors have taken less than 40% of their shots from beyond the arc in just one game.
I like both teams to get out and run. I’ll take the first quarter over up to 59 and the first half over up to 119.
Clippers vs. Nuggets Spread
Jacob McKenna: Even though we have a motivated Clippers team going up against a Nuggets squad that is playing on the second leg of a back-to-back, I believe that Denver is set up well to have a bounce back performance.
As previously mentioned, Los Angeles has had a hard time guarding the perimeter in 2023. That can cause some problems against any opponent on any given night, but it will likely be a major issue against a Nuggets team that is shooting an incredible 41.3% from behind the arc on their home court this season. That percentage ranks first in the NBA.
Additionally, according to TeamRankings, the Nuggets have been the best team when it comes to covering the spread at home, owning an ATS record of 20-10-1.
Memphis is a great defensive team, so I’m not all that surprised that Denver struggled last night. The Clippers present a much softer matchup on that end of the floor, and I expect the best offense in the NBA to take advantage of it and go up 4-0 in the season series.
Pick: Nuggets -2.5
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