Mavericks Over Lakers and Free NBA Picks Sunday 1/22
After an insane Saturday slate (11 games), the NBA world calms down considerably on Sunday, which boasts a light four-game schedule.
Last night was a ton of fun for NBA DFS, betting and flat out pro basketball, but Sunday’s light slate may make it a little easier to focus on which games we should target.
Sunday’s NBA slate is light on NBA stars and marquee matchups, but that’s precisely why it could be perfect for NBA betting purposes. Let’s dive into today’s slate and see which way we’ll want to lean with each contest:
This will undoubtedly be the easiest game to call on Sunday, as Stephen Curry and co. get things going at 11:00 am ET in Orlando against the Magic. Orlando is in a bad spot here, as they simply haven’t looked great lately and will be taking on one of the best teams in the league.
The Dubs’ main weakness is the road, but they’ve been just fine away from home (17-3) and have a good history against the Magic (won six straight). Golden State enters the Amway Center hot in general, too, winning six straight and 9 of their last 10.
It only gets worse for the Magic, who should again be without top shooting guards, Evan Fournier and Joe Meeks. The Magic can grind opponents away when they slow things down, but doing so undermanned against the best team in the Western Conference feels like a reach. Instead, the Dubs feel like the easiest bet of this slate.
A more difficult game to gauge could be this showdown in Dallas between the Lakers and Mavericks. L.A. got a surprise home win over the Pacers in their last game, while Dallas comes in slumping with two straight losses (just 4-6 over their last 10 games).
Dallas could again be without star center Andrew Bogut, but that may not be so problematic for a Lakers team that thrives on perimeter offense and bench scoring. The Lakers are banged up, themselves, as star point guard D’Angelo Russell, Luol Deng and Larry Nance are all ailing. Russell, for one, didn’t even travel with the team:
Still awaiting results of D’Angelo Russell’s MRI on his sprained right MCL. He is not on the trip to Dallas with the team.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 21, 2017
Los Angeles is a little more explosive offensively, but they stink on the road (just 5-18 away from the Staples Center) and have been getting smoked in this series (Dallas has won 12 straight). The Mavs aren’t at all a reliable (or safe) bet these days, but they’re a little more cohesive. In this spot, we like the Mavs to squeak out a close one.
Another game that should be easy to call has the Suns touching down in Toronto to battle the Raptors. This presents the second biggest spread of the day, and for good reason, as the Raptors are very tough to beat (15-6) at the Air Canada Centre.
The only thing Phoenix has going for them is that they can explode on offense and they actually have been decent in this matchup (won 5 of the last 7 meetings). Devin Booker and Eric Bledsoe have been playing very well lately, and while the Suns are awful (5-17) on the road, their offensive capabilities make them a mild threat.
Of course, the only real play here for the Suns is to beat the spread, but Toronto is extremely efficient on offense and will probably keep the Suns at bay. Look for a Raptors blowout win.
The best game on Sunday goes down in Minnesota and ends the night, as Nikola Jokic looks to continue his tear against the Timberwolves. Jokic has been a one-man wrecking crew lately, and provided he doesn’t sit this one out (ankle), he should thrive again.
Minnesota does play a little better at home and certainly has offensive potential, but they’ve struggled all year to close games. They will also be missing star point guard Ricky Rubio (personal), which won’t help their chances:
Ricky Rubio will be OUT for tomorrow's game vs. Denver due to personal reasons.
— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) January 21, 2017
Then again, that could shift the offensive focus to Karl-Anthony Towns, as he could easily feast down low in this matchup. The Wolves haven’t done well in this matchup lately (lost five straight), and the absence of their offensive leader (Rubio) may not help that. We can brace for a ton of points and an exciting game, but don’t be shocked if Jokic and co. edge the Wolves out in this one.