These NFL Divisional Round games are next to impossible to figure out so I’m going to use some of my Sunday betting bankroll on the NBA. My favorite gambling looks in the NBA Sunday are in the Knicks-Raptors and Nets-Warriors.
(Buyer beware: It’s the “load management” era in the NBA and random injury news. NBA players are sitting out more games. It would behoove you to wait until the final injury reports before betting.)
New York Knicks (25-22) at Toronto Raptors (20-27)
All three of the first Knicks-Raptors meetings this season have gone Over the total by 10.7 points per game (PPG) on average. These teams met earlier this month in Toronto and three of the four quarters trended Over the total.
NYK’s second-ranked defensive 3-point percentage is flukey while Toronto’s 28th-ranked defensive 3-point rate makes sense. The Knicks allow the third-highest wide-open 3-point-attempt rate (3PAr) in the NBA and the Raptors are fifth.
Either way, both teams will have wide-open looks from behind the arc and that helps my Over. Also, NYK defensive big Mitchell Robinson is sidelined with an injury so New York’s defense should be a little softer on the interior.
Plus both teams crash the glass. The Knicks are third in offensive rebounding rate and lead the NBA in second-chance PPG. The Raptors are fourth in both second-chance PPG and offensive rebounding rate.
Lastly, NYK has gone Over the total in its last four games vs. teams with a losing record. Toronto is 4-0 Over/Under in its last four games vs. teams with a winning record.
NBA Best Bet #1: OVER 222 in Knicks-Raptors (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook, up to 222.5
Brooklyn Nets (28-17) at Golden State Warriors (23-23)
Surprise, surprise, the Nets kinda suck without Kevin Durant who’s been injured for the past five games. They are 1-4 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) in those games.
Also, Brooklyn scores 11.0 fewer points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time with KD off the floor, per CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG). The Nets are 29th in non-garbage time offensive rating over the past two weeks.
Warriors coach Steven Kerr tweaked the starting 5 by replacing big Kevon Looney with combo guard Jordan Poole. That change should cause problems for the Nets who have no defense in their backcourt.
Kyrie Irving and SG Joe Harris don’t play a lot of defense neither does backup guards Seth Curry nor Cam Thomas. Adding Poole to the Splash Brothers — Klay Thompson and Steph Curry — will overwhelm Brooklyn.
Furthermore, the Warriors return home after a five-game road trip. Golden State is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games following a road trip of a week or longer.
The Warriors are 14-7-1 ATS at home this season. They score three more points at home (119.2-116.2 PPG) and allow more than 10 points fewer on the road (122.9-112.5).
NBA Best Bet #2: Warriors -7.5 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook, up to -8
You can listen to the audio versions of these handicaps on my recently launched NBA Hoops At Lunch show on the OutKick Bets Podcast feed Monday-Friday.
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Listen to the ‘OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark’ podcast HERE.
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