There are only four NBA games for Sunday, but there’s still plenty of betting value out there. Our NBA analysts Andrew O’Connor-Watts and Chris Baker have prepared two bets for the Cavaliers-Lakers and Wizards-Grizzlies matchups. Check out their picks and analysis below.
NBA Odds & Tips
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Andrew O’Connor-Watts: I’ve been all aboard the Lakers fade train this season and been pretty strong with the Cavs, but I’m going with the Lakers today.
Cavaliers guards Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland are still questionable after Friday night’s win over the Pistons. But even with the two guards playing, I like LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lake Show to cover the +4.5.
Despite the Lakers’ historically poor shooting earlier in the season, they have a seventh-place offensive rating (114.8) over the past three games. And even though their defense has dropped over that time span, they still have a positive net rating (+0.4).
They’ve also kept their turnover rate low (12.2%), which they’ve been successful at all season, but in the last two games only the Toronto Raptors (11.9%) have a lower turnover rate.
The Cavs have been one of the top ATS teams this season, going 7-1, but the Lakers have dominated the historic matchup between the two teams since James joined the Lakers.
The Lakers have won/covered seven of their last 10 games and are 5-1 ATS in their last six games in Los Angeles.
I like the Lakers as a house dog to +3.
Washington Wizards vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Chris Baker: I’m not a big believer in this Wizards team this season, but I think that number is a little high. The Wizards are currently 23rd in the net adjusted rankings and the Grizzlies are 11th and have been particularly explosive on offense where they rank fifth in the offensive adjusted rankings according to dunksandthrees.com.
Bradley Beal will be out for that event, but that should help the Wizards defense, which ranks 17th in defensive standings despite playing the second-toughest opposing attacking schedule this year. This defense is a solid unit, and they pair very well with the Grizzlies.
The two keys to defeating the Grizzlies in recent seasons have been defensive rebounding and transition defense. Memphis has an offensive rebound rate of 34.2%, which is an NBA leader. The Wizards defense did a great job blocking and limiting second chances as they rank second in defensive rebound rate. I expect the wizards to confine Steven Adams to the glass.
Wizards’ transition defenses were also solid, ranking fifth in preventing transition opportunities. Forcing Memphis to play on half-court will be imperative.
Finally, defending Ja Morant is one of the biggest keys to stopping the Grizzlies. The Wizards don’t have particularly elite guards, but they’ve done a great job protecting the rim as they lead the NBA by allowing just 28.2% of opposing shots to the rim.
When defense clicks for the Wizards, they have enough offensive firepower to stay close against a Grizzlies team that ranks 21st in points per 100 possessions allowed (114.8). Trust the Wizards to compete on Sunday night.