The NBA’s Sunday schedule is robust, with eight games including four on national television, kicking off with a 1 p.m. ET matchup between the Sixers and Knicks on ABC, and wrapping up with a Pelicans-Lakers contest at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Our analysts have picks on both of those games, as well as a third in the late afternoon between the Jazz and Sunday on ABC.
Here are our three best bets from Sunday’s NBA slate.
NBA Odds & Picks
|Click on a game to skip ahead|
|Philadelphia 76ers vs. New York Knicks||1 p.m. ET|
|Utah Jazz vs. Phoenix Suns||3:30 p.m. ET|
|New Orleans Pelicans vs. Los Angeles Lakers||10 p.m. ET|
|Tipoff||1 p.m. ET|
Kenny Ducey: James Harden debuted to great acclaim on Friday night in a huge 133-102 win over the Timberwolves, helping Philly to a 130.4 offensive rating — its biggest of the season. The offensive explosion was complete with plenty of great passing from Harden, who was able to get Joel Embiid some great looks at the rim and Tobias Harris and others open looks on the perimeter.
The Knicks have failed to cover in 10 of the last 12 games and seem to be trending fast in the wrong direction. On top of that, they’ve now lost promising young guard Quentin Grimes for at least two weeks after he dislocated his kneecap in Friday’s loss to the Heat.
The Knicks played great defense against the Heat to keep that game close, and while the Sixers did showcase some incredible offense on Friday, I see this as a big-time letdown spot.
These two teams rank 14th and 25th, respectively, in pace in February, and they both played incredible defense last time out. With a little shooting variance kicking in on both sides, I think we will see a lower-scoring game.
|Tipoff||3:30 p.m. ET|
Joe Dellera: The Jazz have struggled against the Suns and have lost six consecutive games to their Western Conference foes. So what is different here?
Utah’s defense is gelling as of late, and that’s not a good sign for a team without its top two point guard options. Without Chris Paul and Cam Payne to facilitate and find holes in the defense, it should be harder for Phoenix to push in transition, which would be the best way to attack this Jazz defense that excels in the halfcourt.
On the season, these teams are separated by just 1.1 in Adjusted Net Rating with the Suns beating the Jazz. However, the absence of Paul looms large and dramatically changes this matchup and I expect Utah to pick up a victory.
|Tipoff||10 p.m. ET|
Austin Wang: Since LeBron James joined the Lakers in the 2018-19 season, the Lakers are 9-2 against the Pelicans.
I like the Lakers to bounce back after a loss. This season, the Lakers are 14-5 straight up and 11-8 against the spread as the favorites after the lost their last game, per the Sports Data Query Language at Gimme the Dog.
On the other hand, I see the Pelicans in a let-down situation. They are 2-12 straight up and 4-10 ATS as the underdogs after their won their last game, per the SDQL.
In addition, I can see James being more motivated after being in the midst of so much controversy in the NBA media in the last couple of weeks. I’ll take the Lakers to get the win at home and cover the spread.