The NBA season rolls on with eight games on Sunday, including four nationally televised games. Our NBA staff has two best bets for the last two games of the night on ESPN, including a total bet for Raptors-Cavaliers and a spread pick for Knicks-Lakers. Check out their best bets and analysis below.
NBA Odds & Picks
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|Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers||7:30 p.m. ET|
|New York Knicks vs. LA Clippers||10 p.m. ET|
Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
|Tipoff||7:30 p.m. ET|
Austin Wang: I expect a slow, defensive matchup between these the Raptors and Cavs. Both play at slow tempos, have above-average defenses and below-average offenses.
If Fred VanVleet is confirmed out for the Raptors, I don’t anticipate their output will be very high without their leading scorer.
With both teams fighting for playoff seeding in the stacked Eastern Conference, this is a huge game with many implications. The defensive intensity will be high as both teams look to get an advantage with seeding and stop the bleeding from their respective recent struggles.
New York Knicks vs. LA Clippers
|Tipoff||10 p.m. ET|
Kenny Ducey: The Knicks are a nightmare right now. They’ve lost seven straight and 17 of their last 20 dating back to mid-January. They’ve only covered in two of their last 10.
The nice thing here, though, is that New York did cover last time out in a loss to Phoenix and has also led at the half in five of its last seven games. That’s correlated to a 6-1 record against the spread in the first half over that span.
As hot on the Knicks first half as I’ve been, and as well as they’ve competed against some of the league’s best teams, I’m still not ready to put my faith in them here in what is a pretty adverse scenario.
We’ve seen Tom Thibodeau exposed in his second year with the Knicks, declining to make adjustments and getting out-coached by many in the league. Lue should be one of those coaches, making the necessary adjustments here to see his team through.
As well as the Knicks have defended in the post, I find it hard to believe Marcus Morris would be held without a basket like he was the last time these two teams met. We also shouldn’t expect the Knicks to shoot over 44% from three again, considering the Clippers have excelled on the defensive end lately and for the season rank fourth-best in 3-point defense.