Our Staff's Best Bets in the NBA on Saturday Night

Our staff of NBA betting analysts break down their favorite picks for the slate on Saturday night, including a player prop and spread pick.

Super Bowl weekend is a bettor’s paradise, and it starts tonight.

We have a full slate of sports on the docket, with the UFC, college basketball and NBA all in action.

On the professional hardwood, we have a big-time primetime matchup between Stephen Curry’s Golden State Warriors and LeBron James’ Lakers. At the same time, the Mavericks will look to stay hot against the Clippers in Dallas.

Of the 11 games on the docket, these are the two we like the most. Check out our breakdowns and picks below.

NBA Odds & Picks

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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors 8:30 p.m. ET
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks 8:30 p.m. ET

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors

Pick Stephen Curry: 4+ 3s -166, 5+ 3s +140 at FD
Book FanDuel
Tipoff 8:30 p.m. ET

Brandon Anderson: There’s something about watching Steph Curry hit 3s against LeBron James that just feels right.

Curry and LeBron have gone head-to-head 39 times, actually more in the NBA Finals than in the regular season remarkably, with plenty of memorable head-to-head matchups along the way. And Curry has always brought his guns to the fight against LeBron.

Since the start of 2014, Curry is 145-of-360 on 3s in games against LeBron, averaging 4.8 makes per game on 40%. Curry has had at least four 3s in 20 of those 35 games (57%) and almost half of them (46%) with at least five makes. And of course that doesn’t even account for the fact that Steph’s volume has only gone up, up, up in recent years while most of that data is from Finals matchups from half a decade ago.

For as much as we say Steph has been in a shooting slump this year, he’s still made at least three 3s in all but eight of his games, establishing a very high and reliable floor. That’s why it’s silly to place this line at 3.5 makes, since we only need one more than that floor. Curry has at least four 3s in 71% of his games this year, putting this prop well in our favor even at implied 62%. Even better that the Lakers are playing fast this year, which bodes well for a high-scoring shootout and even more volume than usual.

Besides, are we sure Steph is still slumping? Over the past month, Curry is averaging 4.1 makes on 11.2 3-point attempts, hitting 37% (admittedly still low, for him) with at least four 3s in nine of the 13 games.

I’ll also take the opportunity to play the alternate over-4.5 makes at +140. That’s only one extra trey, and Steph has hit five or more 3s in over half his games this season. We’re getting plus juice because of the perceived slump, but Steph always shows up for LeBron games and I think he’ll bring his shooting boots.

We’re projecting Curry at 5.5 makes tonight in this nationally televised game. Let’s ride.

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Los Angeles Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks

Pick Mavericks -7
Book Caesars
Tipoff 8:30 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass

Matthew Trebby: These teams met two nights ago, also in Dallas, and the Mavericks won by seven and covered the spread in the process. Dallas has now covered six straight at home.

It was a weird night for a game, with both teams’ rosters going through a lot around the trade deadline, especially Dallas’ that day. The Mavericks surprisingly shipped Kristaps Porzingis to Washington for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans, both of whom could potentially fit in well.

As well as riding the Mavs’ hot cover streak, this is also a fade of the Clippers. Los Angeles has lost three straight and four of five, with the only win coming against the now lowly Lakers. Those three Clippers losses have been by a combined 19 points, and that’s including just a seven-point loss on Thursday night.

Los Angeles’ deadline moves give it life for next season, not so much for the 2021-22 campaign. Keep backing the Mavs here up to -9.

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