We’ve got a five-game NBA slate on tap today, and all four of my picks come from the early game. The Los Angeles Clippers will host the Golden State Warriors at 3:30 ET this afternoon, and I advise that you pivot from RedZone to LeaguePass for what should be an excellent matchup.
Here are my top NBA betting picks for Sunday’s action.
Written Picks YTD: 41-33-0 (+14.69u)
Total Picks YTD: 57-62-0 (+13.68u)*
*Follow me @is_sirois for any other plays.
1. Warriors -2.5 | -110 at FD Sportsbook
My NBA betting model absolutely loves the Warriors here. In fact, it has the Warriors as a lock to cover up to -3.5, so you’ve got some breathing room if the line moves (it still likes the Warriors -4, too, just not as much).
Let’s unpack why the math favors Golden State tonight. First, Golden State has an advantage in available personnel. While they’re down a few players, namely Damion Lee and Andre Iguodala, the Los Angeles Clippers aren’t exactly healthy, either. Nicolas Batum should remain in the league’s health and safety protocols, and he has been one of the team’s most valuable contributors this year, per player win shares. The Warriors’ players have also vastly outperformed the Clippers’ thus far — although much of the credit belongs to Steph Curry. For some perspective on the type of year Curry is having, look at how much he stretches the RAPTOR rating chart at FiveThirtyEight.
Second, the Warriors have an advantage in the efficiency metrics. They play at the NBA’s fastest pace yet rank second in offensive efficiency and first in defensive efficiency, which is absolutely absurd. Although the Clippers rank second in defensive efficiency, their 24th-ranked offense may struggle to keep up.
Also, Golden State has been fantastic on the road this year. They have covered in 71.4% of their road games, a rate that trails only the Cleveland Cavaliers (75%) this season. They’re covering by an average margin of five points per game, too! In contrast, the Clippers have covered in a mediocre 46.2% of their home games. Blegh.
2. Stephen Curry o28.5 Points | -110 (.8u) at FD Sportsbook
3. Stephen Curry o35.5 Points | +310 (.2u) at FD Sportsbook
If the Warriors are going to cover, Curry will need to have a huge afternoon. Fortunately for him, despite the Clippers’ defensive efficiency, they have still surrendered the third-most points per game to point guards this year (25). They’ve gotten somewhat better of late, but both of their point guards remain minus defenders on the year, per RAPTOR ratings.
Curry toasted the Clippers back in October, too. He dropped a whopping 45 points against them on 16-25 from the field (64%). That number isn’t even good for his season high — Curry went for 50 against the Hawks!
Because Steph has been such an effective scorer this year, we’re splitting a unit between his regular total and a teased-up one. Curry has gone for 36-plus points in six of his 18 starts this year (33.3%), which exceeds this line’s implied odds (24.4%) by a fair margin. And even if he doesn’t cash the extra prop, you’ll still net over a half-unit of profit if he scores at least 29.
4. SGP: Curry o29.5 PTS + u6.5 AST + o5.5 3PT + GSW ML | +807 (.15u) at FD Sportsbook
Let’s roll all of the above insight into one SGP, shall we? I’ve played with the numbers a bit to maximize value. Teasing Curry’s point total up by one adds a bit of juice, while swapping the spread for the moneyline affords us a bit of breathing room. We’re also playing his assists because of inverse correlation (if he’s taking Golden State’s shots, he isn’t passing) and the fact that he recorded just one the last time he faced the Clippers. Lastly, if he does score 30 points, it’s fair to expect at least 18 of those to have come from triples. Curry has nailed at least six three-pointers in every game in which he went for 30-plus this year. Let’s wager just enough to profit a unit.
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