NBA Draft

2023 NBA bets, lines and stats for Sunday

There are six games on the schedule for the first Sunday of the NBA season, each featuring at least one player to have won one of the past 11 NBA MVP awards.

  • Reigning MVP Joel Embiid is coming off a dominant performance on Saturday but could be on watch for a minutes restriction in the second half of a back-to-back against a winless Trail Blazers squad.

  • His teammate, 2018 MVP James Harden, is listed as a game-time decision for the 76ers’ home debut after being asked not to travel for their first two games on the road.

  • Two-time MVP Nikola Jokic leads his undefeated Nuggets against the undefeated Thunder, led by up-and-coming MVP candidate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo will try to keep the Bucks undefeated without All-Star Khris Middleton (knee) against the winless Hawks.

  • Stephen Curry’s Warriors will try to keep the Rockets winless in Houston.

  • Russell Westbrook leads a Clippers squad featuring thriving stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George against the Victor Wembanyama and the Spurs.

  • LeBron James’ Lakers go into Sacramento to face the reigning division champs, the Kings.

Now, let’s dig into a few best bets from today’s slate.

Snellings’ favorite bets for Sunday

Warriors -5.5 over Rockets (-110): The Warriors struggled to an 11-30 record on the road last season, but with new floor general Chris Paul in the fold and Andrew Wiggins in the lineup, they are already 1-0 on the road this season with a win over the division champion Kings. They get their defensive captain back on Sunday, with Draymond Green set to make his season debut against a winless Rockets squad that lost to the Magic by 30 in their first game and to Victor Wembanyama’s Spurs (in overtime) in their second.

Giannis Antetokounmpo over 11.5 rebounds (-139): With Damian Lillard carrying more of the load for the Bucks on offense this season, I project Giannis to have his best rebounding effort since he averaged 13.6 RPG in 2019-20. He grabbed 13 boards against the 76ers in his season debut and, on Sunday, faces a Hawks squad that has been out-rebounded by 5.0 RPG in their first two contests. Last season, Giannis averaged 12.5 RPG against the Hawks, including an 18-board effort in their only matchup in calendar-year 2023.

Lakers-Kings under 235.0 total points (-110): This is a big number for a game featuring teams with very different playing styles. While the Kings are a high-octane offensive unit, the Lakers have been one of the best defensive teams in the league since they shook up their roster at last season’s NBA Trade Deadline. They ranked second in the NBA in team defense last season after the deadline, including ranks of second in field goal percentage allowed, first in fewest fouls committed per game and fifth in defensive rebound rate. Through two games this season, they rank top-10 in both Defensive Rating and fewest points allowed.

Tonight’s Lines and BPI Predictions

Basketball Power Index by ESPN Analytics

Denver Nuggets at Oklahoma City Thunder
3:30 p.m. ET, Paycom Center, Oklahoma City

Records (Against the Spread)
Nuggets: 2-0 (1-1-0)
Thunder: 2-0 (2-0-0)

Line: Nuggets (-3.5) Total: 229.5
BPI Projection: Oklahoma City Thunder (50.2%)
Money Line: Nuggets (-165), Thunder (140)

Injury Report:
Nuggets: Vlatko Cancar, (OUT – Knee); Jay Huff, (OUT – Ribs)
Thunder: Kenrich Williams, (OUT – Back); Jaylin Williams, (OUT – Hamstring)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets
7 p.m. ET, Toyota Center, Houston

Records (Against the Spread)
Warriors: 1-1 (1-1-0)
Rockets: 0-2 (0-2-0)

Line: Warriors (-7) Total: 224
BPI Projection: Golden State Warriors (59.1%)
Money Line: Warriors (-267), Rockets (215)

Injury Report:
Warriors: Draymond Green, (GTD – Ankle); Jonathan Kuminga, (GTD – Foot); Stephen Curry, (GTD – Foot)
Rockets: Nate Hinton, (GTD – Ankle); Jock Landale, (OUT – Concussion); Tari Eason, (OUT – Lower Leg); Victor Oladipo, (OUT – Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Atlanta Hawks at Milwaukee Bucks
7 p.m. ET, Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee

Records (Against the Spread)
Hawks: 0-2 (0-2-0)
Bucks: 1-0 (0-1-0)

Line: Bucks (-6.5) Total: 238.5
BPI Projection: Milwaukee Bucks (66.2%)
Money Line: Hawks (205), Bucks (-250)

Injury Report:
Hawks: Wesley Matthews, (OUT – Calf)
Bucks: Khris Middleton, (OUT – Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Portland Trail Blazers at Philadelphia 76ers
7:30 p.m. ET, Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia

Records (Against the Spread)
Blazers: 0-2 (0-2-0)
76ers: 1-1 (2-0-0)

Line: 76ers (-8) Total: 216.5
BPI Projection: Philadelphia 76ers (73.2%)
Money Line: Blazers (260), 76ers (-335)

Injury Report:
Blazers: Ish Wainright, (OUT – Calf); Anfernee Simons, (OUT – Thumb)
76ers: James Harden, (OFS – Not Injury Related); Joel Embiid, (GTD – Rest)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

San Antonio Spurs at LA Clippers
9 p.m. ET, Arena, Los Angeles

Records (Against the Spread)
Spurs: 1-1 (1-1-0)
Clippers: 1-1 (1-1-0)

Line: Clippers (-9.5) Total: 229.5
BPI Projection: LA Clippers (82.0%)
Money Line: Spurs (320), Clippers (-420)

Injury Report:
Spurs: None reported
Clippers: Marcus Morris Sr., (OUT – Personal); Terance Mann, (OUT – Ankle); Joshua Primo, (OUT – Suspension); Brandon Boston Jr., (OUT – Quadriceps)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Los Angeles Lakers at Sacramento Kings
9 p.m. ET, Golden 1 Center, Sacramento

Records (Against the Spread)
Lakers: 1-1 (0-2-0)
Kings: 1-1 (1-1-0)

Line: Kings (-2.5) Total: 235
BPI Projection: Sacramento Kings (54.3%)
Money Line: Lakers (118), Kings (-140)

Injury Report:
Lakers: Cam Reddish, (GTD – Foot); Jalen Hood-Schifino, (OUT – Knee); Jarred Vanderbilt, (OUT – Heel)
Kings: Trey Lyles, (OUT – Calf)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

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