Best NBA Bets: Basketball Picks, Predictions to Consider on DraftKings Sportsbook for December 26


Most Sunday bets focus on the NFL, but don’t forget the hoops! There are eight games to choose from, including a main roster of seven games starting at 6 p.m. ET.

Let’s dive into some of my favorite bets for this slate on DraftKings Sportsbook.

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The Choice: Jumpers -8.5 (-110)

Honestly, I don’t even know how the Raptors are going to field a team on Sunday. Their list was absolutely wiped out by COVID-19 recently. Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, Khem Birch and Precious Achiuwa are all out due to health and safety protocols, leaving the team arguably their top seven players. They also have other absences, so even the backups will be reduced to their Sunday backups.

The absence of VanVleet is particularly massive. The team have been formidable with VanVleet on the pitch this season, overtaking their opponents by an average of +5.3 points per 100 possessions. With VanVleet off the field, their net score drops to a disastrous -12.3. Ultimately, Cleaning the Glass places VanVleet in the 99th percentile in terms of net rating differential.

The Cavaliers are also missing some key players – primarily Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen – but they at least have Darius Garland, Ricky Rubio, and Kevin Love available. That should be enough to get them past this version of the Raptors.

The choice: nuggets -4.0 (-110)

The Nuggets have had a lot of injury concerns this season, but they still have arguably the best player in basketball. Nikola Jokic won the MVP in 2020-21, and he’s been even more dominant this season. He’s averaging 25.9 points, 13.5 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game while shooting 57.5 percent from the field.

Meanwhile, the Clippers will be without their two best offensive players on Sunday. Paul George is expected to be missing for at least the next 3-4 weeks, and it is possible that he will eventually shut down for the remainder of the year. They will also be without Reggie Jackson, who has been placed on health and safety protocols. The Clippers have been led by -5.8 points per 100 possessions with George and Jackson off the field this season.

The Pick: Willy Hernangomez Over 12.5 rebounds (-110)

The Pelicans will be without Jonas Valanciunas for the second game in a row, meaning Willy Hernangomez should aim for a massive performance. He didn’t make the most of his minutes in his last game – he only shot 1-11 from the field – but he still racked up 16 boards. He’s played 32.4 minutes in that contest, and Hernangomez has averaged 16.7 rebounds every 36 minutes this season. This bodes well for his outlook for a rebound on Sunday.

The Thunder are also a solid clash for Hernangomez. They rank 19th in team rebound rate and last in offensive efficiency, which should provide plenty of opportunities for Hernangomez on the glass.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also a huge fan and customer (my username is mlamarca) and I can sometimes play on my personal account in the games I advise on. While I have expressed my personal take on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect DraftKings’ point of view (s). and do not constitute a representation that a particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skills and judgment in building queues. I can also deploy different actors and strategies than I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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