A little over half the league will be in action on Sunday as every NBA team now has 10 or less games remaining this season. There isn’t a huge storyline game, but multiple teams are looking to buoy their records against teams that have no playoff hopes as Charlotte, San Antonio, and Houston will all on the court playing out the string. The best bet on the board looks to be the Golden State Warriors at home against a Minnesota Timberwolves team that is a little overrated with Karl-Anthony Towns back in the lineup. Golden State will definitely be a favorite by the NBA betting line, but the Warriors should win this game by double digits considering what they can do to Minnesota’s defense.
We’re going to go against the conventional wisdom with the other pick though and back a team that has been eliminated from the playoffs. The Charlotte Hornets are only playing for pride at this point, but they are essentially locked into the No. 4 spot in the NBA lottery. They have eight less wins than the next closest team below them and four more wins than the next closest team above them, so they have the potential to play spoiler without ruining their lottery chances. That could lead to the Hornets upsetting the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday afternoon as Dallas has not looked good in recent weeks.
NBA Betting Odds at BetRivers Sportsbook
Dallas Mavericks at Charlotte Hornets
When the Dallas Mavericks rolled the dice and traded for Kyrie Irving, they were 29-26. Dallas won its first two games with Irving and Luka Doncic together in the lineup, going on the road to beat the Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento Kings. That led to their NBA futures odds falling significantly, but the Mavericks are just 5-10 since that point with two of those wins coming against the San Antonio Spurs.
Irving and Doncic have both been banged up, and this team has no depth as a result of the Irving trade. Dallas needs its two stars to play off one another in order to win games as the drop off in talent is steep once you look down the roster. The next best players for the Mavericks are Christian Wood and Tim Hardaway Jr., as Maxi Kleber has not been the same player he was a couple years ago.
Meanwhile, Charlotte is rumored to be looking for a new owner, and that can have the effect of encouraging a team to play harder than usual late in a season as its natural to be worried about job security for the players down the line on the bench. Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier, and Kelly Oubre Jr. are still playing big minutes, and that’s good for this team’s competitiveness.
There is value in the Hornets, but there is a caveat too. Rozier and Oubre left the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night due to injury, and Charlotte needs at least one of those players back in the lineup.
Minnesota Timberwolves at Golden State Warriors
Golden State has been fantastic at home this season. The Warriors have been abysmal on the road, but they take care of business in the Chase Center. They are 29-7 at home, and they haven’t dropped a home game since February 11. They don’t look nearly as strong as they did last year and are still without Andrew Wiggins, Andre Iguodala, and Gary Payton II.
Of course, they still have the core of a team that won four NBA titles in the past eight seasons. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are both hitting over 40% of their threes, and Draymond Green is at least something of a scoring threat once more. Jonathan Kuminga is really developing nicely too with 18.3 PPG in his last four games.
Minnesota is fired up for the return of Karl-Anthony Towns, but his presence does not fix the issues with this defense. Rudy Gobert was supposed to have a big impact in that regard after the front office traded four first-round picks for him, but the Timberwolves have conceded at least 122 points in each of their last four games.