O'Sullivan's Sunday NBA Picks: Cavaliers at Knicks, Pacers at Kings, Rockets at Warriors, plus a parlay
The injury gremlins messed with me again yesterday. When I put Phoenix in a parlay with Denver late Friday night, it was with no knowledge that Deandre Ayton would be scratched with a leg contusion. My post goes up, and six hours later I learn that Ayton won’t be playing, putting my parlay in jeopardy. Denver had already won, and so had Philadelphia, so there was a way I could’ve hedged by betting Atlanta and ensured I made money on the night. But what was I supposed to do? Hedge and then tell all you readers today, and ask that you trust that I did it? Beg my editor (who doesn’t like to be disturbed on Saturday night) to put up another post explaining the audible? Contact each and every one of you at 9 pm last night and inform you of the strategic play I would be making? I can’t very well write this morning, “Oh, you know what I decided to do at 9:30 pm without telling any of you?” That only encourages distrust. But. It’s disrespectful to the point of being galling to this degenerate that I have to make plays in the morning and then hope with my fingers crossed all day that no injury updates occur. How else am I supposed to keep all of you reliably informed?
(Editor's note: Put a standing caveat into your posts like Fats Baller did last season that key player injuries announced prior to game time negate the wager. We can't notify everybody, but if someone put money down based on your post, he or she or they should be tracking the game. Or we could try your idea below.)
I guess what I’m saying is, I’ll need each and every one of you to provide me with your email address to prevent us from being bitten by this again…
(Kidding, of course. And Phoenix wound up winning anyway, so a lot of energy worrying turned out wasted - like most energy worrying…)
Seattle O’Sullivan 2021-2022 NBA Season so far: 39-53–2, -$235.47
Cleveland Cavaliers at New York Knicks, 6 pm Eastern
The Pick: Cleveland +7.5 -108, bet $4 to win $3.70
Too many points to give Cleveland here, who’s 6-4 overall, 6-4 as an underdog, 7-3 against the spread, and 5-2 ATS on the road. New York is a good team playing well, but despite Kevin Love and Lauri Markannen being out, the Cavaliers are playing hard and have won three in a row against three solid squads. The Knicks did just beat the Bucks, but I think that signifies a chance they’ll let down just a bit tonight. NBA teams get up to play in Madison Square Garden, and Cleveland is young and looking to impress. I like them to play tough tonight.
Indiana Pacers at Sacramento Kings, 6 pm Eastern
The Pick: Sacramento -120, bet $7.80 to win $6.50
I continue to like Sacramento more and more (and if you recall, my antipathy was really towards Marvin Bagley III and his agent). The Kings have won two in a row in Sacramento, and are 5-1 against the spread in their last six. Indiana, on the other hand, has lost five in a row - all five of their games, in fact - on the road. The Kings are second in the NBA in scoring, at 113.2 points per game, and while they’re 25th in allowing points per game (111.0), they’re still better than Indiana (111.4). Right now the Kings are seventh in the Western Conference. It’s still way early, but I actually think that’s about right; they’re a playoff team. Pacer Malcolm Brogdon is questionable tonight with an illness, and he’s subtly valuable for his team. All that leads me to spend a touch more just for a straight win by Sacramento.
Teaser: Utah -5.5 w/Golden State -5.5, true price -150, bet $3.90 to win $2.60
It’s another “anti-exotic,” with just a little bit of cash laid down. The Jazz play the Magic in Orlando and Golden State hosts Houston playing the second game of a road back-to-back. Teasing seven points raises the price just enough that I consider it to still have value. Speaking of the road back-to-back…
Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors, 8:30 pm Eastern
The Pick: Golden State -12.5 (-110), bet $3.90 to win $3.55
Houston made me sweat out the first leg of my parlay last night in their game against Denver, and I think they shot their wad for the weekend. Ironically enough, most books have this at GS -13, which scares me. But -12.5? Now we’re talking! (eye roll) Seriously, the Warriors are 7-1, have won three straight at home, and have one more day of rest. My playing small these past couple of days has been working out; let’s keep it going piece-by-piece.