NBA Best Bets Today | Expert Picks for Sunday, March 3

The NBA regular season continues with a jam packed 8-game slate this Sunday — with a grand total of four nationally televised matchups spread throughout the day on ABC and ESPN as we lock in for an excellent weekend showcase featuring 76ers vs Mavericks, Warriors vs Celtics, Knicks vs Cavaliers, and Thunder vs Suns, and more!

Let's dive into our NBA best bets and expert picks for Sunday, March 3.

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NBA Best Bets | Expert Picks for Sunday, March 3

Thunder vs Suns

by Michael Crosson

Phoenix posted a lackluster record of 14-15 through 29 contests. However, the Suns have completely flipped the script since the tail end of December as they now own a record of 21-10 in their last 31 games – the fourth-best mark in the entire league during that span.

The Suns’ recent numbers indicate that their recent success isn’t a fluke either. Phoenix ranks top-5 in offensive rating and top-10 in defensive rating since Christmas Day – a sample size accounting for over half of the season. So there’s no reason to believe the Suns don’t stack up with the best of the best in the conference when all their top players are at full strength – which brings us to the issue for Phoenix tonight.

Phoenix hosted the Rockets last night. And with 1:15 left in the fourth quarter of yesterday’s loss, Devin Booker went to the locker room with an ankle injury and never returned. So as of Sunday morning, Booker is officially listed as questionable for tonight’s affair – which certainly isn’t a good sign heading into a matchup on the second half of a back-to-back versus a top shelf team like OKC.

In their most recent outing, the Thunder lost to San Antonio by a score of 132-118 in a matchup between Rookie of the Year contenders as Victor Wembanyama outdueled Chet Holmgren in a battle with high personal stakes for two of the best players on the floor.

Make no mistake about it though. This OKC team is really good. The Thunder trail Minnesota by just half-a-game for the top spot in the Western Conference standings with a record of 41-18 on the season, while ranking top-4 in the league in both offensive and defensive rating – and prior to their latest affair, OKC had won six straight games by double digits.

All things equal, I would still lean toward OKC in this matchup. However, the decision becomes much easier given the Thunder’s advantages in the “rest” and “injury” departments tonight – plus a little extra motivation coming off a bad loss their last time out. 

I think we’ll see a convincing bounce-back effort from the Thunder on Sunday night. Give me OKC.

Pick: Thunder -5.5 (-110)

Pacers vs Spurs

by Joe Nelson

Indiana Pacers -6 (-110)

The Pacers were humiliated on Friday night losing 129-102 to New Orleans. This is a second straight road game, but this should be a motivated team looking to get back in the win column as the Pacers have a very tough two-week run ahead including facing Dallas and Minnesota in the next two games while four of the next five are on the road.

Indiana is 7-4 in the past 11 games putting together a solid February run but right now Indiana is eighth in the Eastern Conference standings. The Pacers are just 1.5 games out of the #4 position however as there is a lot at stake for the Pacers in the coming weeks. Indiana has a below average defense, but this has been a top five offensive efficiency team in the past 10 games in great contrast to the numbers for San Antonio.

The Spurs enter this game off a surprising win as San Antonio defeated Oklahoma City on Thursday, playing at home for the first time in more than three weeks. The Spurs go back on the road after this game but the 12-48 team has won consecutive games just three times this season, including only once winning consecutive home games.

The Pacers scored 152 points in a blowout win hosting the Spurs earlier this season and the pace and offensive potential for Indiana puts the Spurs at risk for a difficult matchup, particularly with the Pacers entering this game off an embarrassing result. The Spurs are just 6-21 S/U at home this season while Indiana has 14 road wins and a winning ATS record on the road.

A 5-2 ATS run for the Spurs may allow some market attention to gravitate to the Spurs, but this is an elite offensive team going against one of the worst defensive teams in the league. The Pelicans shot 56 percent on Friday to outrun the Pacers, but San Antonio has not shown that potential often this season.

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Pistons vs Magic

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