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NBA betting: Five picks for Sunday

Karl-Anthony Towns and the Timberwolves are off to a terrific start to the season. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

There are eight games on the schedule for Sunday, as the Bucks host the Blazers early at 3:30 p.m. ET and the Spurs visit the Nuggets in the late game at 8:00 p.m ET.

The late game will feature Victor Wembanyama's first meeting with Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets, and Wemby is on a tear right now with averages of 19.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 3.0 blocks and 1.2 3-pointers over his last five games. Jokic is also feeling it for the reeling Nuggets, racking up 34 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists, 3.0 steals, 1.0 blocks and 2.0 3-pointers in two games since being ejected on Monday against the Pistons. This one should be a blast to watch.

As always, let's dig into the schedule and find some angles and opportunities to win.


Alexander's favorite bets for Sunday

Karl-Anthony Towns over 26.5 total points + assists: KAT will face the center-less Memphis Grizzlies as Santi Aldama and Jaren Jackson Jr. have been holding it down in the paint with most other big men injured. Towns should be able to have a big game for Minnesota and is coming off of back-to-back double doubles with 27 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in Friday's loss to the Kings, and 23 points, 11 rebounds and three assists in a win over Joel Embiid and the Sixers on Wednesday. He could have a field day against the Grizzlies today as the Wolves look to hang onto the No. 1 spot in the West with a win.

Nuggets -11.5 against the Spurs: The Nuggets have lost four of their last five games and took tough losses to the Rockets and Magic in their last two. They should get a breath of fresh air tonight against the 3-13 Spurs, who have now lost 11 straight games. If there was ever a 'get right' opportunity for the Nuggets, this is it. San Antonio has hung in there recently with non-blowout losses to the Warriors and Clippers, but they've also lost by 12 or more in five of their last 11 games. The Nuggets should have a solid game plan in place to try to contain Wemby and desperately need a win. Look for them to do it in blowout fashion tonight.

Mitchell Robinson over 1.5 blocks: Robinson is coming off a zero-block game against the Heat but racked up nine blocks in his previous five games. He'll face off against the Suns and Jusuf Nurkic on Sunday and it's possible Kevin Durant could miss a second straight game with a foot injury. If Durant is out, the Suns are going to be playing some small ball, potentially providing Robinson with several opportunities to block shots. The Suns give up 2.53 blocks to opposing centers and Robinson is one of the best shot blockers in the league.

Rudy Gobert over 2.0 blocks: The Grizzlies give up 3.2 blocks to opposing centers, the second-worst average in the league. They're banged up in the front court and Gobert could feast against fill-in center Santi Aldama tonight. Gobert has blocked at least two shots in six of his last seven games and has blocked at least three shots in three of those. This matchup appears to be primed for him to have at least three swats tonight.

O.G. Anunoby over 20.5 total points + assists + rebounds: The Cavaliers give up 23.28 points to opposing small forwards, which is the fifth worst average in the league. They're also fifth-worst in rebounds allowed to SFs, and are middle-of-the-road in assists allowed. Anunoby is coming off a big 26-6-3 line against the Bulls and has scored at least 20 points in three of his last seven. Anunoby is averaging 16.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists in November and has a solid matchup against the Cavaliers tonight.

Projections and Injury Reports

Basketball Power Index by ESPN Analytics Injury aggregation by Rotowire.com.


Portland Trail Blazers at Milwaukee Bucks
3:30 p.m. ET Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee


Records (Against the Spread)
Blazers: 4-11 (6-9-0)
Bucks: 11-5 (6-10-0)

Line: Bucks (-12.5) Total: 231.5
Money Line: Blazers (+550), Bucks (-800)
BPI Projection: Bucks by 12.3, straight up 85.6%, 236.4 total points.

Injury Report:
Blazers: Robert Williams III, (OUT - Knee); Deandre Ayton, (GTD - Back); Anfernee Simons, (OUT - Thumb); Ish Wainright, (OUT - Knee)
Bucks: Jae Crowder, (OUT - Groin); Giannis Antetokounmpo, (GTD - Illness); Khris Middleton, (OUT - Achilles)


Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics
6 p.m. ET TD Garden, Boston


Records (Against the Spread)
Hawks: 8-7 (5-10-0)
Celtics: 12-4 (6-8-2)

Line: Celtics (-7.5) Total: 236.5
Money Line: Hawks (+240), Celtics (-290)
BPI Projection: Celtics by 4.3, straight up 65.0%, 237.1 total points.

Injury Report:
Hawks: Kobe Bufkin, (OUT - Thumb); Jalen Johnson, (GTD - Wrist); Mouhamed Gueye, (OUT - Back)
Celtics: Jrue Holiday, (GTD - Ankle); Kristaps Porzingis, (OUT - Calf)


Phoenix Suns at New York Knicks
6 p.m. ET Madison Square Garden, New York


Records (Against the Spread)
Suns: 10-6 (8-7-1)
Knicks: 9-6 (9-5-1)

Line: Knicks (-3.5) Total: 220.5
Money Line: Suns (+130), Knicks (-150)
BPI Projection: Knicks by 2.3, straight up 58.2%, 227.5 total points.

Injury Report:
Suns: Drew Eubanks, (GTD - Ankle); Kevin Durant, (GTD - Foot); Yuta Watanabe, (GTD - Quadriceps); Bradley Beal, (OUT - Back); Damion Lee, (OUT - Knee)
Knicks: Duane Washington Jr., (GTD - Illness)


Charlotte Hornets at Orlando Magic
6 p.m. ET Amway Center, Orlando


Records (Against the Spread)
Hornets: 5-9 (6-8-0)
Magic: 11-5 (13-3-0)

Line: Magic (-7.5) Total: 227.5
Money Line: Hornets (+225), Magic (-275)
BPI Projection: Magic by 6.9, straight up 72.9%, 229.6 total points.

Injury Report:
Hornets: P.J. Washington, (GTD - Foot); Terry Rozier, (GTD - Groin); Cody Martin, (OUT - Knee); Frank Ntilikina, (OUT - Lower Leg); James Bouknight, (OUT - Knee); Nick Richards, (OUT - Concussion)
Magic: Markelle Fultz, (OUT - Knee); Wendell Carter Jr., (OUT - Finger)


Minnesota Timberwolves at Memphis Grizzlies
6 p.m. ET FedExForum, Memphis


Records (Against the Spread)
Timberwolves: 11-4 (8-5-2)
Grizzlies: 3-12 (5-10-0)

Line: Timberwolves (-6.5) Total: 216.5
Money Line: Timberwolves (-270), Grizzlies (+220)
BPI Projection: Timberwolves by 4.7, straight up 65.8%, 225.7 total points.

Injury Report:
Timberwolves: Jaylen Clark, (OUT - Achilles); Jaden McDaniels, (OUT - Ankle); Jordan McLaughlin, (OUT - Knee)
Grizzlies: Brandon Clarke, (OUT - Achilles); Steven Adams, (OUT - Knee); Xavier Tillman, (OUT - Knee); Jake LaRavia, (OUT - Eye); Luke Kennard, (OUT - Knee); Marcus Smart, (OUT - Foot); Ja Morant, (OUT - Suspension)


Chicago Bulls at Brooklyn Nets
7:30 p.m. ET Barclays Center, New York


Records (Against the Spread)
Bulls: 5-12 (5-11-1)
Nets: 7-8 (11-3-1)

Line: Nets (-3.5) Total: 214.5
Money Line: Bulls (+125), Nets (-145)
BPI Projection: Nets by 5.5, straight up 69.3%, 223.6 total points.

Injury Report:
Bulls: Lonzo Ball, (OUT - Knee); Alex Caruso, (GTD - Foot); Zach LaVine, (GTD - Foot)
Nets: Dennis Smith Jr., (GTD - Back); Cam Thomas, (OUT - Ankle); Ben Simmons, (OUT - Back)


Toronto Raptors at Cleveland Cavaliers
7:30 p.m. ET Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland


Records (Against the Spread)
Raptors: 8-8 (9-7-0)
Cavaliers: 8-8 (6-10-0)

Line: Cavaliers (-1.5) Total: 219.5
Money Line: Raptors (+105), Cavaliers (-125)
BPI Projection: Cavaliers by 2.1, straight up 58.1%, 216.2 total points.

Injury Report:
Raptors: Christian Koloko, (OUT - Illness)
Cavaliers: Ricky Rubio, (OUT - Personal); Darius Garland, (GTD - Neck); Dean Wade, (GTD - Ankle); Ty Jerome, (GTD - Ankle)


San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets
8 p.m. ET Ball Arena, Denver


Records (Against the Spread)
Spurs: 3-13 (5-10-1)
Nuggets: 10-6 (5-11-0)

Line: Nuggets (-11.5) Total: 228.5
Money Line: Spurs (+550), Nuggets (-800)
BPI Projection: Nuggets by 10.2, straight up 81.8%, 231.4 total points.

Injury Report:
Spurs: None reported
Nuggets: Vlatko Cancar, (OUT - Knee); Aaron Gordon, (GTD - Heel); Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, (GTD - Ankle); Nikola Jokic, (GTD - Back); Reggie Jackson, (GTD - Back); Jamal Murray, (OUT - Hamstring)