We’ve got a full 10-game NBA slate this evening and one that’s ripe with opportunity for finding value. It’s also a slate that isn’t lacking in narratives. We’ve got a trio of heavy home favorites in Toronto, Milwaukee and New Orleans, more than a few games with an implied total approaching 240, and, of course, a handful of high-leverage injuries we’ll have to wait to get full clarity on.
So, without any further ado, let’s dive into some bets.
We’ve already seen some notable line movement in this matchup, as Miami opened as just a two-point favourite. Still, while you would have ideally jumped on the Heat a few hours back, I remain confident that this is a spread to attack. If Dallas has proven anything so far this season, it’s that the long-term health of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis is its biggest priority. So, despite the fact that Doncic is technically listed as questionable due to a sprained thumb, I’d wager the sophomore is more likely to sit than play on Friday. Plus, even if Doncic is active, the Heat possess an eye-popping 9.9 net rating in homes games - the third-best mark in all of basketball.
Pascal Siakam OVER 22.5 points (-121)
Though it certainly helps that the Hornets have surrendered 113.0 points per 100 possessions across their past 10 games, this prop is more about the health of Serge Ibaka (knee). If the veteran is unable to go tonight, it opens up a world of opportunity for Siakam on two different fronts. First and foremost, in the 243 minutes the All-Star has logged this season without either Ibaka and Marc Gasol on the court, Siakam’s usage rate has jumped from 28.1% to 31.9%. Secondly, if Nick Nurse decides to give Rondae Hollis-Jefferson another spot start, it will mean the Raptors playing at a higher pace. To wit, in Hollis-Jefferson’s last start against Minnesota, a small-ball Toronto team averaged 108.1 possessions per 48 minutes.
Jonas Valanciunas OVER 10.5 rebounds (+105)
Simply put, the Grizzlies are running out of guys who know how to get on the glass. With injuries to Jaren Jackson Jr. (knee) and Brandon Clarke (hip), Valanciunas is is essentially the last man standing when it comes to elite rebounders on Memphis’ roster. The former lottery pick is currently in possession of a career-best 21.5% total rebounding rate, which has led to Valanciunas grabbing double-digit boards in 10 of his last 12 starts. He should have a great chance to keep that trend going this evening, as the Kings’ own the league’s fourth-worst rebounding rate in the month of February (47.3%).
I just have zero faith in Utah’s defense at this point. Across the Jazz’s last 10 contests, the team has conceded a jaw-dropping 116.8 points per 100 possessions - a mark that bests only the likes of the Bulls, the Hawks and the Timberwolves within that same span of time. So, here’s how I see this playing out. Washington can probably get close to the 119.7 points its been averaging going back to Jan. 22 and, because they’re the Wizards, they’ll likely still lose. That’s a whole lot of points to project.
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