We’ve got a massive 10-game slate of basketball this evening, yet not all games are created equal from an interest standpoint. For as much as League Pass has created a world where we can watch an array of different teams every single night, there’s still something to be said for betting on a few marquee matchups. When it comes to Friday’s schedule, we’ve got only three contests that feature a pair of playoff-caliber teams, with two of those tilts being broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Here are some betting trends for those notable games, as provided by DraftKings Sportsbook:
It probably comes as a surprise to no one that 61% of bets and 66% of the handle for tonight’s meeting between the Bucks and the Thunder is coming in on the home squad. Despite the fact that Oklahoma City is 9-0 ATS the past nine times its played with zero days of rest, facing the reigning MVP on the second night of a back-to-back is quite the tough task. It also doesn’t help perception that the Thunder will be without sharpshooter Danilo Gallinari (ankle). The Italian owns a team-high with both a 41.0% 3-point rate and his 7.3 3-point attempts per contest. With Milwaukee possessing a league-best 12.9 net rating playing in Wisconsin in 2019-20 and, as always, allowing nothing at the rim, Gallinari is a huge loss.
Maybe the most difficult game to bet on this evening is taking place in Miami. As such, an exact 50% split in the handle isn’t all that shocking a development. The elephant in the room for this matchup is the health of Luka Doncic (thumb). The sophomore is currently listed as questionable and, in the 1,310 minutes Doncic has been off the court so far this season, the Mavericks have seen their offensive rating drop by 5.7 points per 100 possessions. On the other side, the Heat are in a bit of a free-fall, having dropped seven of their last 10 games including demoralizing losses to Cleveland and Minnesota. Still, they’ve been a dominant home squad this season and I’m inclined to believe that Dallas will choose to be cautious with its young superstar.
Finally, we get to the nightcap. It’s difficult to get a true sense of who exactly the Clippers and the Nuggets are at this point in the year, as both teams have suffered through some serious injury woes. However, each squad is now back up to essentially full health and they’ll square-off in a battle for the Western Conference’s two-seed on Friday. Still, you can understand why the public might be giving a slight lean to Los Angeles. While Denver’s been thought of as a “dark horse” candidate to win the West in 2019-20, the Clippers’ high ceiling is universally acknowledged and it’s been on display their past two games, as Los Angeles has held opponents to a paltry 96.4 points per 100 possessions. When this roster is actually available, it’s scary.
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