The NBA is back for the second time in 2020. After a two-game card on Tuesday, we have a massive 13-game card on Wednesday evening. I’m going to stay focused on some spreads on the board for now, but player props can always become one of the most profitable ways to bet the NBA if you really focus on injury news. Follow along on Twitter for what we hope to be another great season — @julianedlow. Here’s what jumps out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Rockets-Thunder game scheduled for December 23 was officially postponed by the NBA and removed from Wednesday night’s DraftKings slate.
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Let’s dive right in with one of the grossest games on the board. Normally I try and stay away from games like this, but if we see a slight edge that it could be worth getting in. The Hornets were awful last year, but at 23-42, they did have somewhat of a leg up on the Cavs, who finished at 19-46. Charlotte at least attempted to improve this offseason, most notably with the signing of Gordon Hayward — who was believed to be out with an injured finger but will play. Meanwhile, the Cavs lost Tristan Thompson in free agency, and now we’ve learned that Kevin Love will miss the game due to injury. The Cavs will be forced to test their depth early, as Kevin Porter Jr., Matthew Dellavedova and Dante Exum have also all been ruled out. The Hornets should be the better team out of the gates.
I actually like what the 76ers did this offseason. Somehow the Al Horford contract is gone, and proven shooters in Danny Green and Seth Curry are in place to play alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. But this line is sleeping on Washington a bit, mostly because of how awful it was most of last season. However, the Wizards made it into the bubble, so they at least had some postseason hopes. Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans return from injury, and of course, Russell Westbrook will take over the offense. Thomas Bryant and Robin Lopez are bodies to throw at Embiid, and Troy Brown proved to be a very capable role player in the bubble. The Wizards' new core should be able to make this a game.
Tristan Thompson is off the injury report for the Celtics, giving them some much-needed depth in the frontcourt. But TT still didn’t see any run in the preseason and could be limited in his debut. Kemba Walker is out with a knee injury, and Hayward is in Charlotte. Besides Daniel Theis now getting to play behind Thompson, this team has almost no depth. It should get better as the season progresses, but Boston doesn’t feel ready to start the season to me. While we don’t want to put much stock in preseason, it doesn’t help that the C’s got smoked by Philly and Brooklyn in their preseason games. The Bucks have been a fantastic regular season team for a couple of years now and should be eager to show what their new lineup with Jrue Holiday running point is capable of.
This is a Pistons fade, as the team had just an atrocious offseason. Andre Drummond was shipped to Cleveland last season, and while that allowed Christian Wood to emerge, he’s now playing in Houston. Detroit attempted to fill the void by adding a random collection of bigs that aren’t going to work out well. The team will be led by Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin, and while talented, their primes are well behind them. The Wolves clearly have the talent in Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell. Minnesota landed Anthony Edwards atop the draft and brought in Ricky Rubio for veteran leadership. This team isn’t going to the playoffs, but it has to be better than the Pistons.
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