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Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics: Game Result
The Celtics are still 5-point favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook in this one, but I think that line could shrink towards tipoff, and make them the shortest favorite of the day. That could generate some traction to pick the underdog 76ers here, particularly with Gordon Hayward sidelined with an ankle injury. However, Boston is accustomed to playing without Hayward over the years and made a deep playoff run to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals behind huge contributions from Jayson Tatum as a rookie and Jaylen Brown in his second year. Both have developed into studs capable of carrying the C’s to another win and to take command in this series.
Jayson Tatum Points (O/U 24.5)
Tatum was dominant in Game 1 against the 76ers, scoring 32 points in 41 minutes. He was 10-21 from the field (2-5 from deep) and 10-11 from the free throw line. All that tells me that Tatum is going to play monster minutes in this series and look to be very aggressive on offense. With Hayward out, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Tatum play 45 minutes and attempt 25-plus shots in some of these games. The key will be getting to the free throw line, which he did with ease in Game 1.
Pick: Over 24.5
Luka Doncic Points (O/U 29.5)
This will likely be a contrarian play, as the gut reaction is to take overs with Doncic, especially after he dazzled for 42 points in his postseason debut. However, a couple of factors point to the under actually being the stronger play. For starters, Kristaps Porzingis’ early ejection in Game 1 certainly put more weight on Luka’s shoulders. Would he have reached 30 points the way he was playing anyway? Probably, but he also wouldn’t have gotten quite as many opportunities. The larger piece of the puzzle here is Paul George’s perimeter defense on Doncic. Again, he did just drop the 42, but the other two games PG was in the lineup facing Luka, he stayed under this number. George held Doncic to 29 in a game earlier in the bubble and just 22 back in the regular season. Doncic is also shooting just 28% from beyond the arc in four games against the Clippers this season.
Pick: Under 29.5
Who will have more Points, Rebounds, and Assists?
Donovan Mitchell/Rudy Gobert vs. Jamal Murray/Nikola Jokic
It’s easy to look at the guy that finished with a 57-9-7 line in Game 1 and take his side, but if we just go by the averages, we can’t expect to ride Donovan Mitchell for another ridiculous performance. Mitchell and Gobert’s averages total up to 63.3, while Murray and Jokic are slightly higher at 64.5. Denver’s going to make a point of keeping the ball away from Mitchell in this game, which could mean some extra ball handling for someone like Joe Ingles. If you watched Game 1 of this series, it’s very rare that the ball is not in either Murray or Jokic’s hands, which leads me to believe they’re the safer side of this prop.
Pick: Jamal Murray/Nikola Jokic
Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors: Game Result
Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets: Game Result
Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Clippers: Game Result
Kawhi Leonard Points
Pick: Over 27.5
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.
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