Friday’s card is an interesting one, as we have the Clippers trying to close out the Nuggets in Game 5, followed by a massive Game 7 between the Celtics and Raptors. Here’s what jumps out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook.
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Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Even though Denver is in a 3-1 hole, MPJ’s scoring output off the bench in Game 3 was a bit of an eye-opener. The Nuggets need that scoring if they’re going to score a chance. MJP poured in 18 points in just 23 minutes, which earned him 34 minutes and 15 points in Game 4. We know he’s going to shoot when he’s on the floor, and this number’s set pretty low for what we’ve seen the last two games.
Porter’s increased role helped put this one over the edge as a play for me. Jerami Grant’s defense on Kawhi Leonard and Paul George is crucial for Denver, but all those minutes he’s been playing haven’t led to points. Grant’s averaging just 8.8 points per game in the series, and he scored only seven last game — his minutes also dropped to 34 with MPJ seeing more time. Morris isn’t shy to look for his shot, and has been a consistent third or fourth scoring option. He’s scored in double figures in each game of the series, averaging 13.0 points, and outscoring Grant in all four games.
We’ve seen the Clippers fall asleep at times all season, including this postseason run. I trust them to come through when it counts and close this series out, but I don’t think it’s worth messing with the points. But Denver knows this one is over, as the Clippers have another level to close out these games that the Nuggets just can’t match. We’re seeing some of that in the other series in the West, as well. The Rockets got their big win, and it’s been all Lakers since. Houston doesn’t have any answers, and Rajon Rondo’s return has been a massive boost for the Lakers. I’ll take both teams to close their series’ out, and I think the Clippers winning helps motivate the Lakers to finish their own.
Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors
This has been an awful series for Siakam, who has had one slightly above-average game with 23 points, and five duds. Siakam scored just 12 points in 54 minutes in Game 6, and is now averaging 15.1 PPG this series. Sure, Kemba is coming off an awful five-point game, but I trust him to bounce-back on this stage given his history, and what we’ve seen from him in this series. Prior to that, Walker was averaging 20.0 PPG in the series, and 19.6 in 10 games this season against Toronto. Siakam is averaging 16.9 PPG in eight total games against Boston.
After one of his worst games of the season in Game 4, Brown’s been on another level the last two games, scoring 27 and 31. He’s averaging 21.6 PPG in 10 contests against the Raptors this season. Toronto has been successful in limiting Jayson Tatum, which I think helps Brown’s outlook, and even Kemba to a degree. FVV has averaged 17.7 in 10 games against the C’s, and has the lower floor of the two. While he’s capable of dropping 25, we’ve also seen games of 9 and 11 points from FVV in the postseason. Brown still went for 14 points while shooting 4-of-18 in Game 4.
Throw the numbers out the window in a Game 7, I’m trusting my eyes here. The Celtics have been the better team, and I trust them to close this out. Throw the points out the window in this situation, with a short enough moneyline to justify a play. If it comes down to the final seconds, we know the refs do owe Boston a call. The L2M report confirmed that Kemba was fouled with seconds to go in Game 6, and should’ve been at the free throw line for the win. The champs fought back in Game 6, but the talent should prevail in the end.
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