We have another two-game slate on tap for Sunday. The action gets underway with the Heat vs. the Bucks at 3:30 p.m. ET, with the Bucks trying to avoid being swept out of the playoffs as the No. 1 overall seed.
Then the Lakers will take on the Rockets at 8:30 p.m. ET, and the Lakers will look to bounce back after dropping Game 1 of this series.
Let’s break down some of my favorite bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for these contests.
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Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks:
Bucks +2 (-109)
The Bucks entered this series with a few flaws and the Heat have been able to expose all of them. The Bucks were first in the league in defensive efficiency during the regular season but Milwaukee’s defense was designed to funnel shots away from the rim and toward the three-point line. Miami was the second-best three-point shooting team in the league and they’ve shot 38.2% from behind the arc during this series.
The Bucks also have the likely two-time MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is absolutely phenomenal at getting to the rim. That said, he is still developing his ability to score outside the paint on a consistent basis and he struggles at the free-throw line if he gets fouled. Miami has done a great job of keeping Giannis away from the rim and he’s shot nearly 10% worse from the field in this series than he did during the regular season.
That said, this line has moved a tremendous amount since the beginning of the series. The Bucks were favored by six points in Game 1 and now are getting two points in Game 4. There’s obviously no home court to worry about, so this is simply an eight-point line move based on the results of three games. I’m going to take that much value every single time.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets:
Lakers -6 (-107)
The Lakers are coming off a disappointing loss in Game 1 of this series, but I’m not ready to give up hope on them just yet. The Lakers still have some very real problems on offense – particularly that none of their role players can make a wide-open jump shot at the moment – but they can make up to that thanks to the presence of Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
James is still dominating in his 17th NBA season. He’s likely going to finish as the runner-up in the MVP race and his on-court impact is still up there with the best players in the league. He struggled a bit vs. the Rockets in Game 1 but expect him to get better as this series progresses.
Meanwhile, Davis should be able to absolutely feast in this series. P.J. Tucker and Robert Covington aren’t bad defenders but they are simply too small to stop Davis. He shot 10-of-16 from the field and pulled down 14 boards in Game 1 and I don’t see him being any less productive in Game 2.
The Lakers also fit two postseason trends that have historically provided success. First, they’re favored after failing to cover in each of the previous two games, and teams in that situation have historically posted a record of 90-63-4 against the spread. They’re also favored vs. a lower-seeded team after losing their most recent game, and those teams have bounced back with a record of 200-166-10 against the spread in the following contest.
The sharps appear to agree that the Lakers are the correct side. They’ve garnered 63% of the total spread bets in this contest but those bets have accounted for 90% of the money wagered.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets:
Anthony Davis to score more points than James Harden (+115)
Harden led the league in scoring for the third straight season and he had the edge vs. Davis in that department in Game 1 as well.
That said, I think Harden is due for a bit of shooting regression in today’s contest. He was 12-of-20 from the field in Game 1, despite the fact that the Lakers have been one of the best defensive teams in the league inside the bubble.
Even if he reproduces his performance from Game 1, Davis still has the potential to outscore him on today’s slate. +115 odds have an implied probability of 46.51%, but I think this matchup is closer to 50-50.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and I 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. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.