The NBA is the Wild West right now given COVID-19 and the league’s health and safety protocols, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t edges to be had. We went 2-2 on our plays on Wednesday, with some frustrating props missing by the hook. Let’s get back after it on Friday.
Follow along on Twitter — @julianedlow — for what we hope to be another great season, as some plays jump out late due to news, particularly in the player prop market. Here’s what jumps out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Bulls come into this one on a three-game losing streak, but even at 4-7 this season, they’ve been extremely competitive in almost every game — 8-3 ATS. All four wins have come as underdogs of four or more points, and Chicago did cover all three games during this losing streak — dropping contests by four at Sacramento, two at the Lakers and three at the Clippers. OKC went on a hot streak of its own, winning three in a row, but has since dropped the last two — by 10 to the Spurs and 29 to the Lakers. The Thunder’s last five losses have all been by double digits. The Bulls have the more talented roster, and have just showed much more upside this season. We also have the coaching narrative here, where Billy Donovan knows pieces of this team from last year, and should want to get a win against the team he coached for so many years.
This sets up as a pretty gross game in Boston. The Celtics haven’t played in a week since the COVID-19 outbreak, and now we know they’ll be returning to the floor without at least Jayson Tatum and Robert Williams. Jaylen Brown is questionable, and could also wind up ruled out. Prior to shutting down, Boston stayed under two games in a row, including against the Wizards — the highest scoring defense in the world. It’s tough to imagine much offense from the C’s after a week off, and losing their best scorer. Meanwhile, the Magic have also been down bodies recently. Their offense has been like watching paint dry, going 6-0-1 to the under in their last seven games, and failing to reach 100 points in five of them. This one has the makings of a rock fight.
Most Improved Player: Julius Randle +1600
I’m writing this earlier in the day than usual, so I’ll be looping back to player props on Twitter. Without any other sides or totals jumping out to me, I thought this spot would be worth mentioning. This is just a small sprinkle, but Christian Wood +125 deserves to be a big favorite in wake of the James Harden trade. My personal favorite right now is Jerami Grant +300, who we’ve been smashing on point prop overs. But Randle seems like a reasonable candidate, yet his price is way down the board from the favorites. Randle’s having a career year, leading the Knicks with 22.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 6.8 assists. If he maintains this level and the Knicks can get into the playoffs, or even the play-in round, he’ll be a name getting looks for the award.
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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. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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