It’s Thursday, which means we’ve got a short, yet fun five-game NBA slate to watch. With some exciting teams like the Lakers, Mavericks and Sixers in action, let’s survey for some player props, totals and sides to take on DraftKings Sportsbook. You can follow me on Twitter (@KennyDucey) for any late adds.
Here’s what jumps out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Denver Nuggets have really struggled to find their footing in the early going, only picking up wins over the Timberwolves (twice) and depleted Rockets on the young season. They’ve struggled particularly on the defensive end, where they’re allowing over 115 points per 100 possessions, ranking second-last in the NBA to only Minnesota. Although Dallas has struggled a bit on offense statistically, its offensive ranking has been weighed down because of games against tough defenses in the Suns, Lakers, Clippers and Heat. With Luka Doncic back in the lineup for a second-straight game — unlocking the potential in Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke, Josh Richardson and several other key members of the team — they should get right in this spot. Denver also has one of the worst point guard defenses in the league, allowing 20.9 points and 8.1 assists against the position, meaning Luka should have no problem going off in this one. The Nuggets are also an unsightly 2-5 against the spread so far, the second-worst mark in the league to only the Raptors.
Editor’s Note: Nets PG Kyrie Irving (personal) has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the 76ers.
Call me a square, mock me all you want, but I refuse to bet on the Brooklyn Nets even against the Sixers coming off a back-to-back. Yes, the only back-to-back the Sixers have had this season did not go very well — they lost by 24 — but this team was 6-3-2 against the spread with no rest last season, and they have a clear matchup advantage here.
Not only do the Sixers tout the league’s best defense so far, allowing fewer than 103 points per 100 possessions, but the Nets’ defense has been all out of sorts since their nice 2-0 start to the year, allowing 116.6 points per game. I am also not reading too far into a win over the Jazz, who have been sleepwalking of late, especially considering they relied so heavily on Kyrie Irving. Against this defense, and against Ben Simmons in particular, he won’t be able to have the same level of success. Simmons’ play has been incredible so far.
Yep, it’s yet another Cavs under. Cleveland has hit the under six times in eight games, and Memphis has done so five times in seven. Both offenses just have no ability to score the basketball right now, particularly the Grizzlies without Ja Morant. The Cavs are now down Darius Garland, their second-leading scorer, in addition to Kevin Love, while Andre Drummond has been incredibly inconsistent in the scoring department. The Grizzlies rely so much on the shooting and scoring ability of Dillon Brooks, meanwhile, and the one thing the Cavs actually do well is defend the wing. It’s a low number, yes, but it’s still worth taking. We could see an NCAA-level score here of 89-82.
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