We’ve arrived at yet another NBA Saturday, and we have a loaded slate of games tipping off at 5:10 p.m. ET. With so many games, come so many opportunities to make money, here’s what jumps out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Miami Heat at Washington Wizards
Editor’s Note: Wizards C Daniel Gafford will start tonight vs. the Heat.
The Heat have turned things around with five wins in a row, and the latest came against these same Wizards, by 15 points. While Washington is a very good team, I’m not quite sure that win by Miami was a fluke.
Washington didn’t have Daniel Gafford in that game on the defensive end, but they did shoot out of their shoes on offense, connecting on 41.6% of threes. Kyle Kuzma had a double-double and Montrezl Harrell was a monster down low. If anything, the Wizards are due for regression. The 17 turnovers they had also weren't much of an outlier considering Miami is 11th in turnovers per play this year.
Should Gafford sit again, the Heat are the clear-cut favorites. Even with him, I think Washington has nowhere to go but down from that last performance against a good Heat defense. The Heat, on the other hand, can stand to shoot a lot better. I think any way you slice it, Miami is the better side.
Charlotte Hornets at Atlanta Hawks
Saturday will see the coming together of two defenses ranked in the bottom six of the league in efficiency. While it’s never as easy as just looking at one specific statistic and hitting “Place Bet,” there is plenty to like here.
Charlotte’s biggest weakness is inside, where it has ranked inside the bottom eight in field goal percentage against in the paint and the restricted area. The Hornets are also one of the very worst rebounding teams in basketball, and they will be up against it here with the physicality of the Hawks, who can score inside and rank fourth in rebounding rate.
The Hawks’ biggest weakness is defending opposing guards, giving up well over 20 points to both backcourt positions. That should open things up for another big LaMelo Ball game.
The bottom line is that both of these defenses are bad and the opposing offenses have very clear ways of exploiting those weaknesses. On top of that, the over is 3-0 on the second night of a back-to-back for Charlotte, and the Hornets have allowed over 120 points on average in those games. This number is high, but it’s deserving.
Philadelphia 76ers at Portland Trail Blazers
Philly will get some much-needed relief ahead of this game, activating Matisse Thybulle after a week and a half on the shelf under the league’s health and safety protocols. Even on a minutes limit, Thybulle has the chance to make a meaningful impact and take away minutes from Georges Niang. His defense on the wing is tremendous and it should frustrate a Trail Blazers team which has gotten so much help from its wing scorers.
Thybulle should at least help keep Norm Powell and Larry Nance, Jr. in check for a little bit and make life easier on the offense. Speaking of, Philly may be struggling without Joel Embiid, but it’s been able to get some meaningful minutes on the perimeter from Tyrese Maxey and Seth Curry. That’s an area the Blazers have struggled defensively, and there is certainly a clear path to a cover for Philly.
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