It’s Thursday, which means we’ve got a short, yet fun three-game slate in the NBA, including a pair of nationally televised games which should certainly be worth watching. Let’s survey DraftKings Sportsbook for some player props, totals and sides to take on this slate. With just the trio of games, I’ll hit on each one. You can follow me on Twitter (@KennyDucey) for any late adds.
Here’s what jumps out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Bucks play at the third-fastest pace in the league, while the Raptors don’t sit too far behind in 12th. Over the last 10 games, however, Toronto’s pushed to a pace of around 101.05 possessions per game, which is eighth-most in the NBA.
While the pace suggests we get plenty of chances for points in this one, consider the fact that the Raptors love to shoot the basketball. It’s how they love to score. Only three teams shoot more threes per game than the Raptors, and only four teams allow a higher percentage of opponent threes to fall than the Bucks. I think we should get a run-and-gun type game, with the Bucks sitting among the league leaders in transition possessions and ranking so poorly against the three — Toronto’s specialty. We should see plenty of points.
There will be a lot of talk about the offenses in this one, with so many huge names on both side of the ball who can really score the basketball. I’m going to focus in on the defenses, though, which should be the deciding factor. Los Angeles — which leads the league in defensive efficiency — remains atop the league in its past 10 games, while Brooklyn’s been awful with the fourth-worst defensive rating in that same span. While it’ll be a struggle on defense, the Nets still won’t have Kevin Durant (hamstring) available, meaning they will rely on their guards to power the offense. While point guard Dennis Schroeder is the Lakers’ worst defender, I suspect the clamps of Alex Caruso could be deployed here if things get close, or perhaps LeBron James could slide over to guard either Kyrie Irving or James Harden. Either way, the Lakers have found ways to neutralize the best scorers in the NBA this year, and they’ve locked down the paint incredibly well with their rotation of bigs. Los Angeles won’t afford Brooklyn enough opportunities to make up for its poor defense.
The Heat are 1-2 straight-up on the second night of back-to-backs, and are coming off a horrendous loss to Golden State in which they blew a huge lead and fell in overtime. Sacramento hasn’t won — or covered — in four-straight, but the team looked strong against Brooklyn last time out before blowing a lead late. Second half collapses have been the story of the Kings’ season. Because of that, I’m going to bet on the Heat to come out flat off the loss to Golden State, while I think the Kings will run it up before eventually giving in. Their first-quarter scoring margin ranks 17th. They’ve actually been a decent team early in games.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jetsfan196) 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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