It’s Thursday, which means we’ve got a short, yet action-packed five-game NBA slate to watch. With a marquee matchup like Lakers-Nuggets on the card, and the surging Grizzlies playing the tired Rockets, 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.
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The Grizzlies may be down Jonas Valanciunas and Grayson Allen here — along with some others under the league’s health and safety protocols — but the Rockets won’t have one of their best players in Victor Oladipo, who will be resting on the second night of a back-to-back. The Grizzles have been hitting their stride of late, covering in four out of their last six games — dating back to a five-game layoff due to postponements — and all four came against good teams in the Sixers, Suns and Spurs (twice). The Rockets will be tired here and down one of their stars, while the Grizzlies are red-hot and own a 3-2 record with a rest advantage this season. I’m going to forget about laying the points with the moneyline a very enticing bet.
The Warriors are set to open a two-game set in Dallas on Thursday night, and couldn’t be happier about it. Golden State did have the pleasure of facing the Pistons this week, but that game was sandwiched in between Phoenix and Boston — which both resulted in losses to some of the stronger teams in the league. Golden State was just beginning to pick up momentum before this tough seven-game stretch against good competition, and they’ll now face a struggling Mavericks team that is in a world of pain, sitting at 9-13 thanks to seven losses in their last eight. Dallas’ win over Atlanta on Wednesday was its first win — and covered spread — since Jan. 22. With tired legs on the Mavs’ side heading into the second night of a back-to-back, this should be the perfect opportunity for Golden State to get back on track and pounce on the Mavs.
I’m also going to note here that yes, the Warriors are down two bigmen, but that didn’t stop them from remaining competitive down the stretch against a good rebounding and interior scoring team in the Celtics, and Draymond Green has shown he is mighty capable at the center position.
This really feels like stealing money. The Lakers have hit a bit of a slide on defense lately, ranking just ninth in the NBA over the past five games despite owning the best defensive rating over the course of the season, and bigman Anthony Davis has particularly had a weak year on that end of the floor. Enter Jokic, who ranks second in points per game out of post-ups, against a Lakers team which is allowing the third-most points per play to them. This should be yet another opportunity for the Joker — who has 82 combined points over his past two games — to feast down low, and as he goes, so do the Nuggets. Denver’s defense has stepped it up after a disjointed start, and the loss of Gary Harris Jr. only means more minutes for Will “The Thrill” Barton, who has been excellent when afforded playing time. I think the Nuggets win outright here.
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