After a tease of a card on Wednesday, with just two games to offer, the NBA is really back on Thursday with a loaded slate of 11 games. With so much to choose from, let’s survey DraftKings Sportsbook for some player props, totals and sides to bet. You can follow me on Twitter (@KennyDucey) for any late adds.
Here’s what jumps out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Marcus Smart will be making his triumphant return from an 18-game absence, over which the Celtics split their games with nine wins and nine losses. Going back to their last 15 games, the Celtics sit just 21st in defensive efficiency, allowing 114.7 points per 100 possessions — a decline from their season-long ranking of 16th (111.7). Unsurprisingly, the C’s are 2.5-points better per 100 plays on defense with Smart on the floor this year and have a 2.8% higher turnover rate according to Cleaning The Glass.
All this to say, I expect the Celtics’ defense to rise up to the challenge of taking on the Nets, and they’ll be helped by the fact that Brooklyn’s missing Kevin Durant, and perhaps Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Jeff Green, as well. This should be a big statement win for Boston, who is 4-1 over its last five.
Nick Nurse is a good coach, and the Raptors are a deep team. They’re not this deep, though. Toronto will still be missing Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby due to the league’s health and safety protocols, and Atlanta will be coming in fully-loaded, off a two-game winning streak which it established prior to the break. The Hawks rank third in offensive rebounding this season and seventh in total rebounding, which I see as a big problem against a shorthanded Raptors side. They’ve also been the third-best three-point defense in the league this season at 34.6%, and that’s where the Raptors have made their money all season long. I don’t think they’ll have an easy go of it against this Hawks team.
Here, we have a showdown of two teams with reverse home/road splits. The Suns enter at 12-5 against the spread on the road, while Portland has been 7-10 ATS at home. Further than those trends, I am looking at the fact that Phoenix’s offense was absolutely incredible heading into the break, ranking first in three-point shooting and assist-to-turnover ratio, and second in efficiency over the past 15 games. This makes Phoenix, which we already know has a top-three defense this season, hard to beat. That’s particularly true for teams like the Blazers who don’t play defense and rely on the three. I think the Suns extend their winning streak past the break to five games, and win a 17th in 20 tries. It helps, too, that Devin Booker is expected back.
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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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