Hooray, it’s Thursday! That means a fun, bite-sized six-game slate in the NBA complete with some very exciting matchups. With a short slate, we’ll have to work harder to find some value, but there should still be plenty of chances on this night. 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.
Editor’s Note: Magic PG/SF Aaron Gordon (injury management) and SG Evan Fournier (groin) will start tonight’s game vs. the Knicks.
It’s getting to be a meme, me picking the Knicks, but I really do think this is a great spot. New York is a super 6-1 against the spread as a home favorite, as it is on Thursday night, and matches up well with a Magic side which is 8-10 ATS on the road, missing covers by an average of 5.4 points.
The Knicks should also have the benefit of facing the Magic without Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross, which will make life easier on Julius Randle inside — Gordon is one of the better interior defenders in the NBA — and without Fournier and Ross this already-shaky three-point attack will get even weaker. With that, I don’t see the Knicks’ recent dip in three-point defense being an issue whatsoever.
Riding a streak of three straight against-the-spread victories, the Pelicans should right the wrongs here which led to their collapse the other night in a loss to the Blazers. They still managed to cover, but New Orleans explicably let the lead slip late, a meltdown accented by two missed free throws by Brandon Ingram, which allowed Damian Lillard the chance to win the game.
While Portland won, it still failed to cover in its fifth straight game, and it now returns home where it is a putrid 7-12 ATS, and an even-worse 5-9 ATS as the favorite. The Pelicans did a lot of things well in that game, which would normally lead to a win. The biggest was out-rebounding the Trail Blazers by nine, something that is a key to their success. Another was limiting all players not named Damian Lillard to poor scoring nights. Just playing the law of averages here, Lillard should not score 50 points again, as bad as this defense has been, and without the 50 Portland comes nowhere close to beating New Orleans the way the Pels are allowed to dominate down low. That’s how they’ve won their games.
LaMelo Ball as an eight-point underdog in his first game in Los Angeles, just a short drive from where he grew up? Yeah, you can sign me up.
The Hornets are in a great spot here, looking at their season-long trends. They are coming off a loss, where they’re 12-6 against the spread, and on the second night of a back-to-back, a scenario which has netted bettors five covers in eight games. On top of all this, the Lakers are still without three of their best defenders in Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol and Alex Caruso, breathing some confidence into a Charlotte offense which is beginning to heat up. Los Angeles has gone just 6-8 ATS when favored by eight or more points, and last game’s cover against the Timberwolves was far too much of a lungbuster than it should have been. Charlotte presents a tougher task for this depleted defense, and I think we get a very tight game.
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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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