Happy Monday! The NBA’s got the best cure for your early-week blues: a ridiculously loaded 11-game slate for you to watch, including a couple games between elite teams on national television. 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.
This is a sell-high spot on the Celtics, who have covered in four of their last five, but have been awful against the spread on the whole this season. On top of what I see as some flukey results lately, the Celtics will be playing this one without Jaylen Brown (hip), significantly inhibiting their ability to score here. The other thing I hate about this for the Celtics is the matchup inside; the Pelicans are one of the most physical teams in the NBA, posting elite rebounding numbers and punishing opponents inside. With Tristan Thompson still out, this frontcourt is weak and should fold under this kind of pressure. There’s also a chance the Pelicans get Lonzo Ball (questionable, hip) back here, which would really tip the scale in their favor.
The Nets will be celebrating the return of Kyrie Irving, who was gone for the entire last week due to undisclosed personal reasons. Whatever they were, Irving has done this thing before — infamously at the beginning of the season — and came back with a real chip on his shoulder. What scares me for the Timberwolves is their 3-point defense, which ranks 28th in the NBA. Why? Well, James Harden is arguably the best player in the league right now, scoring over 30 points per game over his last five, and that’s while shooting just 25% shooting from deep. Against this team, he could start hitting his threes, and the game could get very ugly Irving added back into the equation. The Timberwolves also rank among the bottom seven in the league in 3-point shooting themselves, which has been just about the only way teams can keep up with this high-powered Nets offense. Both teams struggle to defend at the arc, but the difference is that we know Harden is an elite 3-point shooter. We don’t know that to be true of the Timberwolves’ guards and wings.
The Raptors won’t have Kyle Lowry here, but that shouldn’t be much of an issue. We saw how great this team can be with just its short rotation of nine players on Sunday. Up against a disinterested Pistons defense, the Raptors should be primed for another big outing. Detroit had numerous issues with Washington’s guards on Saturday, which doesn’t bode well for the Pistons going against a guard-heavy team that likes to shoot the three. The Raptors are just 3-6 on the second night of back-to-backs, but this line is too short to ignore against a team that’s essentially tanking.
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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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