It’s Thursday, which would normally mean a short slate, but due to the looming All-Star Break, and some postponements, we’ve got a whopping nine games to bet in the NBA, including a fun nationally-televised affair between the Heat and Pelicans. With so much to go through, let’s survey DraftKings Sportsbook for some player props, totals and sides to take on this slate. You can follow me on Twitter (@KennyDucey) for any late adds.
Here’s what jumps out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Editor’s Note: Pelicans PF/C Zion Williamson (toe) is doubtful to play in tonight’s game vs. the Heat.
We’ve got teams wrapping up back-to-backs galore on this slate, including New Orleans. The Pelicans have been a poor 2-3 against the spread in this spot, but the Heat are just 5-6 ATS with a rest advantage this year, which is hardly convincing on the other side of the coin. Miami is listing Jimmy Butler (knee) and Bam Adebayo (knee) as questionable, absences that would considerably tilt the edge towards the Pelicans. With the All-Star break coming up, I’d give these two a slightly lower chance of playing than a normal night, so I think we might be wise to take a gamble on New Orleans.
It doesn’t hurt that the Heat offense has really struggled of late, with a 110.1 Offensive Rating over the past 10 games, which ranks 21st in the NBA. Defense has been New Orleans’ Achilles’ heel this season, so a game against a struggling offense, particularly one without its best offensive weapons, would be one they should handily win.
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Editor’s note: Pacers PF/C Domantas Sabonis (ankle) is questionable for Thursday’s game vs. the Nuggets.
The total (226.5) here is fairly high, so why not take Indiana’s most important player in a buy-low spot? Sabonis has had 18 games with 21 or more points this season, but is averaging just 16 over his last three. However, those games came against the Knicks, Sixers and Cavaliers, three solid defenses. Sabonis will run into a Nuggets team leading the league in field goal percentage inside eight feet, allowing 62.7% to fall, and a very poor defense on the whole. Sabonis should cook the Nuggets down low, and in a week’s time I’d imagine getting this kind of line on him will be a distant memory.
Both teams come in on the second night of back-to-backs, where the Blazers (4-2) hold a slight edge over the Kings (3-4) against the spread this season. While Portland’s been the better side on no rest, it also ranks second in three-pointers attempted (and made) this season, and just put up 42 last night in a win over the Warriors. No team allows threes to fall at a higher rate than Sacramento (40.3%), and without Tyrese Haliburton, the worst defense in the league is now somehow even worse, trying desperately to preserve a Defensive Rating that would rank the worst in NBA history if the season ended today. The Trail Blazers have the shooting to get this done in what is a lopsided matchup, and they should make it 11 wins in 16 games tonight.
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