The NBA is the Wild West right now with COVID-19 and the league’s health protocols, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t edges to be had. Now sitting at 63-54-2 on article plays this season, let’s look to build on a slightly profitable week by finishing strong on Thursday and Friday. With a pretty slim board, I’m just looking to potentially back a couple of player props for stars playing in big games, but with their teams missing some other top scoring options.
Follow along on Twitter — @julianedlow — for what we hope to be another great season, as some plays jump out late due to news, particularly in the player prop market. Here’s what jumps out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Phoenix Suns at Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum OVER 28.5 points (-105)
With Jaylen Brown (shoulder) listed as doubtful for this one, I’m going to bet Tatum props with the assumption JB won’t be out there on Thursday. The Celtics have had a lot of moving parts in their rotation this season, but Tatum’s play has seen a clear boost when Brown is out of the lineup. Brown’s missed five games so far this season, with Tatum averaging 33.2 points. For comparison, Tatum averages 25 points in the 47 games he’s shared the floor with JB. So while this prop is a bit high at 28.5, it’s still underpriced for Brown’s absence, just going off the numbers. Most recently, we saw Tatum really dominate on Saturday night with Brown sidelined, finishing with 44 points against the Warriors. Meanwhile, the Suns just gave up 38 last night to Joel Embiid, who was playing for a shorthanded Philly squad.
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Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee Bucks
Joel Embiid OVER 28.5 points (-120)
*Pending Tobias Harris (Q) being ruled out
Speaking of Embiid, he could be in a spot where we can back him at the same number at Tatum. I backed this play on Friday in this situation, and Embiid would up going for 36 against the Clippers, a number he’s topped in four of his last five games. The outlier was Monday’s loss to the Warriors, when he missed by the hook, finishing with 28 points. But Embiid shot just 8-for-21 in that game, and the Warriors were clearly doubling him on every play to make him a passer, which resulted in eight assists. Ben Simmons and Seth Curry are also questionable for this one, but I don’t mind if they play. Tobias Harris takes away the most scoring upside from Embiid by a wide margin, as Embiid averaged 33 points in the eight games without Harris this season. So once we potentially get that news, be sure to act fast.
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