We’ve finally reached the last week of this insane NBA season, with our record on article plays sitting at 73-68-3. This week is going to be tough, with a lot of lineup news expected, to say the least. These cards are tricky, but we’ll try to find some spots that are either meaningful for teams, or open up big opportunities for players in the prop market.
Follow along on Twitter — @julianedlow — for what we hope to be a great end to the 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.
Miami Heat at Boston Celtics
MIA ML (-118)
The Celtics have been such a weird team to figure out this season. Every time I think they’re going to zig, they zag, so coming off two poor losses is a scary time to fade them. But this has to be a down spot for them, after learning Jaylen Brown’s season is over, and also losing to Miami on Sunday to fall even deeper into the No. 7-seed. It’s looking more and more like this team will be playing in the play-in round, which is a pretty big disappointment for a team that faced this Miami squad in the Eastern Conference Finals in the bubble.
The Celtics are 5-5 without Brown this season but have really struggled during the past two games without him. Sunday’s loss to Miami marked the third time in the past five games that the Celtics have gone down by 20 or more points, and the Heat have been a team that has played the Celtics very tough in recent seasons. These are two teams going in opposite directions entering playoff time. I’ll back the healthy team.
Brooklyn Nets at Chicago Bulls
BKN -4.5 (-114)
The Nets have had some disappointing losses lately, but there have been some tough spots on this road trip. Brooklyn lost a pair in Milwaukee and dropped one in Dallas, but is coming off an impressive comeback victory over the Nuggets. Meanwhile, the Bulls have three impressive victories since Zach LaVine returned from COVID. The combination of recent performances from these teams is giving us a little bit of value here. The Nets still need to win to stay out of the No. 3-seed, while the Bulls are playing every game like a playoff game, but are unlikely to reach the play-in round. The Nets should be focused on ramping their game up into postseason form, even if they still have to wait a bit longer to get James Harden back. This is a spot where the Bulls come back to Earth.
Denver Nuggets at Charlotte Hornets
P.J. Washington OVER 24.5 Points/Rebounds/Assists (-118)
Washington has cashed the over on this prop in each of his past three games, averaging 20.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists (31.3 total). Washington has gone over this prop in seven of his past nine games since returning to the starting five, but the past three carry more significance. Washington missed one game due to the birth of his son, and Miles Bridges has been out with COVID since he returned. Not only is Washington more heavily featured in the frontcourt, the Hornets just don’t have any other bodies to turn to. Expect Washington to continue to see heavy run, giving him a great opportunity to continue hitting his overs.
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