We’ve finally reached the last week of this insane NBA season, with our record on article plays sitting at 76-68-3. 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.
Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz
POR ML (+106)
Portland has been absolutely ballin’ lately, winning eight of its last nine to climb out of the play-in tournament, and all the way up to the 5-seed in the Western Conference. As things stand going into Wednesday’s slate of games, the Blazers have the tiebreaker over Dallas, but both are 40-29. This is a must-win game to stay out of the 6-seed, and have the Lakers hunting for you to push you back down into the play-in round.
Meanwhile, Utah still wants to finish strong, but doesn’t quite need to like Portland does. The Jazz hold a two-game lead over the Suns for the top seed in the west, and will remain without their starting backcourt. Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley will essentially be shut down until the postseason. Portland is fully healthy, has the bodies to bang with Rudy Gobert, and has all the motivation to steal this game. Like we said in the bubble, you don’t want to bet against Damian Lillard in meaningful games with postseason position on the line. It’s Dame Time tonight in Utah.
San Antonio Spurs at Brooklyn Nets
BKN -6 (-110)
It sounds like James Harden is finally returning from his hamstring injury. We’ve seen no news to indicate Kevin Durant will be resting this game. Kyrie Irving did suffer a facial injury and is questionable for this game. As long as two of the three are on the floor, I’m cool backing Brooklyn here. If all three wind up playing, then I love the spot.
The Spurs might be one of the best road teams in the NBA against expectations, sitting at 22-11-1 ATS, but the Nets are looking to build some momentum entering the postseason. You don’t want to be the team in their way. The Nets still have seeding to play for, while the Spurs are all but locked into the 10-seed in the Western Conference. This is almost more of a gut feeling than a numbers play, much like Portland. But I expect the Nets to turn it up a notch with Harden back, and less than a week left in the regular season. There will be plenty of time for this team to rest during the play-in tournament.
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