The final weekend of the regular season has arrived. We carry our 79-69-3 record into a pretty murky weekend of betting the NBA. Many teams still have motivation for seeding purposes, but just how motivated are they, and who are they playing against? Plenty of questions, but here are some games throughout the weekend that I have circled to take a side on.
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.
The board on Friday is really tough. It’s mostly filled with top teams looking to officially lock their seeding in against bottom of the barrel teams. That means a lot of 15-point favorites. Do I love backing the Wizards as near double-digit favorites without Bradley Beal? Not at all, but this is a game Washington really needs.
The Cavs will be without Kevin Love, who dropped 30 in a win over the Celtics on Wednesday. I’d expect them to go back to their losing ways. The Wiz will be hyped to have the chance to clinch the final spot in the play-in tournament, with every other playoff team already clinched (although a ton of seeding is up in the air). If you prefer to just back Russell Westbrook props or use Washington moneyline as a parlay piece with something else you like, I can’t blame you. This is by far the weakest spot I have circled this weekend with laying the points, although I strongly feel Washington wins.
Potential Play: BKN 1Q or 1H Spread
According to Steve Nash, Saturday’s game against the Bulls should be the eighth time this season that Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving all take the floor together. They’re going to look to get some chemistry going before the playoffs get underway, regardless of the opposition or their motivation. If Washington does indeed win on Friday, Chicago will officially be eliminated when this game gets underway. Look for Brooklyn to get off to a hot start.
Potential Play: NYK 1H or Full Game Spread
The Celtics are one of two teams in the NBA that are locked into their seeding entering Friday’s games — they’ll have the seven-seed in the Eastern Conference (the Spurs are locked into the 10th seed in the Western Conference). Meanwhile, the Knicks will almost certainly be playing the regular season down to the wire, with anything from the four-seed to the six-seed still a realistic landing spot. Maybe things change by Sunday, but assuming this game means anything to the Knicks, they’ll be the side here. I like potentially going with the first half, as the Knicks are looking at closing out the season with one of the best 1H ATS records of all-time: 45-21-2 entering Friday. The Celtics have been atrocious when it comes to afternoon games, going 3-8 ATS. This one is an early tipoff out east.
Potential Play: GSW Spread
As you can probably tell by the injury reports, Friday’s games are meaningless to both the Grizzlies and Warriors. With their regular season series split 1-1 (Stephen Curry missed both games), whoever wins the head-to-head between these two on Sunday will earn the eight-seed in the Western Conference, while the loser is the nine-seed. How much does that matter? Well the eight-seed will get two chances to win one game in the play-in tournament to make the playoffs, while the nine-seed will have to win two games to earn their spot. It matters a lot. Ja Morant and the Grizz got a taste of this type of play-in atmosphere last year, losing to Portland in the bubble. But I’ll be backing the championship pedigree of Steph and Draymond Green at home with postseason position on the line.
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