It’s a pretty big night in the NBA, with a couple of interesting primetime games. We also have a really interesting storyline going on in Brooklyn, with the rapid emergence of Cam Thomas. Let’s breakdown these games, and Thomas’ impact of the current futures market on DraftKings Sportsbook.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics
Joel Embiid OVER 31.5 Points (-115)
This is a pretty big game for the 76ers, who have struggled recently against the Celtics, and lost in Boston on opening night this season. Philly has hit its stride recently, while the Celts have leveled off after a scorching start. Tough game to pick a side on, but I think we may see a betting angle shape up for Embiid props.
While Jaylen Brown will return for the C’s from his one game absence, both Rob Williams and Al Horford have been tagged questionable for this game. If Boston is without both bigs, I think we look to attack Embiid on his point prop.
It’s worth noting that Embiid is listed as questionable as of Wednesday afternoon, but has been playing through this tag lately, and should continue to do so in a big game like this. Embiid has actually had 26 or fewer points in three straight matchups against Boston, but prior to that he’d scored 35 or more in four of five. We’ll keep an eye on the news and see if this is worth playing.
Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Clippers
Kyrie Irving OVER 27.5 Points (-115)
I have much less conviction on this prop, but did want to highlight it. If I’m playing Irving’s player prop tonight, it’s an over for me on his points. I don’t trust Kyrie to remain happy in one place long-term, but he’s a rental for a few months for Dallas. With the change in scenery, I think he’ll be able to be a good teammate for the remainder of this season.
This is a nationally televised game for his debut, in Los Angeles as a pretty sizable dog, which has a lot to do with Luka Doncic being out. More of a narrative play here than a matchup play, but I’d expect Kyrie to be sharp early in his tenure with Dallas.
Most Improved Player Award: Cam Thomas (+4000)
This is an interesting one, because over a 24-hour span, we’ve seen the price move from 200-1 to just 40-1. The value is starting to disappear, but I wanted to highlight the play, because this one could really keep moving. If you’re interested in betting it, I’d still fire now.
I’m sure you’re aware of the situation, but since Irving played his last game for the Nets, Thomas has been going insane. Here’s a look at his stat lines over the last three games:
Saturday vs. Wizards: 44 points (16-of-23 FG), five rebounds, five assists in 29 minutes.
Monday vs. Clippers: 47 points (15-of-29 FG), four rebounds, three assists in 39 minutes.
Tuesday vs. Suns: 43 points (11-of-23 FG, 18-of-20 FT), five rebounds, three assists in 39 minutes.
The dude has been going OFF. Now, obviously, Kevin Durant will be back at some point and is the go-to-guy, but is there enough time left in the regular season for Thomas to makeup ground on this award? I think so.
Lauri Markkanen (-145) and Shai Gilgeous Alexander (+125) are very worthy candidates, but Thomas has come out of nowhere here. If he can put up half the numbers he has over this three-game span for the rest of the season, he’ll have a case by the end of the regular season. At 40-1 why not sprinkle?
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment.