Thursday’s NBA slate is a dangerous one, with a ton of lineup news to be aware of. We have teams playing with very different motivations, which should give us a moneyline parlay to play. I’m also going to list off some player props that interest me on DraftKings Sportsbook, but won’t be playing any of them until we get some news later in the day. If I fire on any of them, I’ll put the play out on Twitter.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz
Denver Nuggets at Phoenix Suns
OKC/PHX MLP (-116) — 1-unit
The motivation for OKC is fairly obvious. The Thunder are currently in the 10-seed, but have an identical record to the Mavericks. A win would get them that much closer to cracking the play-in tournament, so expect this young OKC squad to show up. The Jazz have been pesky all season long, but the inactive list for the Jazz is really going to hinder them. Walker Kessler, Lauri Markkanen, Jordan Clarkson and Collin Sexton will all sit this one out.
Nuggets and Suns could be a playoff preview of a heavyweight second-round matchup. The Nuggets are just looking to close out the season healthy, and could wind up resting Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. Even if they play, the minutes could be very limited. Given how few games the Phoenix core has played with Kevin Durant, the Suns are still looking to use this time to build some familiarity in hopes of a championship run. At home with a fully loaded roster, the Suns should coast here.
Player Prop Considerations
Cavaliers Point Props
The Cavs have locked up the 4-seed in the east, and await a first-round matchup against the Knicks. Cleveland is sitting its entire starting lineup in Orlando, which means we’ll see all the backups play very expanded roles. If and when player props on these guys open up, we may see some good plays.
Blazers Point Props
Portland has been playing its bench massive minutes over the last five or so games since shutting down the core players. Shaedon Sharp overs have been an auto-play for me, but he finally fell under on Tuesday when he got dinged up with an injury. With Sharpe now questionable for this game, his absence could leave some big scoring openings on Portland’s roster.
Nuggets Point Props
As I mentioned, Denver could wit Jokic and Murray in this game. If that’s the case, we could have a play on the Nuggets’ side of things with a huge scoring void to fill.
Malaki Branham OVER 15.5 Points (-110)
I backed Branham twice a couple of weeks ago on his point prop and he scored a combined nine points in those two games. He played awful. Since then, he’s scored 15 or more points in all six games. I’ll need to see an injury report before backing Branham against the Blazers, but if Keldon Johnson were to sit, it should help push me to the over.
Jalen Williams OVER 17.5 Points (-105)
Williams has been a huge piece to OKC’s success this season. He’s really picked up his scoring over the last couple of weeks, and going back to last month, he hung 20 and 32 points on the Jazz in a back-to-back.
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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.