This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.
Alex Barutha: Lakers at Nets, parlay LAL (-215 to win) with the over (229.5) if Anthony Davis sits or the under if he plays – DK Sportsbook, 1:45 PM
I expect the Lakers to win this game regardless of Davis' injury situation, so I feel comfortable locking that in. In terms of the over/under, the Lakers are 5-2 to the over when Davis is out and 21-16 to the under when he plays. It makes sense. Davis is a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, and when he's sidelined, his minutes and usage get replaced by the likes of Kyle Kuzma, who is much more offensive-minded to say the least. The value on this bet isn't massive, but a $100 wager would profit just over $179.
Taking the under on any player getting 10 assists seems like the sharp play on a night-to-night basis (Doncic gets 10+ assists 46% of the time). Dwight Powell and Doncic had a pretty awesome rapport, with Powell serving as the top lob catcher on the team, so his absence will likely lead to short downturn in Doncic's assist output.
Alex Rikleen: Tristan Thompson vs. Wizards, under 11.5 rebounds – DraftKings Sportsbook @ 11:45 am
Over the course of the season, the Wizards are dead last in rebound percentage, and by a heft margin. They're fourth in pace. Both of those stats are strong indicators that Thompson would be in a good spot to bring down a boatload of rebound Thursday, and they explain why this line is so high. But both of those justifications for this high prop fall apart upon closer inspection. Over the last five games, since Thomas Bryant and Thomas Bryant returned to the lineup, the Wizards are barely above league-average in pace - ranking ninth and averaging just two more possessions per game than league average. Over that same stretch, they're rebounding percentage is up to 49.4, good for 18th in the league. Though they average the second-most field goal attempts per game this season - which would lead to extra rebounding opportunities - they are all the way down at 20th in field goal attempts over their last five. Thompson averages 10.6 rebounds per game this season. Given the Wizards' recent trendline, I'm happy to bet that Thompson doesn't exceed his season average by multiple rebounds.