This article is part of our DraftKings Sportsbook series.
Eight days remain before the start of the All-Star break. I feel like we're verging on a "seniors entering last week of high school" attitude when it comes to the efforts of NBA players at this junction of the season, but still, we press forward. Thursday presents a modest six-game slate, but there's a couple of teams that we can target, in particular the Bucks, Nets, and Knicks.
I was a little surprised by how many points props were actually viable Thursday. Tobias Harris scoring over 20.5 points (-110) is a perfect example of a prop that hasn't been available the past few weeks. Maybe this number goes higher if Kristaps Porzingis (back) and/or Maxi Kleber (ankle) are unable to play, and admittedly if either were out you can almost assume Joel Embiid will also go off. But Harris has scored at least 21 points in four of the last five games and is averaging 15.2 field-goal attempts in the month of February. The Mavs also allow the fifth-most points to opposing power forwards this season so all signs point to Harris once again repeating his recent trend.
There's a bit of blowout potential in this game, but if the Grizzlies can manage to stay relatively competitive against the Clippers, I really like Kyle Anderson over 11.5 points (+103). The only rub is the logic I just used above should have applied to the 27-year-old in his last game against the Mavs, only for Anderson to score just nine points while attempting just six field goals in the Monday loss. Justise Winslow's season debut seemingly cut into Anderson's workload, but I have a hard time believing the Grizzlies will allow him to continue taking 10-plus shots a night after such a long absence. Prior to Monday, Anderson had averaged 17.6 points across his last eight games, so I'm willing to bet it was just a one-game blip.
Considering the heater Jamal Murray has been on, I'm stunned to see his o/u at 24.5 points (over -110). Over the last seven games, the 24-year-old is averaging 30.1 points while attempting close to 20 shots per game. Any time you're able to get an o/u total that resembles something close to the number of shots a player might take, it's normally a pretty good bet to make. Oh yeah, included in that seven-game stretch was a scintillating 35-point outing against these very same Wizards just eight days prior.
I'm probably overreacting to the last time the Bucks played the Pelicans, but I still feel like Lonzo Ball over 14.5 points (-110) is way too low to ignore. The fourth-year guard tied his career-high with 27 points in the upset win over the Bucks towards the end of January, but more importantly for this context, he knocked down seven of 10 attempts from beyond the arc. Considering Milwaukee allows the most three-pointers to opposing point guards and the over-the-hill-four-years-ago D.J. Augustin is expected to start at point guard, even a "mundane" outing from Ball from deep should be enough for the over to be easily in play.
Fun fact, Michael Corleone was obviously referring to betting absurdly high points+rebounds+assists figures and nothing to do with mafia-related stuff when he uttered that famous line.
I can only assume he was specifically referring to James Harden's 47.5 PRA over (-110) which is a monstrous number even given the circumstances. In the last five games with Kevin Durant (hamstring) sidelined, Harden has averaged 31.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 11.4 assists, and he'll face a Magic roster that is allowing the most rebounds to shooting guards in the league. I don't think there's any risk of this game being a blowout, so I'll take the dip into these uneasy waters and bet the monster PRA as opposed to any of the bloated points, rebounds or assists figures.
I mentioned this in the Handicapping the NBA: Thursday edition so I won't go into too much detail here. Love the over when it comes to Michael Carter-Williams' assists (over 4.5, +110). The odds are excellent considering the matchup.
It's purely an odds-based bet, but it makes no sense to see Buddy Hield's over when it comes to assists (over 3.5 +144) at such high odds considering he's gotten at least three in each of the last five games. The game has the lowest over/under of any on Thursday's slate so I recognize there will be fewer scoring chances just overall, but his figures over the month of February are way too close to this fringe to be in the same odds-based wavelength as a player getting a double-double.
We'll round out Thursday's slate with another one of my favorite bets. The odds certainly aren't a major positive, but regardless, taking the under when it comes to Brandon Ingram's 5.5 rebounds (-134) is a comfortably reliable option in a parlay. While the dynamic forward has gone over that total in each of the last two games, he was averaging just 4.3 rebounds across the previous seven contests. And in the aforementioned win over the Bucks last month, Ingram failed to record a single rebound in large part because the Bucks' low-post options have been so miserably bad when it comes to cleaning up the glass (Zion Williamson had nine rebounds while Steven Adams had a whopping 20 in that game). If there's one thing you can comfortable expect each and every game of the NBA season, it's that the Bucks will never change anything when it comes to their defensive scheme. Along the same lines, don't be afraid to bet the over on Adams' rebounding line on other sportsbooks that make it available.