This article is part of our DraftKings Sportsbook series.
For the first time in recent memory, nearly every one of the matchups in Wednesday's 12-game slate has at least one prop bet attributed to it. With the Clippers resting almost all of their starters and the Rockets continually being so bad that DraftKings has no idea what to make of the starting lineup, 10 of the 12 contests pose at least some sort of betting line, although a handful of players that figure to be juicy DFS plays (hello Kings/Wizards) seem to be conveniently removed from the prop bet options. We'll try to wipe away the stink of Saturday's historically bad outing, but I'll cushion this preamble by saying there are not a lot of props I really feel fall into the "best bets" category. Maybe I'm gun-shy from the aforementioned dismal failure, but from a statistics perspective, I think DraftKings has hammered away most of the obvious options, leaving a lot of wishy-washy second-tier bets.
The value for Wednesday's slate seemingly resides in a couple of matchups. Especially with both Fred VanVleet (suspension) and Kyle Lowry (rest) out, over 14.5 points for Malachi Flynn (-108) is right in line with expectations. We know the Spurs struggle defending point guards, specifically ones that can create their own shot, so the rookie should do well enough despite some recent inconsistencies from the field. In his seven-game stretch as a starter, Flynn is averaging 14.3 points per game.
Sticking in the same game, I'm buying into the revenge-game narrative for DeMar DeRozan. In his previous five games against his former team, DeRozan is averaging 22.0 points, and in his most recent outing earlier in the season he totaled 27 points on 10-of-17 attempts from the field. That game was all the way back in December so I don't really think there's a ton of correlation, but if you want to stick to more recent trends, DeRozan has scored at least 20 points in six of his last eight games. I'll take over 22.5 points (-113) given the odds.
There's a quagmire near the top of the data, but it's pretty clear that the Grizzlies struggle defending opposing small forwards, allowing the second-most points to the position per game. Granted, that nearly league-leading production generally seems to come from the free-throw line (fourth-most free throws granted to opposing SFs), but I still think Dorian Finney-Smith can hit over 9.5 points (-113) with relative ease. Especially if Luka Doncic is bottled up, there are going to be opportunities open from deep, and if the O/U mark for made threes from Finney-Smith is any indication (over 1.5 sits at -139), it won't take much for the total over to come into play.
We're going to learn more about life after Jamal Murray for the Nuggets in the coming weeks but, at least for Wednesday, I think it's safe to assume Aaron Gordon will go under 12.5 points (-113). Someone will obviously need to take on some of the scoring burden, but I can't really envision a scenario where the slash-heavy Gordon will play a part in that role. In four of the last six games, the ex-Magic forward scored fewer than 10 points, averaging just 6.6 field-goal attempts over that stretch. That's supposed to magically bump up with Murray, who helped space the court more with his 3-point prowess, now out of the equation? This game also has easily the lowest total over/under of the entire slate which only reinforces my thought process.
There really wasn't a lot to choose from in these categories. Dating back to the first bets, I do think there's some underlying value from TOR/SA. It's not exactly an optimal bet considering OG Anunoby is averaging right around this figure, but I'd consider over 5.5 rebounds (-108) for the young forward. The Spurs allow the seventh-most rebounds in the NBA, most of which comes from the opposing shooting guards and small forwards (top 5 allowed to both positions). Flynn has been doing a decent job of attacking the boards in the absence of Lowry, but I do think Anunoby will get some chances in his own right.
This will defy any sort of recent logic, but I'm going to target under 10.5 assists (-125) for Nikola Jokic. The Heat allow the fewest assists to centers in the league by a wide margin, Jokic had just three when the two teams played back in late January and the Nuggets will be without one of their best three-point shooters/spacers in Murray. There's really no discernable evidence that suggests the MVP frontrunner will surpass this total, and I have a feeling it might be one of the few times the rest of the year we'll be able to get this assist number so high.