Handicapping the NBA: Friday Picks

Handicapping the NBA: Friday Picks

This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.

Alex Barutha

Luka Doncic 14+ assists and Mavericks win vs LAC (+800) – PointsBet (1:36 PM CT)

Doncic is coming off a 14-assist game in Game 5, where he posted a ridiculous 42/14/8 line with just four turnovers. To me, this feels like a game where the Clippers have to completely sell out to stop Doncic – let anyone but him close out this series. It would be a complete slap in the face to the Clippers to have 22-year-old Doncic cook Kawhi Leonard and Paul George for 35+ points per game in a playoff series. As a result, I think we'll see plenty of Doncic passes to open shooters, which will hopefully lead to the 14 assists we need, plus a win.

Nick Whalen

Clippers -3.0 (-112) at DAL – DraftKings (1:20 PM CT)

Game 5 was winnable for the Clippers, who were almost able to storm back and steal it late in the fourth quarter. Other than Luka Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr., no Mavericks player had an above-average game, but that was offset by Kawhi Leonard having easily his worst game of the series. The bad news for the Clippers is Doncic looked significantly healthier Wednesday than he did in Game 4, but I still like the Clippers' chances to rally and head back to Los Angeles for a Game 7. If Kawhi is back to being Kawhi tonight, the Clippers aren't shooting 41 percent and only forcing eight Mavs turnovers, as was the case in Game 5.

Luka Doncic OVER 31.5 points (-125) vs. LAC – DraftKings

This is a suspiciously low number considering Doncic has games with 39, 44 and – most recently – 42 points in this series. There's not a ton of value here, but as we saw in Game 5, if Dallas is going to pull off the upset, Doncic has to have the ball in his hands virtually every possession he's on the floor. He put up 37 shots in Game 5, while all other Mavs not named Tim Hardaway Jr. combined for 33 field-goal attempts. Dallas will likely attempt to get Kristaps Porzingis more involved, but if he's content to just hang out around the three-point line, Doncic will have no choice but to have another mega-high-usage night. He should also be able to work his way to the line more after attempting only eight free throws over the last two games. Whether he'll make those free throws is a different discussion, however.

Kyle Kuzma to lead the Icelandic C League in scoring next season (-150) – Whalen Sportsbook

I'm so sick of this guy.

Jacob Lebowitz

Luka Doncic OVER 2.5 Three-pointers made (-200) vs. LAC – DraftKings (1:29 PM CT)

Doncic has been a stud against the Clippers in the playoffs and is undoubtedly the best player in this series. He's taking an average of 11.2 three-pointers and is making 4.8 of those attempts. Doncic has made five or more threes in every game except for one this series, so making only three shouldn't be a problem for the young star. I fully expect Doncic to live up to the hype in a potential series-clinching game once again and carry his team with an impressive three-point shooting performance. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Alex Barutha
Alex is RotoWire's NBA Assistant Editor. He writes articles about daily fantasy, year-long fantasy and sports betting. You can hear him on the RotoWire NBA Podcast, Sirius XM, DraftKings Live and other platforms. Vince Carter and Alex both first dunked during their respective sophomore years of high school.
Jacob Lebowitz
Jacob writes about fantasy sports and sports betting for RotoWire. He's always doing something sports-related whether that's playing NBA 2K, watching a football game or playing a game of pickup basketball.
Nick Whalen
RotoWire's NBA Editor and host of the RotoWire NBA Podcast. Nick was awarded the FSWA Best Podcast -- All Sports award in 2017 and 2018. Many years ago, Stromile Swift gave Nick his unbelievably sweaty headband after a preseason game. Despite its failure to match his school colors, Nick went on to wear that headband for the entirety of his sixth grade basketball season. Catch Nick on Twitter @wha1en.
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