This article is part of our DraftKings Sportsbook series.
With only eight teams left it's been getting a bit difficult to string together relevant Best Bets pieces. As a result, Thursday marks the second-to-last article of the "season", and we'll conclude with a bit of a recap of the 2021 betting year before we begin in earnest next season.
The lack of teams has at least forced DraftKings to up their prop-bet offerings, so there are still some reasonable value targets out there for us to review. Full disclosure, my cynicism is at an all-time high when it comes to the Bucks. As a fan of Milwaukee, and Wisconsin sports in general, I actively try not to let my fan biases impact any wagers, but Thursday's matchup is getting harder and harder for me to view with clear lenses. Be mindful of that as I toss out a couple of these options because you might have more optimism than me.
I mentioned this in the Thursday Handicapping the NBA section so I won't go into too much detail, but Giannis Antetokounmpo under 32.5 points (-108) is a safe bet in my opinion. There's no reason for the Nets to deviate from the strategy that embarrassed the Bucks in Game 2, and playoff history has shown the Bucks won't deviate from their strategy even if it means getting humiliated. Certain other sites will allow you to do same-game parlays, so if you are of the belief the Nets will pull out the victory like most of my colleagues do, parlaying the Giannis under for his point total is the right call.
Reggie Jackson over 2.5 made threes (+106) is interesting mainly because DraftKings seemingly isn't taking into account his new role as the Clippers' starting point guard. Since joining the starting lineup in Game 2 of the series against Dallas, Jackson is attempting 8.3 threes per game and making them at a 43 percent clip, right on pace with his season figures. Even playing just 17 minutes in Game 1 due to foul trouble, the veteran point guard still hit this over, so I'll gladly take it again for plus money.
The Clippers always have a fluid rotation and I think Ivica Zubac is going to be the main beneficiary this series. It's difficult to stop Jazz center Rudy Gobert, but it's even more tricky if Nicolas Batum is your tallest player on the court. Zubac almost by default has to play more than he did during the Dallas series (averaged 14 minutes) as a result, but we're getting a PRA (points+rebounds+assists) figure which treats him like an afterthought. Take the over 11.5 PRA (-113).
The more I look at this number, the more I see how the over may be in play, but I'll reluctantly mention Bruce Brown under 6.5 rebounds (-125) seems right. The third-year guard officially got the Game 2 start in place of James Harden (hamstring) and played a few more minutes than he did in Game 1 despite the blowout, but still finished with just six boards. Harden was the "glass cleaner" of the Nets' "Big Three" so it stands to reason Brown would simply fill that void, but it's difficult to see how he can reasonably get those similar rebounding opportunities with Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant theoretically packing the paint. The 24-year-old averaged 5.4 rebounds this season despite fluctuating minutes so the over could easily occur, but it just seems like too gigantic of a bump based on a few more minutes vacated by Harden.
It's more of a gut feeling than anything else, but I think the Clippers need a bit more of a veteran presence on the court. Enter Rajon Rondo who performed reasonably well in the Game 1 loss. He's not going to give you much scoring, but over 2.5 rebounds (-106) for Rondo is an absolute lock if he plays anywhere close to the 28 minutes he did two nights ago. It's possible the playing time could drop which keeps this one away from the "Best Bets" section, but it's something to note regardless.
- Rudy Gobert to record double-double (-335)
- Khris Middleton to score more points than Jrue Holiday (-180)
- Middleton to outscore Holiday (-180)
- Giannis Antetounmpo under 32.5 points (-108)