This article is part of our DraftKings Sportsbook series.
Monday marks the final edition of the Best Bets column for this season. We'll put together one more season recap piece to see if there's any extra info we can glean from the results across 2021, but with five teams left in the postseason, now feels like a good stopping point.
We can touch on more of the sentimental aspects of this column in the ensuing article, so for now let's try and identify a couple more obvious values across Monday's betting slate.
DraftKings appears to believe Furkan Korkmaz is going to be the biggest beneficiary of Danny Green's absence (calf). That may be true, but much in the same way the Suns were always dangerous with their depth, the 76ers have an absurd amount of options specifically at guard. Korkmaz, George Hill, Shake Milton and Matisse Thybulle all are going to see additional time, but I think Seth Curry actually gets the biggest bump. None of those aforementioned players have the type of scoring prowess Curry has, and if anything a Thybulle/Hill minutes bump almost means Curry has to play "more" to offset the lack of scoring. More importantly, Curry has been driving to the basket more, and I think his confidence might be at an all-time high. I like over 13.5 points (-118) for the guard, and it certainly doesn't hurt that he's averaging 18 points throughout the series to date.
I mentioned the reasoning for John Collins under 1.5 made threes (-155) in Monday's Handicapping the NBA so I won't go into it much further. I think if the Hawks are to win Game 4, it's going to have to be a major Trae Young game, which means Collins will take a back seat.
Maybe it's because of the nagging ankle injury, but Donovan Mitchell over 30.5 points (-106) seems like pretty good value. The Jazz absolutely need the fourth-year guard to continue his scoring barrage (32.7 points per game in 2021 playoffs) if they plan on stealing Game 4, and it's not as if he's been stopped by the Clippers (37.3 across three-game series). Mitchell can't keep hitting threes at his current rate, but I think a dip closer to his season-long numbers could be offset by more opportunities at the line which feels like a natural byproduct if the 24-year-old struggles from deep.
I've been trying to target these bets more in the playoffs when there's less movement game to game and it's worked out relatively well in the past. Rudy Gobert to score more points than Marcus Morris (-148) is a nice, safer option considering Morris is averaging 7.7 points this series and has scored double digits just three times in the playoffs this year. Obviously there's a chance the combo forward explodes like we saw in Game 7 of the Dallas series, but the Jazz are far more equipped at wing and disciplined defensively which obviously hinders that sort of watermark figure.
Drawing back to the top regarding the 76ers, Furkan Korkmaz under 2.5 rebounds (-113) is a good mark for a couple of reasons. The rotation is going to factor in a bunch of guys, but also Korkmaz just isn't a rebounder. Let's assume the 23-year-old does play in the neighborhood of 24 minutes, similar to he did in Game 3. Throughout the course of the season, Korkmaz has played 24 or minutes 10 times, averaging 3.3 per game in that span. That's not counting games in which Joel Embiid missed, and that's also factoring in couple contests in which Korkmaz played 30-plus minutes, something I think is highly unlikely Monday. Even in the NBA it's pretty easy to walk into three rebounds, but considering the odds, I don't mind this bet one bit.
Rounding out this section is two plus-odds fliers. After Joel Embiid dominated the Hawks in Games 1 and 2, it was clear the defensive philosophy shifted to doubling the big man almost immediately once his back was turned to the basket. As a result Embiid dished out eight assists, one off from his season high. The strategy obviously didn't get the Hawks a win, but I suspect over 3.5 assists (+120) for Embiid is absolutely more in play Monday than the odds seem to recognize.
Other than Game 6 against the Mavs, Reggie Jackson is averaging 2.1 rebounds over the playoffs. Of course removing the nine-rebound game is going to affect the averages to a significant extent, but the last time Jackson had recorded even more than six rebounds in a game dated back to late January, so I'm chalking that one up to a bit of an anomaly. For significant plus odds (+138), I'll gladly bet the possibility Jackson goes under 2.5 rebounds.