Handicapping the NBA: Wednesday Picks

Handicapping the NBA: Wednesday Picks

This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.

Alex Barutha

Jusuf Nurkic over 33.5 points + rebounds + assists vs. Heat – FanDuel, 2:48 PM CT

Portland is down Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and likely Larry Nance, so Nurkic should continue to carry a higher usage rate than usual. With that trio off the floor, Nurkic has a 30.4% usage rate with averages of 23.0 points, 11.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists per 36 minutes. He's also going up against an inexperienced center in Omer Yurtseven.

Nick Whalen

Kyrie Irving OVER 19.5 points (-120) at Indiana Pacers – DraftKings Sportsbook, 2:30 PM CT

Kyrie is finally making his season debut tonight, so I feel partially obligated to bet on him. The point total is set a bit higher than I would've expected, given the circumstances, but Kyrie is certainly capable of going over this number on a night when the Nets will likely do everything they can to get him back up to speed. Indiana will be without several key guards, including Malcolm Brogdon, so I'm not concerned about the matchup whatsoever. Ultimately, it will come down to how many minutes Irving plays. I expect him to come out aggressively, so as long as he can get at least 25 minutes, I like his chances to make a statement and have a nice scoring game in his first action since the 2021 playoffs. Irving won't be able to play again until Monday, at the earliest, so I'm not overly concerned about Steve Nash keeping him on a strict limitation.

Ken Crites

I'm taking the UNDER on Tobias Harris scoring 19.5 points (-102) vs. Orlando – FanDuel, at 12:15 ET

This is based purely on Harris playing poorly as of late. Over his past five games, Harris has averaged 16.2 points per game while shooting 39.4% from the field.  Yes, Orlando is facing a bunch of injuries, but their starters are mostly healthy. With Philly favored by -9.5, there is a chance for an early blowout with the Sixers resting their vets early.

Joe Bartel

Bobby Portis under 19.5 points against TOR (-125)DraftKings 1:13 PM CT

Portis has just five games with 20 or more points and the Raptors allow the fifth fewest points to opposing centers. No Giannis Antetokounmpo (non COVID-19 illness) obviously gives some scoring opportunities to Portis and two of those aforementioned five games did occur with Giannis sidelined, but Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton are available Wednesday which should balance out the scoring equation. DraftKings does have Portis' rebound total at 10.5 o/u which does raise my eyebrow somewhat given the lack of big bodies available for the Bucks so consider this also a reminder to shop around for some possible same-game parlays on other platforms.

Kirien Sprecher

Herro Over 33.5 points + rebounds + assists (-115) at PortlandDraftKings, 10:45 AM CT

Over his last three games (all starts), Herro is averaging 18.7 points, 5.0 assists and 4.7 rebounds, but he is shooting just 31.7 percent from the field. I expect the third-year pro to be slightly more efficient against Portland's porous defense, which currently ranks last in defensive rating with an abysmal 114.8 points allowed per 100 possessions.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Joe Bartel
Joe Bartel is RotoWire's Operations Specialist and football contributor among many other things. When not at the office, he's probably playing a variety of Gen 4 console games or rooting on his beloved Green Bay Packers.
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.
Ken
An early RotoWire contributor from the 90's, K-Train returns with the grace of Gheorghe Muresan and the wisdom of Joe Gibbs. Tweet @KenCrites or e-mail at ken@rotowire.com. Ken won the FSWA 2014 Humor Article Of The Year award. He's also the 2016 Champion of the prestigious RW NBA Keeper League and the 2019 Champion of the RW NFL Ottonue Keeper League. Ken still owns a RotoNews shirt.
Kirien Sprecher
Kirien Sprecher is a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate who dreams of being a beat reporter in the MLB.
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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