This article is part of our DraftKings Sportsbook series.
It's hard to imagine with all the COVID-19-related roster turmoil things could get even more difficult, but we're getting dangerously near the NBA's trade deadline, which if it's anything like last season, will only make the profit margins more challenging to squeeze out of prop bets.
With the football season coming to a close, more eyes will be focused on the NBA than at any point this season, especially with the continual rise of new states becoming eligible to bet. While these articles don't necessarily do a great job of highlighting last-minute values on the betting slate, it's worth reiterating that a bettor should check for better value as close to tip-off as possible.
Speaking of trade rumors, Myles Turner is entering his third straight season as a potential trade candidate and his recent performance isn't helping his value on that front. Yes, the Celtics allow the fewest points to opposing centers, but it was still surprising to see Turner register under 10 points for the third time in the last four games after previously going over that mark 10 times in the month of December. Under 11.5 points (+100) sure seems likely especially if the center continues to struggle from deep.
Anytime there's an abnormally low over/under, as is the case between the Mavs and Knicks, I automatically look for an under that's relatively close to a player's season average. Jalen Brunson under 15.5 points (+100) fits that bill and the Knicks are relatively good at defending guards. Brunson is also shooting super efficiently recently which, just given his career figures, gives me reason to believe a slump is imminent.
I'm foreshadowing a bit for the next section, but I'm really invested in the Wizards/Magic game – a sentence I recognize now probably should never be written ever again in order to preserve one's sanity. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope over 12.5 points (-105) is easily my favorite points prop from this contest mainly because the Magic allow the most points to opposing small forwards and the second-most threes to the position. While I believe Kyle Kuzma should be "the guy" Wednesday, I think there's room for Caldwell-Pope to connect on a handful of shots deep.
I'm incredibly uneasy about this recommendation given Darius Garland is averaging just 10.5 points and 12.5 field-goal attempts over the last two games despite averaging 19.4 points and 15.5 FGAs this season. Hesitantly, I'll go over 20.5 points (-105) if only because the Jazz really do have major limitations defending opposing backcourts and the Cavs really have...nothing besides Garland at the moment.
Nikola Vucevic is only averaging 11.0 points in the prior two meetings against the Nets this season. That's in large part because Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan have absolutely gone off in those matchups, which has essentially been the theme of the Bulls' meteoric rise over the past three weeks. I'm expecting the status quo to continue once more, so give me under 17.5 points (-125) for the Montenegrin center.
We've talked about this before, but it's at least easier to predict points props as opposed to rebounds, assists, etc. Especially with all the lineup changes, it certainly feels like a losing endeavor at this point.
I'll cop out and target better odds on a couple of these bets instead in hopes of landing a better payday. Either Spencer Dinwiddie (+155) or Kyle Kuzma (+120) will record a double-double against the Magic. I outlined Kuzma's reasoning in Wednesday's Handicapping the NBA, but I think it's entirely possible Dinwiddie can get double-digit assists if Kuzma and KCP do what I expect. Obviously, it's plus odds for a reason and these double-double props need a lot to go right in order to make it happen. I just think Bradley Beal's absence only adds value to Washington's extra pieces and the Magic are just good enough where this game shouldn't be a blowout.
Last year we were able to target Trae Young's rebounding under a fair amount and I think Wednesday is a perfect time to go back to the well. Obviously, the odds aren't great, but under 4.5 rebounds (-130) feels like a near-lock given the Heat allow the second-fewest rebounds to opposing point guards, even with the majority of their guys likely out due to various injuries and protocols.
- Kevin Durant one-plus made threes (-1100) *DraftKings promotional offer
- Mike Conley under 2.5 made threes (-175)