Welcome back to another edition of betting selections! Not a huge slate of games scheduled for the day, but the games we do have offer a lot of interesting choices to make from both the overall and individual perspectives. With only one game projected to be close and three games with a spread of over five points, it makes sense to target spots that offer some leeway as to avoid getting caught by a blowout. Let’s dig in.
Golden State Warriors: 10.5 favorites vs. Wizards
Warriors (+106)This is a game between two teams that are both playing well of late, and the Wizards have been surprisingly competitive winning four of their last six games with one of the losses being 140-138 to the Raptors in 2OT. In fact, over the last 10 games, the Wizards are ninth in the league in net rating at 5.2 and have a better defensive rating than their opponent. If their opponent wasn’t a full-strength Warriors squad with a 126.7 offensive rating, these kinds of things might matter. Over their last six games, the Warriors are outscoring opponents by an average of 19 points which blows the current spread out of the water. Furthermore, the Warriors have won the last five meetings against the Wizards by an average of 11.4 points thus justifying a double-digit spread purely based on historical results. Plus, DeMarcus Cousins has brought this team to another level with a sparkling 98 defensive rating over the last two games. This spread seems high, but it’s entirely plausible.
Related Bet: Klay Thompson – 21.5 points
UNDER (-125)Klay Thompson is averaging 25.6 points per game over his last 10 contests, which would generally cause a bettor to infer that he is shooting the ball consistently well. That thought matched with a large spread (Warriors -10.5) as well as a high total (235.5), makes it likely that he comes close to meeting his averages. However, his averages are inflated due to two separate games in the sample vs the Lakers and the Knicks where he scored 44 and 43 points, respectively. Outside of those games, he is averaging just 21 points per game. With the team at full strength, shots will come less often for Klay and you are depending on hyper-efficient games for him to meet his props, and considering he is coming off a night of 17-20 shooting we can expect some regression and leverage that by taking his under.
Steven Adams: 10.5 Rebounds
OVER (+105)The Pelicans frontcourt is already missing star player Anthony Davis to a finger injury and will also be without Nikola Mirotic due to an injury suffered last night. This renders them brutally undermanned against the Thunder and more specifically the hulking mustache that is Steven Adams. This matchup would have been exploitable even if there was less attrition on the Pelicans side, as they have been a top-five matchup in efficiency to the center position for the better part of the last two seasons. They are allowing the fourth most rebounds to center in the league over the last 10 games at 18.5 per game as well as the second most blocks over that time frame at 3.1 which can easily lead to more rebounding opportunities overall. This fantastic matchup against the beat up pelicans should offer all the opportunity we need for Adams, already averaging 9.4 rebounds per game over his last 10, to surpass the assumed prop.
Timberwolves: 229.5 total points vs. Lakers
UNDER (-108)This is a meeting between two middling teams with a lot of talent on the rosters but certainly a lack of execution in a majority of situations. The Timberwolves are coming off of two wins against the Suns following two losses to actual NBA caliber teams in the Spurs and the 76ers while the Lakers have lost four of their last six games albeit the schedule has been brutal with games against four Western playoff contenders. Over the last 10 games, the Timberwolves sit 15th in offensive rating and the Lakers are 25th and both are in the bottom five in effective field goal percentage at 50 percent. The issue is a general lack of shooters on either side, with Andrew Wiggins and Kyle Kuzma being the most consistent sources of shooting on the respective teams and those players either give you 15 points or 30 points and nothing in between. Finally, between the three meetings these teams have had this season, just one has gone over the current implied total for the game while the others have fallen well short.
PARLAY OF THE DAY:
DeMarcus Cousins 13.5 points; Trailblazers seven-point favorites vs. Suns; Steven Adams 10.5 rebounds
DeMarcus Cousins Over, Trailblazers spread, Steven Adams Over (+550)
The anchor to this parlay is centered around the Trailblazers covering the spread on the road against the Suns, which is a solid spot considering the line is nominal for a playoff team against a bottom-five NBA team. The Trailblazers had covered in 53.1 percent of their games while the Suns have covered just 44.9 percent. The Trailblazers are also fantastic as favorites with a 22-7 record in the situations this season, giving more confidence to them holding it together in a plus matchup. As noted in the previous bet, the Steven Adams rebound total is soft in consideration of his averages and a top-five matchup for his position, along with all the injuries the Pelicans have sustained to their frontcourt. The final piece to this lucrative parlay is the over on DeMarcus Cousins point total set at just 13.5 points. In his first two games returning from injury, Cousins is averaging just 11 points per contest, but we can expect his minutes to continue to rise as he works back to full strength. He should play around 25 minutes in this contest and if he can shoot even 40 percent from the field on an assumption of 12-15 shots, he has a fantastic shot to surpass his prop, making this +550 parlay entirely possible.
LONGSHOT OF THE DAY: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Thunder
Pelicans moneyline (+575)So, here’s the thing about these two teams: The Thunder are the better team over the course of the season, and the Pelicans are probably not going to make the playoffs, which would give confidence that this should be a blowout. However, The recent form of these two teams gives the Pelicans an edge in net rating (NOP sitting at +6.7, OKC at -.8) and effective shooting percentage (NOP 55.9 percent, OKC 53.3 percent). The defensive rating of the Thunder is third worst in the league at 115.4, just behind the Bulls and the Cavaliers, and with Russell Westbrook taking bad shots and having an off year offensively, there is a definite weakness about this team at this point in the season. The Pelicans are also fantastic after a home loss, covering the spread in their next game over the last eight instances. Do I think the Pelicans are the better team? Absolutely not. But recent form and some exploitable weaknesses have me thinking that the Pelicans are worth a shot at +575.
Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.
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