It’s Tuesday, and we’ve got a very strange, yet very fun two-game NBA slate for our viewing pleasure. With big mismatches in both, let’s survey for some player props, totals and sides to take on DraftKings Sportsbook. You can follow me on Twitter (@KennyDucey) for any late adds.
Here’s what jumps out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Jazz are hot, and the Pelicans are not. New Orleans needed to face the worst defense in the league in order to finally pick up a win, and in doing so, the Pelicans’ weaknesses got even weaker. Over their past six games — which is when they started a five-game losing streak that would eventually be snapped on Sunday — the Pelicans rank 25th of 30 teams in the NBA in defensive efficiency, allowing 116.1 points per 100 possessions. In its win over the Kings, New Orleans put forth its worst defensive performance to date with a defensive rating of 123.0. Simply put, this defense has been horrid.
The Jazz, meanwhile, have won five in a row — three of which came against top-five teams — and have shown stellar defense throughout. Donovan Mitchell’s early-season struggles are a distant memory and Jordan Clarkson has emerged as a legitimate threat scoring the basketball, getting more run with the injury to Joe Ingles. Until I see more from the Pelicans’ defense, I can’t back them.
I also love the O’Neale over here. He’s been playing 30-plus minutes per game, even with Derrick Favors back in the fold, and has hit this very low over in back-to-back games. New Orleans is currently allowing a whopping 24.9 points per game to opposing power forwards, so I like O’Neale’s chances to get a few buckets in an incredibly soft matchup. He’s averaging over seven points and around five shots per game, to make things even more appealing.
The Thunder were against-the-spread champions of the world not so long ago, but are now just 7-5 ATS and a disappointing 2-4 at home, all of which have been in games where they were not favored. This is going to be another tough one for Oklahoma City, and even though the Nuggets have struggled on defense, OKC lacks the offensive talent to keep up with Denver in this one. It will be even more difficult without Al Horford in the lineup, who is away due to the birth of his child, and who also won’t be in uniform to slow down Nikola Jokic. The Thunder looked awful for three quarters against the Bulls before a miracle fourth quarter comeback, but I don’t think the Nuggets will let up like Chicago did when they go up 20.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jetsfan196) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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