The NBA is the Wild West right now with COVID-19 and the league’s health protocols, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t edges to be had. Sitting at 64-56-2 on article plays this season, let’s look to get off to a good start this week.
Follow along on Twitter — @julianedlow — for what we hope to be another great season, as some plays jump out late due to news, particularly in the player prop market. Here’s what jumps out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook.
I get that Kawhi Leonard is out, but this number feels pretty short. The Pelicans have been a massive letdown this season, going just 16-16 at home and 14-18 ATS. The Clippers have been able to get the job done on the road, sitting at 19-11. The Clippers have been running hot lately, winning 11 of their last 12, including six of the last seven on the road. Not to say that the Clips won’t be tripped up at some point, but this seems like a good matchup for them, with some motivation to continue their dominance. The Clippers are 4-1 in their last five matchups against the Pels, but the last contest was a 20-point loss, which gives reason for the Clips to stay sharp in this one.
Somehow, the Clippers have actually been better defensively with Kawhi off the floor this season, and defense has been a key piece to this streak. Los Angeles should get what it wants offensively, giving us a pretty good edge on both sides of the floor for such a short favorite. Having not played since Friday, there’s no reason for the Clippers to rest any significant names. The Pelicans are the only side of this matchup I could see late scratches, including a big question mark in Steven Adams.
Capela returned from an ankle injury on Sunday to pull down 14 boards in a tough matchup against the Bucks. Prior to that, he was absolutely cleaning the glass in better matchups, tallying 15 or more boards in six straight — a span he averaged 19.5 rebounds per game during. Detroit has been awful when it comes to defending centers this season, and has given up some monster performances to strong rebounding centers. That includes Capela, who went off for 26 boards the last time these teams squared off. In the first go around between these teams, he had just nine rebounds, but it was in 20 minutes in one of Capela’s first games of the season. I expect a huge game on the backboard here, as the Pistons just don’t have the bodies to compete in the paint.
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