Did most of us spend the All-Star break thinking this would be the big moment for Kevin Durant to make his Phoenix Suns debut? Yeah. Sure. Of course. That doesn’t mean all the intrigue in the Suns’ return to action is gone, though.
Ahead of Phoenix’s game against Oklahoma City, two teams in the thick of the East’s playoff race square off between #2 Milwaukee and #7 Miami; both are a half game away from jumping a spot in the standings with some room behind them for error, so it makes for a very hungry stretch to end their regular seasons.
Given all the circumstantial intrigue, we’re bound to find a good bet or two to profit off of, and don’t forget that DraftKings is the place to do it.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Phoenix Suns
OKC Spread: +7 (-110) | Moneyline: +235
PHX Spread: -7 (-110) | Moneyline: -280
No KD, no problem, right? Hopefully, at least.
Lots of connections between these two teams — and on a few different levels. There’s the Chris Paul connection — CP3 led an OKC team to a seven-game series in round one against Houston during the bubble. Perpetually, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is looked at similarly to how Devin Booker was looked at in his early years here — a superstar that needs to force his way out.
Most recently, though, this has a chance to be the Darius Bazley vs. Dario Saric revenge game after the two were traded for each other on deadline day. Bazley is yet to make an appearance for the Suns, but Saric scored 12 points in 14 minutes during his Thunder debut in a 37-point win on the 15th.
Devin Booker needs to hit just one three to take the all-time franchise lead and pass Steve Nash (they’re currently tied at 1,050), so we’ll take o2.5 threes at +125.
Deandre Ayton’s number for points/rebounds/assists combined is pretty appealing as well at 33.5 at a rate of -115 either way you pick; a 20/10 night nearly gets him there, and this is a good matchup against OKC who doesn’t really have a true center (unless you count Dario).
Miami Heat @ Milwaukee Bucks
MIA Spread: +1.5 (-110) | Moneyline: -100
MIL Spread: -1.5 (-110) | Moneyline: -120
These two teams don’t like each other very much. If you remember back to the bubble, Miami eliminated Milwaukee in five games, limiting Giannis to just 21.8 points per game in the conference semifinals. The next season, however, Milwaukee got their revenge on the way to a championship, sweeping the series with only the first game finishing within 15 points.
With Jae Crowder expected to make his Bucks debut, Suns fans are expected to bet the Miami moneyline (as if they didn’t have enough reason to root against the Bucks). Participate in that at your own peril as the Bucks are riding a 12-game win streak and are only getting healthier with Bobby Portis expected to return to the lineup as well.
I try my best to find sure things for you all, and I think I’ve found one here. Jimmy Butler u0.5 threes (-185) seems like cash to me. He’s come up empty from deep in 26 of 44 games and has only hit more than one in five games (only one of those was against a team top 6 in their conference). The three-point volume is super low this season for Butler, and this is a good way to cash in.
There you go my fellow degenerates. Hopefully these bets hit and we all are a little richer by the end of the night. Best of luck to all!
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