It’s Wednesday, there’s two nationally televised games on ESPN, and there’s a chance to not only enjoy the basketball, but to make a little coin. We know that we have the Orlando Magic in Oklahoma City Thunder ahead of us in the schedule and we could use a night to, like Wham!, relax.
But no, we are adrenaline junkies. We crave having every possession count and something to root for. We fiend for the excitement that basketball brings. We live for te rush.
If that’s the case, ESPN has two critical games to watch this evening. And DraftKings Sportsbook can help you live and die with every possession!
Below are the matchups and what I believe is an opportunity to cash in on quality basketball.
CLE Spread: +2.5 (-110) Moneyline: +120
‘PHI Spread: -2.5 (-110) Moneyline: -140
The Cavaliers and the 76ers are both barrelling towards the postseason and tonight‘s game is a good barometer for each team. Philly is nestled in at the three seed, three games up on the Cavaliers in the standings. Cleveland is three games up on the New York Knicks. The east is definitely not the west.
Cleveland can use this as a test as to how viable their championship aspirations might be as the 76ers are a quality team who really has come on in the second half of the season. Philly has won their last five games and is 11-3 since February 10. In the same timeframe, Cleveland has gone 9-5.
Joel Embiid is playing like an MVP, averaging 33.4 points and 9.6 rebounds in his last 15 games. If you were to put money on him right now to win MVP, it’s a +130. There has been debate about not giving Nikola Jokic this third consecutive MVP title because of the Denver Nuggets’ recent troubles. That’s a freebie bet for ya.
I’m looking at Tyrese Maxey in this one.
First, Donovan Mitchell is not what you would classify as a plus defender. Per BBall-Index, he is in the 18th percentile relative to on-ball perimeter defense. That’s an “F” rating. Cleveland will try to hide him on defense, and with James Harden being the spear in the Philly attack, they will seek out Maxey vs. Mitchell matchups.
Maxey is averaging 19.2 points in his last 15 games on 50.2% shooting, including 44.6% from deep. Couple that with the historical fact that he has discord 24+ points in each of the 76ers’ last five road games, and I feel there is opportunity there.
I’m am targeting Tyrese Maxey points in this game. I’m using DraftKings’ Same Game Parlay tool, choosing over 20.5 Maxey points parlayed with 2+ made three pointers. Combined that is a +165 bet.
GSW Spread: +2.5 (-110) Moneyline: +115
LAC Spread: -2.5 (-110) Moneyline: -135
The second game on the slate tonight is one that I’m sure Phoenix Suns fans will be tuned into for sure. It’s a battle between the fifth and sixth seed in the Western Conference, teams at the Suns precariously sit just one game above in the standings.
We know the Warriors and what they did to Phoenix on Monday night. They caught lightning in a bottle with Klay Thompson’s three-point shooting. The thing is with Golden State, they catch lightning in a bottle a lot. That being said, this team is 7-26 on the road. That is 27th in the league.
The Clippers, despite having two of the best 15 players in the NBA in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, continue to sputter. They are 7-8 in their last 15 games. Much akin to Phoenix in the clutch, the Clippers have a hard time with her identity.
You have Russell Westbrook as a member of the team now and his integration hasn’t been what Clippers fans hoped for. The team has gone three and five since his arrival, going 3-5. They lost their first five. They’ve won their last three.
Whoever wins this game takes the five seed and is a half-game behind Phoenix in the standings.
Where is there a money opportunity in this game? Hmmm. I’m avoiding anything with the schizophrenic Warriors as you can’t count on a team that scores 75 in a half at home against the Suns but has such a poor road record. That is betting suicide.
I’ll start with the fact that Kawhi Leonard has recorded seven or more rebounds in each of his last 10 home appearances against the Warriors. That’s quite a large sample size to pull from. Couple that with the fact that Paul George has recorded five or more assists in each of his last six appearances against Golden State.
Now we’re on to something.
Let’s once again use the Same Game Parlay tool, taking history into account, and pairing Leonard over 6.5 rebounds with George over 4.5 assists. +260?! Locked. In.
There you have it. The basketball that’s being played tonight – and pretty much every night for the remainder of the regular season – is important. Especially for us out here in the Western Conference. The jumble in the standings is unlike anything I’ve truly ever seen this late in the season.
Phoenix is currently the fourth seed, if they are two games out of being in the play in. They are four games out of not being in the playoffs at all! It’s a crazy time in the NBA and you have to know what’s going on, you have to be engaged with what other teams are doing.
Might as well make a little bit of money along the way, right? Good luck and happy bidding.