The 76ers get a night off after another overtime win. They’re still a full game behind the upstart Cleveland Cavaliers, on the outside looking in of the teams who’d get home court for round one if the playoffs started today. But we’re not yet at the halfway mark of the year so there’s time.
But that means we can kick back and root for the Mavericks to knock Boston back another game in the standings, right?
Celtics at Mavericks (Boston -3, Money Line -145)
Interestingly, the Celts, regarded by many as the best team in the NBA, have dropped seven of their last 12. It’s the absolutely scorching hot Brooklyn Nets, who’ve pulled to within one game of Boston, in a tie for second place in the East with Giannis and the Bucks. But Kevin Durant and co.’s 12-game win streak finally came to an end in Chicago of all places.
Maybe Mr. 3 on the KIA NBA MVP ladder in Luka Doncic can get the better of Mr. 2, Jayson Tatum? That would help the Sixers play catch up.
The Sixers are a game and a half up on the Mavericks, so if you wanted to wonder why Joel Embiid wasn’t higher in the rankings, just one point per game less than the Slovenian Sensation, but anchoring an elite defense, I won’t hold it against you.
But onto some betting recommendations.
In a DK Single Game Parlay, we’re going to begin taking the Mavs Moneyline +125. The C’s have been relatively vulnerable as of late. And it’s now the Mavs who possess the league’s longest win streak with seven consecutive Luka-led victories.
The public agrees with us, as 59 percent of bets came in on the Mavs moneyline over the Celtics, per VSIN. Moving on, Dorian Finney-Smith hasn’t played since mid-December, nursing his adductor strain. That’s opened the door for Tim Hardaway Jr. to absorb more minutes and put up more shots. THJ is averaging 16.8 points in the last seven sans-DFS contests. So we’re smashing his 16.5 (+120) as well here.
If you’re going to compete with the league’s top-rated offense in Boston, (which we’ve already bet they will with that money line bet) you’re going to need buckets. And so Hardaway gets to that 17-point mark with room to spare.
We need one more. Let’s ask StatMuse:
We can bet that Luka nabs over 8.5 boards (-145) to complete our +550 parlay. Our $20 bucks pays $130. Jaylen Brown has been on an absolute heater lately. If you wanted to tack on him dropping 25 or more (-170) you get the full stack parlay up to +950. Now your $20 pays $210.
Mavs win, Luka crashes the glass, Hardaway and Brown get buckets. Easy money.
Clippers at Nuggets (Den. -5, Money Line -195)
It sounds like Paul George is nursing a bit of a hammy here, and we’re not sure yet if he’ll suit up. Nic Batum is out. And so with the Clippers lineup in flux, you can see why the back-to-back MVP’s team is favored at altitude by a substantial amount.
I don’t know about this spread because if PG plays, I won’t feel great about the five points. But I don’t mind paying the premium for the favorite’s money line in this one. In a single game parlay, we’ll take Denver to win (-200), Jamal Murray over 15.5 (-180), and Jokic 9+ dimes (-220). That SGP pays +105. For the true believers out there, tack on Marcus Morris Sr. 12.5 points or more to juice your payout up to +350. Since 2020, he’s averaged 17 points when Paul George sits, so lock that in now before the line changes.
Good luck! Go Mavs!