Philadelphia gets a chance to enact a bit of vengeance against the Chicago Bulls, this time on the road. DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine stole an absolute heartbreaking double-overtime game from the Sixers, as James Harden appeared to tweak a troublesome Achilles tendon.
The MVP buzz is really starting to mount for Joel Embiid. Draymond Green thinks it’s the big man’s trophy to lose at this point. So the third-place Sixers may want to, y’know, not lose two in a row to the 34-37 Bulls.
Let’s get to our ESPN Double Header and make a few bucks.
Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks (pick ‘em, -110)
Our first pick ‘em of the season for this series, oddsmakers don’t know who’ll come out on top in this rematch of the 2022 Western Conference Finals.
According to rotowire.com, here’s how the injury report looks:
With Andrew Wiggins and Gary Payton II out again, it’ll be our usual suspects getting buckets for the yellow and blue.
So we’re expecting Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. We don’t yet know if Luka Doncic will go, but the Slovenian sensation has been upgraded to probable. Kyrie Irving remains questionable. Doncic hasn’t played since March 8 with a thigh issue, missing the team’s last five games.
The Dubs are free-falling a bit, having lost three of four games. Their home-road splits are really wacky.
Since February 1st, the Warriors have both the most home wins (10-1) and the most road losses (1-11) in the league.— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) March 22, 2023
Based on that, let’s bet on the Mavericks to cover +6.5 (-260), that ought to buy us some insurance for the event Kyrie Irving doesn’t play. I’m taking Curry to drop 28 or more (-175), and going back to the well on Chef to get me four dimes (-370). I’m taking Curry’s under 7.5 rebounds (-265).
Now keep in mind, the Warriors hemorrhage DraftKings fantasy points to opposing point guards, as they’re the fourth-best target for the position. But we don’t have Luka’s props yet. So as we build this parlay, we only have access to Warriors really at this point. The Mavericks lineup is very much in flux.
Since we have Curry’s under on the glass, let’s direct some of those boards to Draymond Green. Green snags eight or more boards (-110). Now our parlay is up to +525.
And we’ll keep checking in for Luka’s props to populate. Toggling on Luka and Jordan Poole’s points could really juice up our line.
Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers (Suns -1.5, Money Line -130)
Now normally, we’d be completely baffled to see Phoenix, with Devin Booker and Chris Paul available, favored by just 1.5 points in L.A., where LeBron James is already ruled out. But Deandre Ayton’s absence makes it all make more sense.
Anthony Davis has been on a tear. And Lakers shooting guard Austin Reaves nearly broke the internet the other night by dropping 35 points in a win over the Orlando Magic in their last one. Number 15 is giving LakersNation hope that if Darvin Ham’s crew can just make the Play-In, and then add LeBron James back into the mix, anything is possible. Truth is, the West seems reasonably open for a run, given Kevin Durant’s injury situation.
The Denver Nuggets should be rooting against L.A. here, that would potentially be a brutal opening series. (There’s a world where the top seeded Nuggets first two playoff rounds include former champs LeBron and AD in Round one, then CP3, D-Book, and KD in Round two, woof.)
I don’t know what to expect here. The only thing I feel comfortable betting on is the stars to shine a bit. The Suns have lost four of five games, so let’s start our SGP by betting on the Lakers +7.5 alternative line (-275).
Anthony Davis eats, we’ll pick him to top 23.5 points, (-205), Austin Reaves eats, we’ll pop on his over 14.5 points (+100). Normally this might feel like a trap for a player only averaging 12 points per game on the year, but c’mon. Y’know what, screw it, let’s bet on the guy they’re calling Hillbilly Kobe to top 15.5 points (+130).
Chris Paul’s dimes seems like a good target. He had 13 dimes in a loss to the Thunder where Ayton did not play. He may have to be the straw to stir the drink again here. I’m taking CP3 for 7.5 dimes or more (-320), and c’mon, Devin Booker, after dropping 46 points, he’s gotta be good for 30 or more (-170) on prime time in front of the Hollywood crowd, right?
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