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Sixers & their health dilemma host Mavs & their ethical dilemma; then KD’s Suns host KAT’s Wolves

DraftKings odds for the Wednesday double header.

Philadelphia 76ers v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

A pair of ill-timed injuries led to a three-game losing streak for the once surging Philadelphia 76ers. Now we’re are contemplating if rest and health are simply too valuable to piddle with playoff seeding and MVP trophies.

The 49-26 Sixers are now 2.5 games behind the Boston Celtics. And have their two best players on the injury report, coming into the home stretch. James Harden (Achilles) and Joel Embiid (calf) are both listed as questionable for tonight’s slate. And even if they both feel they can gut it out (Harden nearly suited up vs. the Denver Nuggets on Monday before being a late scratch), it might simply make sense to get them both one more night off with the playoffs looming.

Dallas Mavericks at Philadelphia 76ers (Sixers -4, Money Line -175)

Philadelphia 76ers v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Based off this line, it seems clear oddsmakers at DraftKings suspect that at least one of Harden or Embiid will play, if not both. If one or both are ruled out, the line will most certainly shift in favor of the sliding Mavs.

The Mavericks are just 8-13 since they made the gamble to bring over Kyrie Irving. They’re just 4-7 in games where both superstars Luka Dončić and Irving are both in the starting lineup. And now they have a major moral conundrum on their hands.

Mavs fans are asking themselves if they’re rooting for this team to make the playoffs or not? Because of the failed Kristaps Porzingis trade with the New York Knicks back in 2019, Dallas owes their 2023 pick to the Knicks. But... it’s protected for selections 1-10. So bottoming out is likely in their best interest given the standings.

If you’re clawing to make the Play-In, do you reallllly want in?

That may be part of why the Mavs have nursed along some key players’ injury woes lately. Unless they think they have what it takes to make an NBA Finals run from the tail-end of the Play-In, they’re be much better served fighting to retain their pick. Heck, it’s not impossible they could land a top four selection, since the league has evened out the lottery odds a few years back. We’ve seen teams like the Pelicans, Lakers and Raptors recently change their trajectory by backdooring into a top pick.

So we’re not sure how hard the Mavs will push here, but we do know they dropped a cool 133 burger on the road weary Sixers last time they met in a win.

With a tremendous amount of uncertainty regarding both team’s incentives and lineups here, let’s try to cook ourselves up a Single Game Parlay.

Per Rotowire, our projected lineups:

Because we don’t know if Harden or Embiid will go, the Sixers’ player props have yet to populate. But you know we would have been looking to smash Tyrese Maxey’s over on some points and threes otherwise. Tobias Harris feels like a lock to top 12 points if not everyone is at full strength too.

But alas, we will build this one with the Mavericks available on DraftKings.

Since he left Boston, Kyrie Irving has averaged 27.7 points, 6.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 6 games vs. Philly. So him topping 22.5 (-165) feels like a lock. We see that Kyrie gets some dimes vs. Philly so let’s take his over 3.5 assists (-360).

Luka Doncic scores 25.1 points, 8.7 assists and 6.9 rebounds in his 7 games vs. Philly since the start of his career. Now it’s possible Luka has his sights set on a scoring title. He’s neck and neck with Joel Embiid. So him dropping 29 or more seems like a solid bet as he averages 32.9 points this season, and a handful of those games he scored 25.1, he was facing a physically healthy Ben Simmons who used to play him quite well.

Gimme Luka’s over 28.5 (-190). And we’ll pop on Luka’s -6.5 boards (-255). In terms of game lines, I’ll bet on the Sixers at +4.5 (-340). That gives us a mini cushion in case Joel can’t go and it’s Harris, Harden and Maxey trying to keep them within striking distance or win outright at the crib.

That SGP pays us +500. And we’ll look for updates on the Sixers players. The Mavericks really should lay down here, if they’re smart. Being able to keep a top ten pick would be a huge trade chip for them as rumors begin to swirl that LeBron James and Draymond Green could consider joining forces in Dallas somewhere in the future.

Minnesota Timberwolves at Phoenix Suns (Suns -5, Money Line -195)

Phoenix Suns v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Deandre Ayton is back in the lineup for the Phoenix Suns. And we might...emphasis might see Kevin Durant make his home debut for the Suns, we’ll see.

Last time he tried, he couldn’t survive the warm up lay up line.

Kevin Durant’s game props are available, and it probably makes some sense to take his over 20.5 points (-195) here since he’s well... Kevin Durant. I know the Suns may baby him a little in terms of minutes. But still, Durantula can drop 21 in his sleep. I feel pretty good about Ayton’s over 12.5 (-260) points, as DA had 14 in his last outing, and should get an even longer leash in a big game.

The Wolves give up the 7th most fantasy points to opposing PG’s using DK’s scoring system. So we’ll use that info to our advantage and bet on CP3 to total 8 or more (-260) dimes with all of his weapons at his disposal.

Karl-Anthony Towns just hit a game winner in Golden State, playing in two games so far since November. I like him to get 17 or more here, finding his legs a little bit (-210).

Let’s add on the Suns alternative game line +4.5, and our SGP is now at +400.

Get some money.

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