There are 10 games to kick off another week of NBA action, though there aren’t too many high-risk plays I’m targeting tonight.
It’s a star-driven slate, in my opinion, and none of those lines have too much variance. That would make sense, though, right? Star players generally have a higher floor, and it’s obviously not as surprising when players of their caliber go off for big nights.
So, let’s stick to the stars tonight and rely on the easy path to points.
28.5 PTS + REBS vs. Charlotte — OVER (100 PTS)
Jimmy Butler’s back, and he had a monster game in his return on Saturday. He dropped 30 points, highlighted by a 14-for-16 showing from the free-throw line, and contributed eight assists and seven rebounds.
Miami’s stars are mostly back from injuries and COVID-related hiatuses, but depth on a night-to-night basis is still a question. Butler is going to play a lot of minutes, and he’s going to take a lot of shots.
Some people might look at Butler’s 17.9 points per game and scoff at the thought of playing his Over tonight, but consider a few blowouts in which he scored just four and two points, respectively, and Butler’s in fact been much better.
And we all know Butler’s a gamer. He’ll turn it on when it matters most. I like his chances at hitting the Over tonight with a high point total helping him get there.
46.5 PTS + REBS + ASTS vs. Portland — OVER (105 PTS)
Have you seen the Greek Freaks’ box scores lately? He’s filling it up even more than usual.
In his last eight games (dating back to Jan. 13), he’s averaging 29.4 points, 13 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game — all three above his season averages. And those three totals add up to well above 46.5.
That alone doesn’t make Antetokounmpo a lock for the Over, but it gives me a ton of confidence in locking it in. What helps is that Portland, which plays at a middle-of-the-road pace, is actually terrible defensively, allowing 113 points per 100 possessions — the third-worst mark in the league.
Antetokounmpo is matchup proof, but against a Portland team that allows offenses to thrive, I like his chances here at blowing past 46.5.
10.5 REBS + ASTS @ San Antonio — OVER (105 PTS)
Ja Morant doesn’t rebound, but he’s an excellent facilitator and offensive decision-maker. Memphis ranks 11th in the NBA in pace (102.5 possessions per game), but that number would likely be higher had Morant played more than just six games thus far. He likes to push the pace, and Memphis is better for it.
It’s odd to say this one’s a risky play, because the point total of 105 doesn’t necessarily indicate a high risk decision. But Morant’s rebound totals this season are two, three, two, zero, three and two, respectively. For the explosive point guard to reach the Over Monday night, he’ll have to near double-digits in assists (which, of course, isn’t out of the question).
Morant is one of the game’s most exciting players, and he likely has fresh legs after missing some time in two separate stints in January. Take the Over, banking on his high-energy style to carry him.
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