It was our one risky play that hit on Monday while the other two props were chosen incorrectly. Go figure.
Pascal Siakam notched one block, hitting the Over for a nice 110 points. But Victor Oladipo just barely eclipsed 19.5 PTS, and Jamal Murray was underwhelming in the rebounds and assists categories. That’s OK. Let’s move on to Tuesday.
The seven-game NBA slate features some bigger names than Monday, so let’s get amped and make up for what proved to be an underwhelming start to the week.
26.5 PTS @ Detroit — OVER (95 PTS)
It once seemed unfathomable. James Harden scoring under 26.5 points? No way.
But Harden has accepted (and excelled) in a more conservative role with the Nets, especially since Kyrie Irving’s return. The Beard dropped 32 and 34 points, respectively, in his first two games with Brooklyn, but in the nine games since, he’s eclipsed 30 points just once. Better yet, that’s also the only time he’s gone over 26 points in that span.
That’s not to say he can’t do it. Harden, more so than perhaps any other player in the NBA, can go off for 40-plus points whenever he wants. But there’s an added wrinkle here — Kevin Durant won’t be able to rejoin the Nets until Friday.
Harden dropped 26 points Saturday without KD, but he played just 29 minutes in a blowout loss. Even though the trends have shown that Harden is OK playing a complementary role, now is the time to bet on the Over — at least until Durant is back.
22.5 PTS + ASTS @ Sacramento — OVER (100 PTS)
It’s admittedly a small sample size, but Ben Simmons is taking 11 shots per game in February, and with his efficiency, that gives him an easy points floor. He is by no means a dynamic scorer, but he’s shooting 54.5 percent from the floor this year while orchestrating the offense from the perimeter.
Simmons ranks 10th in the career in assist ratio (34.3 percent), which measures the percentage of a player’s possessions that end in an assist. Simmons does defer to his teammates quite a bit, which also gives him a safe floor in assists.
Sacramento is the worst defensive team in the league in terms of defensive efficiency (114.7 points allowed per 100 possessions), so this all adds up to an easy night for Simmons. Take the Over.
11.5 REBS + ASTS vs. Philadelphia — OVER (105 PTS)
This is predicated on a big assist night from De’Aaron Fox, who’s going to have to do quite a bit with the ball to make up for a Philadelphia team that can exploit Sacramento’s defense.
His assist marks are up big time in February, as he’s averaging 8.8 dimes over four games. He averaged about 6.3 per game between December and January.
The rebounds will be harder to come by, but with how Philadelphia likes to push the ball, Fox could come by more opportunities on the glass.
This is the player I’m least confident in of the three I’ve detailed here, but I can see a path to the Over — even if it’s based more on a hunch.
For more sports opinions and other rants about things you probably don’t care about, follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter.
Head on over to ThriveFantasy and build your lineup for our $20 NBA Tuesday – $2,000 Guaranteed Contest!