The safest choice we made last night was a flop, and two riskier plays were hits. Go figure.
James Harden finished with just 24 points, falling short of his 26.5 prop. I don’t mind this one missing. The process was there. With Kevin Durant out, the next logical choice to take on a larger scoring role was Harden. It was Kyrie Irving who took 28 shots (far too many, if you ask me), taking opportunities away from Harden.
But Ben Simmons and De’Aaron Fox were hits, as we noticed the favorable matchups and capitalized on their chances for success. We’ll keep putting in the work behind the scenes to make logical choices moving forward.
That said, let’s keep the momentum going Wednesday night.
10.5 REBS vs. Atlanta — OVER (110 PTS)
The 7’3″ big man won’t be beaten in terms of length. When it comes to athleticism and reach, few can match Porzingis. Where he does get beat is in terms of sheer force, as it’s clear that Porzingis isn’t built to bump down low.
But his rebounding totals are up this month. In January, he averaged eight rebounds per game with just two double-digit performances. He’s already had four double-digit games in February with an average teetering on 10 per game (9.8).
When he played Atlanta on Feb. 3, Porzingis totaled 11 rebounds — which narrowly exceeds this prop. Porzingis is on the floor a ton, and he’s trending upward on the boards. Plus, it’s unlikely this game will be too one-sided, so he shouldn’t run the risk of losing minutes to a blowout.
I like this chances here. Play the Over.
21.5 PTS @ Phoenix — OVER (110 PTS)
Khris Middleton is an efficient scorer who, based on Monday’s game, can get to the free-throw line when he sets mind to it. In that game, he finished with 29 points, anchored by an 11 of 11 showing at the stripe.
He won’t get that many attempts from the line every night. He’s averaged 3.3 attempts per game. But if this is a sign of an increased focus on driving the lane, this prop of 21.5 PTS should be easy money.
Phoenix’s pace and defensive metrics don’t support a monster game from Middleton, but we aren’t necessarily asking for a season-best performance here.
Last season, he averaged 32 points per game against Phoenix. Granted, it was a small sample size of two games in an incredibly unique season, but the point stands.
Take the Over on Middleton.
33.5 PTS vs. Toronto — UNDER (105 PTS)
Let’s go ahead and bet against the NBA’s leading score (*laughs maniacally to myself*).
Beal has scored fewer than 33.5 PTS in 12 of his 20 games this season. His average of 33.3 per game is largely based off big games of 60, 47 and 41 points that weigh the average up. That’s not to discredit Beal, who has been otherworldly as the lone legit option for Washington, but we also need to be realistic in analyzing him.
Toronto’s defense is just so-so, but the Raptors haven’t allowed a 30-point scorer this month. The sample is still small, but it’s a trend worth acknowledging.
Listen, this is the type of choice that can easily backfire, but let’s go against the grain and bet against Beal. It could pay off.
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