Well, we were on a roll last night.
LaMelo Ball smashed his Over, and Karl-Anthony Towns did just enough to hit his Over, too. And then Shai-Gilgeous Alexander decided to go off for 42 points after we called his Under. Oh well. There’s variance for every player on every slate every single night, and big performances like that are often ones you cannot predict.
Moving into Thursday night, we’re focusing on three players in favorable positions with Overs that look easily achievable. Here’s who to target on tonight’s six-game slate.
40.5 PTS + REBS vs. Orlando — OVER (100 PTS)
The Nets are on a seven-game winning streak, and James Harden is a big reason why.
In that stretch, the Beard is averaging 27.7 points, 11.1 assists and 9.4 rebounds per game. He’s shooting 46 percent from beyond the arc, too. The good times could keep rolling for Harden, as Kevin Durant will miss Thursday night’s game. Much of Harden’s success has come in Durant’s stead, and I’m banking a monster performance against Orlando.
In his Nets debut, Harden had 32 points and 12 rebounds against the Magic. Orlando allows 109.1 points per 100 possessions, which makes the Magic an exploitable unit.
But here’s why I’m really confident in Harden. No Durant is just the beginning. Brooklyn is banged up. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Jeff Green are also day-to-day, and while they could potentially suit up Thursday night, the power forward position is considerably weaker tonight than it would be if the team was at full strength.
This means Harden could be in for a heavy workload. Play the Over.
20.5 REBS + ASTS @ Denver — OVER (105 PTS)
Russell Westbrook has exceeded 20.5 REBS + ASTS in four of the past five games, and he had 19 combined in the one game he fell short. No surprise here, but Westbrook has been dynamic as a triple-double threat every night — and that’s not changing against Denver.
Last Wednesday against the Nuggets, Westbrook went for 13 rebounds and 12 assists. It’s reasonable to think he’ll do something similar tonight, especially considering the amount of minutes he plays. He’s played at least 33 minutes the past five games.
Denver’s defense is exploitable, and more often than not, Westbrook is matchup proof. For a guy averaging nearly double-digits in both categories, I’m confident he’ll be dominant again.
Play the Over.
11.5 PTS @ Milwaukee — OVER (110 PTS)
I know what you’re thinking. Eric Bledsoe? Really?
It’s a risk, that’s for sure. But it wasn’t that long ago that Bledsoe was an offensive threat, and 12 points just seems so attainable for a player who’s averaging 8.5 shots per game this month. He’s also 4.5 three-pointers per game in February.
He’s inefficient, sure, and his free-throw shooting has inexplicably cratered this season. Admittedly, we’re going against the process here. But I look at a small point total like that and can’t help but take the risk.
There are a lot of mouths to feed on this offense, but with the minutes Bledsoe plays and the quality of attempts he should get with defenses honing in on Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, I’m taking the chance here.
For more sports opinions and other rants about things you probably don’t care about, follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter.
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