We went 2-for-3 in picks last night and fell so close to a perfect 3-for-3.
Damian Lillard did everything we asked for except score efficiently, something he’s typically reliable for. He shot his third-worst percentage from the field this season in a loss to the Nets, but he was well in line to hit or exceed his prop total last night had he had a characteristic performance.
But, that’s OK. The process was sound. We made the smart choice in Zion Williamson against a depleted Lakers team, and James Harden was bound to go off against a Portland team that doesn’t defend.
On to Wednesday’s 11-game slate.
31.5 PTS + REBS @ Milwaukee — OVER (100 PTS)
Jaylen Brown’s only game against the Bucks this season was in the opener on Dec. 23. He had 33 points and five boards, totals we’d certainly love to see again tonight. Things have changed for both teams as the season has progressed — which is natural, of course — but Brown has remained an integral member of Boston’s offensive plans.
Averaging 24.7 points per game, Brown has been excellent in his last five games, even if Boston has gone 1-4 in that span. The former No. 3 overall pick has dropped 27.2 points and 6.4 boards dating back to last Tuesday, March 16.
Tristan Thompson is out Wednesday because of COVID-19 protocols, which means Boston needs some help on the glass. Brown could see a nice boost in that category if he spends time on the boards, which should only give him an easier path to the Over.
There’s not much risk here.
17.5 PTS vs. Atlanta — OVER (110 PTS)
Buddy Hield played his only game against Atlanta this season on March 13, and it was a game to forget. He dropped 10 points on 4-for-16 shooting over 37 minutes in a 15-point loss.
He’s otherwise been very efficient this month, shooting 46.2 percent from the floor in March. Hield, who’s also averaging 20.6 points per game this month, won’t duplicate that 10-point outing Wednesday night.
Hield consistently takes 15 or so shots per game, many of which are from beyond the arc. He very rarely gets to the free-throw line, so we can’t bank on that to raise his floor, but those could be a nice added bonus.
For Sacramento to keep up with Atlanta, they’ll need Hield to score. He’ll do that tonight. Take the Over.
31.5 PTS + REBS + ASTS @ Toronto — OVER (105 PTS)
We’re asking for a strong offensive game from Jamal Murray, who has yet to play Toronto this year. The Raptors rank toward the middle in the NBA in terms of both pace and defensive efficiency, meaning that Murray won’t have a difficult (or an easy) path to a big night.
I’m confident in an all-around performance, though. Even though he’s been streaky, this is the type of risk I like taking. Murray plays big minutes for a very good team and also gets plenty of opportunities — he takes 16.4 shots per game with a respectable shooting percentage of 47.7 percent.
There’s more volatility in his rebounding and assist numbers, which do differ on a nightly basis. He’s generally around five of each, and that should be enough for him to hit this prop.
Take the very small risk and go Over.
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