This article is part of our DraftKings Sportsbook series.
While we had to wait til will after the injury reports came in, DraftKings finally presented us with a prop-bet slate for Wednesday's nine-game rundown. Most of the aforementioned injuries have been sorted out, and while the sportsbook has priced up most of the obvious points props, there's a bit of value sprinkled throughout the games. I could have gone with a few more rebounds/props too but decided to just stick with a handful of intriguing ones.
If it hasn't been clear over the past two weeks, bettors should understand we are in the "deceptively annoying" portion of the NBA season as a number of teams have decided to be very liberal with their respective injury reports. One such player is Kristaps Porzingis who is expected to return after a two-game absence due to a sprained wrist. That injury, coupled with the Mavericks being extreme favorites (-10.5 in what amounts to essentially a home game in Houston) makes me feel like under 20.5 points (-127) for the Latavian big man is easily in play.
I've been more aggressive targeting plays that have solid odds, and it's worked for the most part over the past month. Over 11.5 points for Kevin Huerter (+105) fits the bill considering the 22-year-old guard is set for another game of extended playing with De'Andre Hunter (knee) and John Collins (ankle) once again unavailable. Should Danilo Gallinari (ankle) also miss Wednesday's game, Huerter should be primed to torch a Grizzlies defense currently allowing the most points to opposing small forwards in the NBA.
Mentioned in Handicapping the NBA: Wednesday edition, over 14.5 points for Wendell Carter (-107) looks promising. And yes, I'm fully prepared for Khem Birch to somehow see 40 minutes by the end of Wednesday's final.
Rounding out the points section, Chris Paul under 16.5 points (-113) is interesting to me. Yes, obviously the Jazz are tremendous against opposing point guards, limiting the position to the second-fewest points per game in the NBA, but perhaps more importantly, Paul is averaging just 15.3 points in his last 16 games. It's entirely possible the wily veteran will play up to the competition, especially with significant stakes in the standings on the line, but I just can't imagine he somehow exceeds his recent averages in a difficult matchup.
"Hey, there's a Rockets game on the slate, betcha there's a rebounds prop to go along with it!"
"Yes, you're 100 percent correct random reader who couldn't possibly sound this corny." Luka Doncic and Dorian Finney-Smith could easily be in the rebound conversation, but I think the best one to target appears to be over 3.5 rebounds (-113) for Josh Richardson. The shooting guard has gone over that total in six of the past seven games, and that's against teams who are actually respectable on the glass, unlike Houston.
I'm not sure what to make of the Hornets after Gordon Hayward's latest injury. Hayward was seemingly pushing P.J. Washington out of the lineup, or at least taking more of a centralized role defensively, recording almost seven rebounds per game in the month of March. In the team's first official game with Hayward out, Washington saw just 21 minutes, although the Hornets did lose by 30 in what turned into a laugher. That contest did seem to confirm Miles Bridges would be more of a factor moving forward, and I think it's entirely possible Bridges ends up taking minutes at power forward while Washington slumps into a platoon of sorts with Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo. As a result, I'm targeting the over for Bridges' rebound total (7.5, +100) as opposed to Washington considering the Thunder easily allow the most rebounds to opposing PFs in the NBA.
Sticking in the same game, I've officially given up hope for the Thunder. It's possible I actually had more hope in this team than the front office, to be fair, so as Oklahoma City continues one of the more blatant tank jobs in recent memory, there's room for bad players to get good minutes. Theo Maledon has been that phrase's poster child for much of the season, but it still astounds me when DraftKings randomly throws out ludicrously high numbers like Wednesday's over/under 3.5 assists (under, +125). The Thunder have lost by a combined 109 points over the last three games, haven't scored more than 108 in each of them, and are starting guys with more vowels in their name than hockey players. Maledon has just two assists total in his last two games and is averaging only 3.3 this season. Yeah, just give me the plus money on this one.