This article is part of our DraftKings Sportsbook series.
Friday marks the second-to-last game, at most, for every team in the NBA and looking at the daily lineups heading into the penultimate matchups...it definitely shows.
As of this writing, DraftKings is offering prop bets for just five of the eight games on Friday's slate with only one of them having a "full" set of props. When I say our options are desolate, I mean it.
That being said, I didn't want to end our gambling fun, something we've literally done since the beginning of the season, on such a whimper so I decided to get a bit more eccentric with our options. I already touched on one such parlay in Friday's Handicapping the NBA section, but consider Friday's piece a pivot away from our tried and true method if for no other reason than to commemorate what has truly been a wild, weird and memorable season. So while this likely doesn't truly meet the "Best Bets" criteria our article title suggests, let's have a little fun with a couple of parlay options ahead of Friday's showdown.
Parlay Builder Pieces
- Wizards to beat Cavaliers (-420)
- Nuggets to beat Pistons (-375)
- Mavericks to be ahead to end the first half (-560)
- Austin Rivers over 1.5 made threes (-190)
Often times we've been able to find guaranteed double-doubles that fit this bill, but with such uncertainty in Friday's slate DraftKings literally offered just one double-double prop bet for Joel Embiid of all people, someone listed as probable with an illness in a game which has the 76ers favored by 14.5 points. Needless to say, I think the value for different parlay pieces will come from outside the prop bet mold. I know the Wizards are missing Bradley Beal (hamstring) but they simply can't lose this game against the lowly Cavaliers with a sneakily difficult matchup against the Hornets on tap next in order to clinch a spot in the play-in.
The Nuggets and Mavs face less extremes from a playoff-positioning standpoint, but they have relative cupcake matchups against the Pistons and Raptors, respectively. Rather than picking the Mavs outright to win, betting them to have a half-time lead gives us almost -1000 better odds for an outcome that feels relatively likely if Dallas has any hope of covering the 14-point thread.
I love the Rivers line – he's made at least two threes in each of the last five games and should be slated to play at least 30-plus minutes with so many Nuggets out – but you can't parlay both that and the Nuggets to win so just keep that in mind with how you want to structure your parlay.
I'll be curious what the end-of-season record is when it comes to points props, but without looking I'm almost certain these have the best pick ratio by a wide margin. Honestly, it's more of gut-check bets than anything else when it comes to these two.
If we anticipate Embiid is only going to play in the 25-30 point range, it stands to reason Simmons will be the one to benefit. After all, he has one of the best plus/minuses when Embiid is missing, and the 24-year-old tends to do well in these matchups that figure to be one-sided. I'd even like the assist over (5.5, over -109) given the Magic tend to allow plenty of outside shooting, but I think that directly conflicts with the points over, so I won't fade the line this go around.
For similar reasons as Embiid, I just don't see Gobert playing much in a game the Jazz are favored by 14.5 points. This game figures to get out of hand early, and even if it doesn't, the big man only got 14 rebounds when these two teams played back in mid-April. Gobert saw 34 minutes in that one, and if there was such a wager, I'd absolutely take the under on that minute count Friday.
Grabbing over on made threes generally presents the best plus odds. We've actually had a decent amount of success on that recently, but I'll admit taking a player to hit three or more shots from deep always seems like a foolish bet.
Still, both Green and Porzingis enter favorable matchups where their opponent is allowing the top-5 most three-point attempts to their position, and we know both of these guys have the capacity to knock them down.
If I had to lean towards one or the other I actually think Green has a better chance to make this mark, but admittedly it's dependent on whether Embiid does play 30-plus minutes (ala opening up the floor). It might be a good edge in the event some of our Sixers-centric parlay options don't hit.