The NBA on ESPN has an interesting slate for your mid-week enjoyment. The Celtics and Cavaliers are a potential second round matchup come playoff time; and New Orleans and Portland are both vying to secure one of the 4 play-in spots in the Western Conference.
Here are some odds from our friends over at DraftKings.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics (6:30 PM CT)
1.) Darius Garland over 6.5 assists (+105)
Darius Garland has become one of the premier playmakers in the NBA, and has no shortage of offensive weapons at his disposal. He’s averaging 7.9 assists per game, and had 12 assists in his only contest against the Celtics this season on November 2nd. The Cavs guard is coming off of an 11-assist night against Toronto, and with all of his weapons healthy, expect him to post similar numbers.
2.) Isaac Okoro over 0.5 threes (-150)
Surely he can hit one, right? Isaac Okoro is not known to be a sharpshooter per se, but the Cavs swingman is a 35% career 3-point shooter, and hitting 32% this season. In his last 10 games, Okoro hasn’t hit a three only twice. Boston is allowing their opponents to hit 35.6% of their threes this season. Okoro is likely to hit at least one from deep in this game.
3.) Marcus Smart over 10.5 points (-110)
Since returning from injury, Marcus Smart has been playing some great basketball leading to some wins. Smart is averaging 13 ppg on 46.5% from the field. Cleveland is a stout interior defensive squad, but they have weaknesses on the perimeter that Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Smart can expose. Look for Smart to keep up his good play against the Cavs on Wednesday night.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Portland Trail Blazers (9:00 PM CT)
1.) Portland under 116.5 team total points (-110)
The Trail Blazers are on the tail end of a back-to-back, and facing a stout defense in the Pelicans. While New Orleans will be without their pesky perimeter defender, Jose Alverado, they have plenty of wing defenders like Herb Jones and Trey Murphy III to throw at Portlands scorers. The Trailblazers are averaging 115 points per game this season, and the Pelicans are giving up 113.5 points per game. The last time these two faced off this season, it was a low scoring affair, with the Blazers securing a 106-95 victory.
2.) Pelicans race to 20 points 1st quarter (-105)
New Orleans has been a great 1st quarter team this year, averaging nearly 29 ppg to start contests. They are shooting a high volume of threes (8 a game) on 37%, getting them off to hot starts. With Portland not being an excellent defensive team, and potentially being sluggish off of a back-to-back, I expect the Pelicans to get off to a hot start, reaching 20 points mid-way through the second quarter.
3.) Pelicans +1.5 spread (-105)
DraftKings has this as a close game, with Portland playing some good ball behind their star, Damian Lillard, and the Pelicans struggling on the road. Portland also leads the head-to-head matchup 1-0 against New Orleans this year. However, with Portland’s lack of defensive talent, and coming off of a painful loss to Golden State, I expect the Pelicans to steal this one on the road, taking advantage of a team on the tail end of a back-to-back.