NBA on ESPN Preview: Western Conference Stars Look to Shine on Primetime
The Western Conference is wide open with just around 10 games left in the NBA season. The difference between home-court advantage in the first round and being out of the play-in game is 3.5 games. ESPN has assembled a slate of four teams who are all competing for one of the 10 playoff spots available out west for Wednesday night hoops.
The 6th place Warriors take on the 7th place Mavericks in a battle to avoid the play-in game. Then the 11th place Lakers take on the 4th place Suns as they try to make their way into the playoffs. Superstars like Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Devin Booker and Anthony Davis will clash in a great slate of games.
We have you covered for parlay advice for Wednesdays matchups. Head over to DraftKings to get in on the NBA action.
Golden State Warriors vs. Dallas Mavericks (6:30 p.m. CT)
1.) Klay Thompson over 3.5 threes (-140)
Since trading for Kyrie Irving, the Dallas Mavericks have not been a great defensive team. They have allowed teams to score 113 points per game, and are allowing opposing shooters to hit 37% of their three pointers. They’ve been competitive without Luka and Kyrie playing together in the lineup, but with the two less than stellar perimeter defenders probably for this matchup, will they be able to defend the Warriors 3-point attack?
Of course that attack is always led by the splash brothers. Klay Thompson has been shooting the ball well in March, hitting 39% of his shots from deep. He comes off of a couple of hot shooting performances in his last 5 games, with an 8-14 night from deep against the Suns and a 5-13 game agains the Rockets. With a shoddy perimeter defense, and a hot Thompson, expect him to hit the over on threes.
2.) Draymond Green over 7.5 rebounds (+110)
The Mavericks are statistically the worst rebounding team in the NBA. They are last in offensive rebounding, second to last in rebounding, and dead last in total rebounding, securing just 39 a game. They allow their opponents to grab 44 a game, ranking in the bottom half of the league.
Draymond Green is a savvy rebounder, who has gotten 7 or more rebounds in the last 4 games, and is averaging around 7 this season. The last time these two teams played, Green snatched 9 boards in a Warrior win. With the Mavericks lack of rebounding, and Draymond’s recent stretch of play, this is a good bet for the over.
3.) Stephen Curry over 5.5 assists (-140)
The Warriors are the best team in the NBA at moving the basketball. They rank 1st in the league in assists with around 30 a game. Curry is the point in which all of their offense flows out of, and has had a decent year distributing the rock, averaging just over 6 assists per game. In his last 5 games, he’s had 5 or 6 assists each contest.
The Mavericks defensive woes have been mentioned already. There is a chance the Warriors could spread the ball around and put up big offensive numbers tonight. If that is the case, Curry should be well on his way to hitting the over, moving the ball around for open shooters.
Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers (9:00 p.m. CT)
1.) Devin Booker over 31.5 points (-110)
Booker has been one of the Suns bright spots (no pun intended) since returning from injury. Without Kevin Durant in the lineup, he’s been their primary scorer, and has been continuing to fill that role quite well. In March he’s averaging 34 points a game on 57/45/84 shooting splits over the course of 9 games.
The Lakers are a bottom 10 defense in the NBA in terms of opponents points per game, allowing 117 to opposing squads. Booker will give their defense fits with his 3-level scoring. In his last game agains the Lakers, he scored 25 points in 35 minutes. This Lakers roster may be revamped, but they still aren’t a strong enough defensive team to lock down D-Book on his way to hitting the over.
2.) Malik Beasley under 2.5 threes (-145)
Beasley made headlines a week ago hitting 7 three pointers in the first quarter of the Lakers matchup against the Pelicans. He may be a popular bet for the over, but a zag seems the safer bet in this matchup.
The Lakers guard is shooting just 34% from range since being traded to Los Angeles. He’s only putting up just 3.8 attempts per game. Beasley has hit just 1 three in 8 attempts in his last two games. The Phoenix Suns are a strong perimeter defensive team, allowing opponents to hit 36% from three point range this season. Beasley is one of the stronger perimeter shooters for the Lakers, but with a stout defense, and a cold stretch of shooting, this looks like a chance to bet the under.
3.) Anthony Davis over 25.5 points (-125)
Every game is an important one for the Lakers, as they fight to get into the play-in picture. With DeAndre Ayton and Kevin Durant out, they will be looking to take advantage of a team without two of their front court starters. With LeBron James out, that may fall on the shoulders of Anthony Davis, who is listed as probably.
Davis has been great when he’s played this season, averaging 25.8 ppg, 12.5 rpg and 2.1 bpg. In his last game against Phoenix this season, AD put up a monster line of 37 points and 21 rebounds in a 115-105 loss. That was with DeAndre Ayton in the lineup! The Lakers big man will have to take on a big load in a crucial game for the Lakers. If they want to win, he may have to hit the over out of necessity.
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