Best NBA Plays of the Day at No House Advantage (8/15)
Welcome to the NBA Playoffs! Er, well, the play-in games. We’re getting there, though.
The DFS market has exploded in recent years, and you’ve got a plethora of options aside from the big-names of DraftKings and FanDuel. No House Advantage (NHA) is one such upstart competitor, and the site has eschewed the traditional salary cap structure in favor of ranked prop bets.
What does that mean? At NHA, you must pick a set number of individual player prop lines, take the over or under, and put them in order. The higher you rank a line, the more points you receive if it hits.
If you’re an experienced DFS player, you know that the payout structure will dictate your strategy. For this week’s 55-person $750 Slam Dunk contest, 66.7% of the prize pool goes to first place. After last week, my NHA predictions are currently 8-1, so I hope to keep things rolling!
Best High-Priority Prop Plays
Damian Lillard (POR): OVER 7.5 Assists
Dame has popped off in the bubble. He’s scored 20-plus points in every game, and he’s cleared 30 in six of them. So why am I pushing the assists line? He’s beaten it in six of eight bubble games, but he’s only cleared 29.5 points in five. That includes his jaw-dropping 61-point performance against the Mavs.
— NBA (@NBA) August 12, 2020
In the Trail Blazers’ two matchups with the Grizzlies, Lillard failed to score more than 29.5 points either time (29 and 20). That said, he notched enough assists to hit the over both times (9 and 10).
Also, picking the assists over lets us “stack” him with his teammates. If Lillard’s getting assists, then someone else is getting points, and we can bet on them to hit their overs as a result. Smart DFS players stack to minimize the number of predictions that they need to get correct, and I’m banking on the Blazers to put up points and enter the playoffs on a high note.
The Trail Blazers are on a hot streak. Also, FiveThirtyEight favors them by -7; DraftKings by -5.5. With the points total set at 232.5, that means the sportsbooks expect Portland to score just under 120 points. That gives Lillard, Nurkic, McCollum, and Anthony plenty of room to fill up the stat sheet.
Jusuf Nurkic (POR): OVER 14.5 Points
Nurkic missed every regular-season game until the bubble. So while we’ve got a limited sample size to work with, he’s still averaging far above the over here. Nurkic is scoring 17.6 points per game, and he’s missed it only twice.
In Nurkic’s only game against the Grizzlies, he put up 18 points in 33 minutes. Although his playing time has trended down a bit to around 30 per game, he should have enough opportunities to clear here, especially if Dame continues to dish out assists.
Best Low-Priority Prop Plays
C.J. McCollum (POR): OVER 2.5 Three-Pointers
McCollum’s three-point line makes for another smart stack play. His season-long average sits at 2.8, and his bubble average at 2.5. He’s even posted a trio of three-pointers in both of Portland’s games against Memphis!
That said, I’m putting this pick in low-priority because McCollum hasn’t beaten this line in his last three games. His average seems a bit inflated by the Clippers game, where he posted six three-pointers. Also, he’s been playing through a fractured lower back. While he suffered the injury before his explosion against the Clippers, it could be why he hasn’t cleared the over in any game since then.
I think it’s still smart to tap the over. McCollum has attempted 7.5 threes per game against Memphis, and with his three-point percentage at .379, he should slightly clear the over with three threes.
Carmelo Anthony (POR): OVER 15.5 Points
You could complete the stack with a Carmelo Anthony pick. But I don’t like either of his lines — his average points (15.4) and three-pointers (1.5) per game sit just below (or at) the set lines, and his splits against Memphis don’t clear the over.
That said, Anthony beat these overs in his most recent game against the Grizzlies. He notched 21 points and two three-pointers back in July, but those numbers couldn’t inflate his split averages enough after his dud in February (five points and zero three-pointers). If you’re feeling lucky, tap the points over and hope for the best.
Ja Morant (MEM): OVER 7.5 Assists
You could also opt out of a complete stack. If you’re going to do that, play Morant’s assists line. He beat it in both of his games against Portland (9 and 10), and he’s averaging 9.9 in the bubble. In fact, Morant has cleared this line in every bubble game so far!
My only concern here is that Morant could regress toward his pre-bubble average of 7.3. Of his 67 games played, all of his bubble matches rank in his top-25 for total assists, and seven of them rank in his top-20. That said, this is a great alternative if you have doubts about either McCollum or Anthony.
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