Best NBA Plays of the Day at No House Advantage (9/5)
We are rapidly approaching the NBA Conference Finals. While both Los Angeles squads look like the favorites in the West, the Milwaukee Bucks have staggered to a 0-3 deficit against the Miami Heat, and the Toronto Raptors look like they could lose to the Boston Celtics. While it’s unlikely that the winner of the East will win it all, it’s certainly made for entertaining basketball — and good DFS opportunities.
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 82-person $1,500 Slam Dunk contest, 50% of the prize pool goes to first place. After a great showing last week (5-1), my NHA predictions are currently 23-6, so I’m hoping to keep the money flowing this weekend.
Best High-Priority Prop Plays
Nikola Jokic (DEN): UNDER 41.5 Points, Rebounds, Assists
Jokic and the Nuggets had an electric series offensively against the Utah Jazz. Fortunately for us, that’s keeping their lines higher than they should be. But the over only went 4-3 in that series, so it wasn’t even a sure-thing when the Nuggets were playing.
Jokic has no averages that clear this line. His season-long (36.6), head-to-head (36.6), playoff (37.5), and series-based (21) averages all fall below the threshold. That’s because Jokic didn’t often clear this line by much — in the Jazz series, he twice cleared it by just one point.
The Nuggets should lose this game and the series. The BettingPros consensus spread puts them at +9; FiveThirtyEight has them at +5. With the consensus points total at 222.5, they should score around 107 points — 10 more than what they did in Game 1. The Clippers play good defense, so this gives the under some extra breathing room.
Rolling with the under here allows us to “stack” Jokic with his available teammates, Murray and Porter. Also, some of the parts of this number correlate well with other players’ lines — fewer Jokic assists, for example, means fewer Murray and Porter points. Smart DFS players stack to minimize the number of predictions that they need to get correct, and that makes Jokic’s unders more strategic.
Jamal Murray (DEN): UNDER 25.5 Points
Murray’s points line hasn’t moved since the Jazz series. It should’ve moved, however, because the Clippers are a much tougher opponent. Murray averaged 13.3 points against them in the regular season, and he never scored more than 19 points in those three games.
Murray has only cleared this total 14 times in 67 games this season. He averaged 18.5 points per game, and while that number swells to 29.1 for playoff games, I feel comfortable calling the Jazz series an outlier.
Murray managed just 12 points — less than half of this total — in Game 1 against the Clippers. Even if he improves dramatically, I doubt that he can hit the over.
Best Mid-Priority Prop Play
Kawhi Leonard (LAC): UNDER 2.5 Three-Pointers
If we’re projecting another Clippers blowout, then why not tap the under on one of Kawhi’s lines? The superstar played only 32 minutes in Game 1, and he hasn’t played for longer than 36 against the Nuggets this year.
This line is a smart under pick because Leonard rarely clears the over. He did so just 19 times in the regular season — never against the Nuggets — and only once in the playoffs. Also, his averages from the regular season (2.2), Nuggets games (1.3), playoff games (1.6), and the series (1) all support the under.
The Claw averages 4.5 three-point attempts against Denver. If we multiple that by his 37.8 percent hit rate for threes, we only get 1.7 of them, which is safely below this line. It’s a good pick in a stack against the Nuggets, so play it with confidence if that’s what you’re doing.
Best Low-Priority Prop Plays
Michael Porter Jr. (DEN): UNDER 11.5 Points
Here’s my final play of the anti-Nuggets stack. Porter may have exploded in the regular-season bubble, but Gary Harris’ return has reduced Porter’s on-court impact — he is yet to clear this total since Harris’ return.
All of the averages support this play. Porter scored at rates below this in the regular season (9.3), against the Clippers (10.3), in the playoffs (11.1), and in the series (5). That said, this line is so low that a couple of lucky threes could easily derail it. Also, if the Clippers blow out the Nuggets again, Porter could score in garbage-time minutes.
I’m keeping this play toward the bottom of my lineup because there’s less of a guarantee that a bad Denver game makes it cash. I also don’t recommend a full Nuggets/Clippers lineup because there aren’t many Clippers lines I like other than the one listed above.
Pascal Siakam (TOR): UNDER 29.5 Points and Rebounds
Brrr. Siakam is freezing cold right now, but his lines don’t reflect that reality. He has been averaging 21.3 points and rebounds per game in this series and 25.4 in the playoffs, far below where the line currently sits.
Siakam’s cold streak stretches back into the start of the bubble, as he has cleared this total just once in the 14 games since play resumed. Also, while he averaged 30.2 points and rebounds per game in the regular season, that rate drops to 27 per game when you look at just his dates with the Celtics.
I won’t play Siakam’s under that high because I want to feature my Denver/Clippers stack, but I would be stunned if he cleared this posted total.
Kemba Walker (BOS): UNDER 3.5 Three-Pointers
Walker had a jaw-dropping performance in Game 3, but I’m going to bet against him here. He cleared this total in just half of his regular-season games, although the over is currently 2-1 in the three matches that Boston and Toronto have played so far.
That said, Walker has been scoring threes at an unsustainable rate in this series. He’s attempted 7.33 three-pointers per game so far, and since his threes land 38.1 percent of the time, you’d expect him to have scored 2.79 of them per game. Except he’s cleared this over twice with nine total threes, and he posted four of them on two separate occasions.
Expect Walker to fall back to earth a bit in Game 4. This line sits at or below his averages from the regular season (3.2), head-to-head matchups (3.5), playoff games (2.4), and the series (3), so I’m comfortable making it a low-level play.
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