Happy Wednesday, everyone!
We have a juicy little seven-game NBA slate tonight before the first round of the NCAA Tournament begins on Thursday.
We have some early games on the PrizePicks board that are projected to score some points! Let’s dive in and find some spots to attack.
NBA PrizePicks predictions Wednesday
Zach LaVine more than 27.5 points
The Bulls guard has been a madman in the second half of the season, as DeMar DeRozan has taken a clear backseat to him in the scoring department.
LaVine typically takes advantage of great matchups.
He missed this number just three times since the All-Star break (once by the hook) against Toronto, Phoenix, and Milwaukee.
Those three teams are either stout defensively, play at a slow pace, or both.
While the Bucks play super fast, they own the third-best defensive efficiency in the league.
LaVine won’t have the pace or defensive issues standing in his way against Sacramento this evening.
Who would have thought we’d call the Western Conference “watered down” in 2023?
It’s a remarkable story that the Kings have won more than 40 games, but I can’t buy into them being legitimate title contenders.
This game has the highest implied total of the night, thanks to the Kings’ 10th-fastest pace and 5th-worst defensive efficiency in the NBA.
Don’t overthink it, this is a LaVine game.
Must be at least 18 years of age and within applicable state (AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, KS, KY, MA, MI, MN, NE, NM, NY, NC, ND, OK, OR, RI, SC, SD, TX, UT, VT, VA, WI, WY, DC). Full Terms and Conditions apply.
New Players 18+. Available in AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WI, WV. There are restrictions in AL, GA, ID, MN, MS, NV, SC, WA. Full Terms and Conditions apply.
First time deposits only. 18+. Must be located in eligible states (AK, AR, CA, FL, GA, IL, KS, KY, MA, MN, NE, NM, NC, ND, OK, OR, RI, SC, SD, TX, UT, VT, WI, WY, DC) for the duration of a contest. Full terms and conditions apply.
Must be at least 18 years of age and within applicable state (AL, AK, AR, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, ME, MA, MI, MN, MS, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OK, OR, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WI, WY). Full terms and conditions apply.
New users only, 18+. AK, AR, CA, FL, GA, IL, KS, KY, MA, MI, MN, NE, NH, NM, NC, ND, OK, OR, RI, SC, SD, TX, UT, WI, WY, DC only. Full terms and conditions apply.
First time deposits only. 18+. Must be located in eligible states (AK, AR, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, KS, KY, ME, MA, MN, NE, NH, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, RI, SC, SD, TX, UT, WV, WI, WY) for the duration of a contest. Full terms and conditions apply.
21+. New customers only. AL, AK, AR, CA, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, ME, MN, MS, NE, NM, NY, NC, ND, OK, OR, RI, SC, SD, TX, UT, VT, VA, WI, WY, DC only. T&C apply
Klay Thompson less than 22.5 points
I’m not one to typically take into consideration how a player performs against a particular team from year to year due to all of the constant change and personnel shuffling in the league.
However, I stumbled across this one by accident and it checks out.
While Thompson is one of the most consistent scoring threats in the NBA, he’s played poorly against the Clippers across their last 15 meetings (which includes a 2019 six-game playoff series).
In fact, Thompson has scored less than 22.5 in 13 of those last 15 games.
Now, that’s a trend I can get behind!
More news to me: across his career, Thompson scores 1.3 fewer points per game on the road.
Klay’s field goal percent, 3-point percent, and usage are all a tick lower.
In fact, Klay is averaging more than five full points less (19.0) and almost three fewer field-goal attempts when away this season.
And bingo, the Clippers will play host to the Warriors tonight.
Klay is one of the few players in the league that can drop a nuke against anyone, throw up a 50-spot, and make me look really silly here.
However, the Clippers are a much better defensive team when Leonard and George are healthy.
Ultimately, I like the odds of Thompson getting close to this total but not eclipsing it.
Betting on the NBA?
Kawhi Leonard more than 6.0 free throws made
Kawhi has tallied at least six free throws in 14 of the 21 games in which he has logged 35+ minutes of playing time.
The Warriors have committed the second most fouls per game this season, while also playing at the fastest pace in the league.
Those reasons lead me to believe we could get at least seven makes out of him on Wednesday.
Kawhi has hit 6+ in seven of his last eight games played and 7+ in each of his last three.
RotoGrinders has Leonard projected for 37 minutes and 28 points tonight, and my best guess is he’ll be living at the line quite a bit – as long as the game is competitive.
You can follow Justin Carlucci on Twitter @ThejCarlucci