This article is part of our NBA Picks series.
Trae Young over 27.5 points (-115) vs. OKC
FanDuel, 4:04 PM CT
Alex Barutha: Maybe this is a risky bet given the tension between Young and coach Nate McMillan, but I'm going to follow the data. The Hawks are down two starters in John Collins and De'Andre Hunter, which opens up a ton of usage. The sample size is small (124 minutes), but with Collins and Hunter off the floor, Young has posted an absurd 50.8% usage rate, averaging 43.1 points on 31.2 shots, 8.7 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals per 36 minutes.
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Bennedict Mathurin over 19.5 points (-102) at Golden State
FanDuel, 4:11 PM CT
Myles Turner over 16.5 points (-105) at Golden State
DraftKings, 4:11 PM CT
Alex Barutha: I'm roping these two bets in together because they're based on the same factor. Tyrese Haliburton is out. Haliburton leads the league in touches per game (96.8), and this is his first absence of the season, not to mention TJ McConnell is also questionable. That means tons of touches and usage are opening up in Indiana. Mathurin and Turner are the clear beneficiaries based on on/off court data. With Haliburton off the floor, Mathurin sees a 12.8% usage increase, averaging 30.2 points on 21.7 shots per 36 minutes. Turner sees a 6.8% usage bump, averaging 27.4 points on 18.4 shots per 36 minutes. The main concern is that this game could get out of hand, but the usage spikes are still too great to ignore.
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Milwaukee Bucks -9.5 at Orlando Magic
DraftKings Sportsbook, 10:30am CT
Nick Whalen: This is a big number, but the Magic are in the midst of an eight-game skid and have lost six of those games by at least nine points. Meanwhile, Milwaukee has Khris Middleton back, and while Brook Lopez may sit out this game for maintenance purposes, as long as the Middleton-Jrue Holiday-Giannis Antetokounmpo trio is active, the Bucks should be in a great spot to take care of business on the road.
Jayson Tatum Under 28.5 points (-114)
1:20 PM, Fanduel
Michael Spero: The Raptors and OG Anunoby have been putting on a defensive clinic all season long. Starting last week, I began tracking how the Raptors' opponents' leading scorer finished compared to their point props. Here were the results:
- 11/28 Cleveland at Toronto
- Prop line: Donovan Mitchell - 27.5 points.
- Result: Mitchell ended with eight points (3-11 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 1-1 FT).
- 11/30 Toronto at New Orleans
- Prop line: Zion Williamson - 25.5 points.
- Result: Williamson ended with 33 points (12-15 FG, 9-12 FT).
- 12/2 Toronto at Brooklyn
- Prop Line: Kevin Durant - 27.5 points.
- Result: Durant ended with 17 points (6-10 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 5-6 FT).
- 12/3 Orlando at Toronto
- Prop line: Paolo Banchero - 20.5 points.
- Result: Banchero ended with nine points (2-8 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 4-6 FT)
Albeit a short sample size, over the last week, the Raptors' opponents' leading scorers have failed to reach their point prop total in three out of Toronto's four games. With the Celtics coming into town Monday night, I am playing Jayson Tatum under 28.5 points with confidence.