Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets worked hard over the last week to land the home-court advantage in the Eastern Conference play-in round.
Brooklyn achieved that feat by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Barclays Center on Friday.
Durant and Co. need one win to set up a first-round clash with the Boston Celtics. It is easy to trust Durant to take over an elimination-style game based on his previous postseason performances.
Durant’s point prop is a bit high for me to take because Kyrie Irving could score a ton of points against his former team.
However, there is a way to take advantage of Durant’s high usage with a plus-money prop.
Tuesday’s Western Conference play-in game features the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Clippers.
Paul George, Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns will be in the spotlight, but there is one player that can take advantage of an individual matchup and cash two different props.
NBA Play-In Picks
Kevin Durant Over 15.5 Rebounds/Assists (+100)
Kevin Durant averaged 9.25 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game in the playoffs last season.
He had 15 or more rebounds and assists in four of the final five games of the Brooklyn-Milwaukee series last season.
Durant averaged 8.4 assists and 8.2 rebounds per game in five April contests, all of which came in high-pressure situations as the Nets chased down home court in the play-in round.
Durant closed the regular season with two triple-doubles in his final three games. He also had 16 rebounds and assists last Tuesday against Houston.
He should be involved in almost every offensive play and he should bang on the boards in a game that should be played at a decent pace.
Ivica Zubac Over 9.5 Points (-120)
Ivica Zubac Double Double (+310)
Ivica Zubac scored in double figures in each of his last six appearances.
Zubac faces a Minnesota defense that has been torched by opposing centers for most of the season.
Zubac had 10,10 and 14 points in his three appearances against the Clippers, all of which occurred in November. He did not play in the January 3 game between the two sides.
The Clippers starting center also has four straight double-doubles. The Wolves defense gave up double-doubles to all sorts of centers in four games to start April:
Nikola Jokic (April 1): 38 points, 19 rebounds
Alperen Sengun (April 3): 14 points, 15 rebounds
Daniel Gafford (April 5): 24 points, 12 rebounds
Jakob Poeltl (April 7): 15 points, 17 rebounds
The matchup and Zubac’s prices make this a worthwhile wager
DraftKings Same Game Parlay
DraftKings is offering a risk-free Same Game Parlay daily for the next 10 days.
The SGP must have three or more legs and you can bet up to $10.
Same Game Parlay (+475)
Kevin Durant 8+ rebounds
Lauri Markkanen 14+ points
Andre Drummond 11+ rebounds
Caris LeVert Over 3.5 assists
The Durant piece of the SGP goes along with my R/A play.
Durant pulled down either nine or 10 rebounds in three of his last four games. He should be Brooklyn’s second-best rebounder behind Andre Drummond.
Drummond should be posted up down low on every possession and that puts him in a terrific position to hit a double-digit rebound total. He had 11 or more rebounds in four of five April games to end the regular season.
The Cavs need someone else to score to complement Darius Garland and Lauri Markannen fits that bill. Markannen averaged 14.8 points per game in the regular season and he had 15 or more points in each of his last four games.
Caris LeVert has at least four assists in seven of the last eight games and each of the last five.