With only one NBA game going on today because of the NCAA National Championship, we have to get creative with this one by betting some props courtesy of Bovada.
The Blazers are faced with having to keep winning if they want to pad their lead for the 8th seed in the playoffs and with that will come having to win this make-up game from a month ago during condensation-gate.
At 52.5 one of the better team props from Bovada right now has to be the Blazers’ first half team total. Even going into Minnesota, which is a tough place to play, I like the chances of Portland to go over in the first half of this one.
For starters, the Wolves have been eliminated from the playoffs. It’s not like a Tom Thibodeau team to give up on the season, but it’s going to be hard to keep yelling to play defense in a meaningless game.
Furthermore, without Jusuf Nurkic, the Blazers are almost forced to pick up the pace and play in the open court. Nurkic had become a viable pick and roll option in the half court for Portland, but without him, the Blazers have been turning into seven seconds or less under Terry Stotts recently.
Portland dropped 130 against the Suns two nights ago and while the Wolves are much better than Phoenix, the Blazers are averaging almost 59 points per first half over their last five, while the Wolves have given up 57.2 points per first half in their last five.
Free NBA Pick: Over 52.5 (-110) Best Line Offered: at Bovada
Gorgui Dieng O/U 20.5 points and rebounds
I’ve already won one or two props on Gorgui Dieng this season and I’m about to do it again. He has never fully valued the way he should be and even though the Wolves have been eliminated, he is going to still play hard in this one.
Plus, he is up against a depleted and undersized frontcourt. Combine that with the attention that will have to be paid to Karl-Anthony Towns in this game and you have a nice recipe for Dieng to secure a big double-double in this one.
He had 12 points and 9 rebounds against the Blazers in their first matchup and without Nurkic clogging up the middle, there is going to be a ton of room for Dieng to make tonight into a big night statistically.
The Blazers may be a better defensive rebounding team that Minnesota, but with Al Farouq Aminu likely defending Dieng for most of the night, I could see Dieng grabbing upwards of a dozen boards alone. As long as he is hitting open shots too, this is valuable over NBA pick.
Free NBA Pick: Over 20.5 (-105) Best Line Offered: at Bovada