This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.
Damian Lillard under 33.5 points + assists (-108) at UTA – FanDuel (1:19 PM CT)
Banking on Lillard to have a bad game can feel like self-sabotage from a gambling standpoint since he's a threat to pop off for 40 points on any given night. But the Jazz limit what he does best. Utah allows the second-fewest assists (22.2) per game and the fewest threes (10.6) per game in the NBA. Utah being on the second half of a back-to-back set after an overtime game Wednesday gives me some pause, but I think they'll be locked in enough to slow down Lillard, who has averaged 31.0 combined points + assists in his last 10 appearances.
Heat vs. LAL, under 204.5 points (-112) – DraftKings (11:02 AM CT)
This game has low-scoring written all over it. The Heat are playing at the slowest pace in the league since the All-Star break, while the Lakers have the second-best defense in that span. In 10 games since losing LeBron James, the Lakers have the NBA's worst offense (100.7 ORTG), and they've scored 101 points or fewer seven times, with five sub-100-point games. To make matters worse, there's a decent chance Kyle Kuzma won't play in tonight's game.
Nikola Vucevic OVER 10.5 rebounds (-130) vs. TOR – DraftKings
Vucevic has 30 boards over his last two games, including 17 against the Pacers on Tuesday, and he goes up against the league's worst rebounding team since the All-Star break. During that stretch, the Raptors rank dead-last in total rebound percentage, as well as opponents' rebounds per game. I also like Vucevic over 36.5 points + rebounds + assists and Thaddeus Young over 23.5 points + rebounds + assists tonight.
CJ McCollum under 21.5 points (+125) vs. UTA – DraftKings (12:52 PM CT)
It was an honor being a part of a perfect Wednesday edition of the article, so I feel almost obligated to ruin that streak. McCollum probably will score 22-plus points. After all, he's averaging 22.8 points in his last eight games, which has seen the dynamic shooting guard average close to 36 minutes a night. However, it's certainly not a virtual guarantee like DraftKings is making it out to be, particularly against the Jazz, who limit opposing shooting guards to just 35.8 percent from deep. Considering the stakes, I believe this almost has to be a Damian Lillard night for the Trail Blazers, which could relegate McCollum to an afterthought. For these kinds of odds, it's at least worth the gamble.
Chris Paul over 17.5 points (-102) at LAC – FanDuel (7:21 AM CT)
Embracing the revenge narrative, let's work on the assumption that the Clippers may win the edge inside but won't be able to contain CP3 in the backcourt. Look for Paul to bring some of that Staples Center mojo back from his glory days under Doc Rivers.