This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.
I'm a fan of center props. It's one of the few positions in the NBA where it's easy to identify a one-on-one matchup advantage or disadvantage. That's the case with the two-leg parlay above. The Nets are down both LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin, and I expect Embiid to be able to have a monster game on the boards against Nicolas Claxton, the ghost of DeAndre Jordan and Jeff Green. As far as Noel is concerned, this is a well I keep going back to. The Pelicans allow the fewest rebounds in the NBA, so I'm always comfortable taking the under on an opposing center's boards. Given the two situations, I like getting +328 on both happening.
Will Barton over 14.5 points (-106) vs. MIA – DraftKings (12:23 PM CT)
I don't necessarily love this game as a betting target tonight, as both teams are playing at bottom-five paces over the last 10 games. But with Jamal Murray done for the season, I see Barton as part of the solution at point guard going forward. Facundo Campazzo and Monte Morris are the obvious replacements, but Barton can also act as a secondary ball-handler, and in the four games Murray missed before Monday's game against Golden State, he averaged 17.0 points in 34.3 minutes. Barton doesn't have a sky-high ceiling as a scorer, but I like his chances to get to 15 points, assuming he moves up a rung in the offensive pecking order.
Nikola Vucevic OVER 3.5 assists (-113) vs. ORL – DraftKings
Vucevic has just eight total assists over his last three games, so we're getting this number at a slight discount. Over the last 10 games, Orlando allows the third-most assists per game to opponents, while ranking in the bottom-10 in both opponents' field-goal percentage and three-point percentage. There's a good chance this game gets out of hand early, but I like Vucevic's chances to exploit his old team and rack up a few assists early on against an overmatched frontcourt. I would also consider Thaddeus Young (also -113) for this same prop on DraftKings.
MIL (vs. MIN) + GS (vs. OKC) + PHI (vs. BRO) all to win (-117) – DraftKings (12:49 PM CT)
I suspect you could wait just a bit longer to see if Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) is active to possibly get better odds, but I think the Bucks will win this one regardless of his health. I'm slightly concerned a ridiculous Kyrie Irving game could help the Nets pull off the upset, but with Kevin Durant (rest), James Harden (hamstring), and every other ring chaser unavailable Wednesday, it just seems incredibly unlikely the 76ers will lose what is quietly a massively important game for the standings/division. I won't even bore you with the conversation about the Thunder; they'll lose just like Sam Presti wants.
Wendell Carter over 13.5 points (-112) at CHI – FanDuel (8:50 AM CT)
The door is wide open for Carter with Mo Bamba potentially out. It's a great revenge spot for the former Bull, who will be highly motivated to put up a big number against his former team.
Zion Williamson under 29.5 points (-120) vs. NYK – FanDuel
Couple the back-to-back game and the Knicks' syrupy-slow pace, and you have a potentially under-performing scoring total for Zion. His rebounding totals will certainly make him a worthwhile DFS target, but I think the likelihood of 30 or more points is slim. In the 2020-21 season, Zion has only surpassed 30 points 32.5% of the time.