This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.
Jusuf Nurkic over 33.5 points + rebounds + assists vs. Heat – FanDuel, 2:48 PM CT
Portland is down Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and likely Larry Nance, so Nurkic should continue to carry a higher usage rate than usual. With that trio off the floor, Nurkic has a 30.4% usage rate with averages of 23.0 points, 11.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists per 36 minutes. He's also going up against an inexperienced center in Omer Yurtseven.
Kyrie Irving OVER 19.5 points (-120) at Indiana Pacers – DraftKings Sportsbook, 2:30 PM CT
Kyrie is finally making his season debut tonight, so I feel partially obligated to bet on him. The point total is set a bit higher than I would've expected, given the circumstances, but Kyrie is certainly capable of going over this number on a night when the Nets will likely do everything they can to get him back up to speed. Indiana will be without several key guards, including Malcolm Brogdon, so I'm not concerned about the matchup whatsoever. Ultimately, it will come down to how many minutes Irving plays. I expect him to come out aggressively, so as long as he can get at least 25 minutes, I like his chances to make a statement and have a nice scoring game in his first action since the 2021 playoffs. Irving won't be able to play again until Monday, at the earliest, so I'm not overly concerned about Steve Nash keeping him on a strict limitation.
I'm taking the UNDER on Tobias Harris scoring 19.5 points (-102) vs. Orlando – FanDuel, at 12:15 ET
This is based purely on Harris playing poorly as of late. Over his past five games, Harris has averaged 16.2 points per game while shooting 39.4% from the field. Yes, Orlando is facing a bunch of injuries, but their starters are mostly healthy. With Philly favored by -9.5, there is a chance for an early blowout with the Sixers resting their vets early.
Bobby Portis under 19.5 points against TOR (-125) – DraftKings 1:13 PM CT
Portis has just five games with 20 or more points and the Raptors allow the fifth fewest points to opposing centers. No Giannis Antetokounmpo (non COVID-19 illness) obviously gives some scoring opportunities to Portis and two of those aforementioned five games did occur with Giannis sidelined, but Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton are available Wednesday which should balance out the scoring equation. DraftKings does have Portis' rebound total at 10.5 o/u which does raise my eyebrow somewhat given the lack of big bodies available for the Bucks so consider this also a reminder to shop around for some possible same-game parlays on other platforms.
Herro Over 33.5 points + rebounds + assists (-115) at Portland – DraftKings, 10:45 AM CT
Over his last three games (all starts), Herro is averaging 18.7 points, 5.0 assists and 4.7 rebounds, but he is shooting just 31.7 percent from the field. I expect the third-year pro to be slightly more efficient against Portland's porous defense, which currently ranks last in defensive rating with an abysmal 114.8 points allowed per 100 possessions.