The first full week of NBA bubble play starts today with six games on the slate beginning at 1:30pm ET.
The Grizzlies and Pelicans is a big matchup to help determine the final seed in the West. Pacers forward T.J. Warren should stay hot vs Washington, and the Lakers close the night vs the Utah Jazz.
My best bets, favorite DFS plays, along with "The People's Parlay" are all here. Let's get some winners!
Memphis Grizzlies vs New Orleans Pelicans
The Play: Grizzlies +4.5
Both of these up and young and coming teams have struggled so far and both need a win today. The Grizzlies have had poor starts to their games and I don't why this team feels like they can turn it on and off as they please. Ja Morant will win Rookie of the Year, but that's not going to secure a playoff spot on it's own, so they need to play with a sense of urgency.
The Pelicans, on the other hand, need to either shut Zion Williamson down or play him the minutes needed to get back into shape, I have a hard time understanding why Williamson is there yet. This line opened up at Pelicans -3 and most of the early bettors have placed wagers on Memphis. Yet the line has moved to Pelicans -4.5, which indicates that the sharp money is coming in on New Orleans.
Via FanDuel Sportsbook, while 55% of the bets are on the Grizzlies, just 34% of the money has Memphis plus the 4.5 points.
I would normally follow the sharp money but I really can't see how the Pelicans can beat anyone by in the bubble by five points. The Pelicans moneyline is sitting at -200 which is a good sign that Vegas feels very strongly about New Orleans today.
The Grizzlies moneyline sitting at +166 will be very appealing to the public, but I'm not playing that. Instead, I will take the +4.5 with Memphis.
Utah Jazz vs Los Angeles Lakers
The Play: Lakers 1st Half -3.5
The Utah Jazz has not looked good so far in the bubble. It took all they had to squeak out a win in their first game vs the Pelicans and in their second game, they were beaten soundly by the Oklahoma City Thunder. On a separate note, don't sleep on OKC. They could make some major noise as the seeding round continues.
The Lakers earned an impressive victory over the Clippers but they didn't cover the spread, and also didn't cover in their loss to the Raptors. Toronto is another underrated team and the defending champs could be in the bubble until the very end.
Utah has struggled to score in these early games. You can see that they are really missing Bojan Bogdanovic who was second on the team in scoring. The line on this game opened up at 6 and has only moved a half a point thus far. I'm not betting the full game because I think the Lakers could take their foot off the gas in the second half and the Jazz could get the dreaded back-door cover. I'm taking Los Angeles to cover the first half number. They should jump out on Utah early, so their main guys can rest in the second half.
Oklahoma City Thunder moneyline + Indiana Pacers moneyline + Philadelphia 76ers moneyline (+148)
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C Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Embiid is coming off a great fantasy performance, as he put up 81 fantasy points in the 76ers first game in the bubble, going for 41 points and 21 rebounds. Embiid is the only 76er I would trust right now.
SF/PF T.J. Warren, Indiana Pacers
If you thought Warren was getting buckets over the weekend when he put 50 on the Sixers, wait until he gets a shot at the Wizards defense. I don't think the game will get away from Washington so Warren should see a full allotment of minutes.
PG Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies have to get it going or they will leave the bubble before they want to. In the battle of premiere rookies, I like Morant to put the Grizzlies on his back against a poor Pelicans defense.
PF/C Jaren Jackson Jr, Memphis Grizzlies
Jackson is off to a good start in the bubble. He has put up a pair of nice fantasy outings including a 33-point showing in game one. The Pelicans are 29th in the league vs opposing big men. As long as Jackson can stay out of foul trouble he should have a nice game.