Welcome to another edition of Cap’n Kielar’s Best Bets. We are back for Thursday night’s picks in college basketball and the NBA.
Place your bets with Jazz Sportsbook for the best lines and promos. Please gamble responsibly.
Overall record: 17-17
LeBron James Over 46.5, Points + Rebounds + Assists
LeBron is 36 and is looking like his vintage self as the front-runner MVP candidate. In a national primetime game against the superteam Nets, James will go off. Anthony Davis is out and James will get even more scoring opportunities and take complete control of the game. He is sitting right around his points, assists, and rebounds per game averages on the season. If you want to take it a step further, you can take the triple-double prop at +275. The points + rebounds + assists prop is just the safer route.
Montrezl Harrell Over 6.5 Rebounds
With Anthony Davis out, Harrell should see an uptick in minutes. He did only play 18 minutes on Tuesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but against a top opponent, the Lakers will look to have him out there more. In those 18 minutes, he pulled down six boards. With more minutes against a team extremely soft in the interior, he should easily pass that mark.
Kyrie Irving Over 2.5 Three-Pointers
Irving was on fire from behind the arc in his last game, hitting nine threes in 11 attempts. He has also hit over 2.5 three-pointers in 10 of his 20 games this season. Against the Lakers in primetime and a game that should be high-scoring, Irving will look to continue this pace. Kevin Durant is also not playing, so this will give Irving even more chances to go off.
Wisconsin vs. Iowa (+2.0)
Wisconsin has gone 4-4 over their last eight games and they are coming off a tough loss to Michigan. The Badgers’ schedule has been tough and isn’t getting any easier. They have not looked in sync offensively, with a number of players seeing a decline in their numbers.
Iowa has been the most efficient offensive team in the country, led by the likely John Wooden award-winner Luka Garza. According to KenPom, the Hawkeyes have scored 127.1 points per every 100 possessions and have turned the ball over on just 13 percent of their possessions. Wisconsin is averaging only 70.3 PPG, the third-lowest in the Big Ten. Look for Iowa to get off to a fast start and force Greg Gard’s team to play from behind all game.
Penn State vs. Ohio State (-4.5)
This line is way too small for a matchup so one-sided. Ohio State is just too much of a juggernaut for the Nittany Lions to handle. Penn State has remained semi-competitive through Big Ten play, but they have not closed games out. They do have wins against VCU and then-No. 15 Virginia Tech but the Buckeyes are a team that will likely be on the one-line and make a run in the NCAA tournament. E.J. Liddell is the team’s leading scorer with 15.1 PPG. While Ohio State hasn’t had one main guy, they have had four different players lead in scoring on any given night. Liddell and Duane Washington Jr. have each led in scoring nine times.
Follow Alex Kielar on Twitter @AlexKielar
Main Image designed by Zach Gotlieb @zachgotlieb