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Bets for Durant’s home debut and Luka vs. Embiid

Seven weeks after the trade, Kevin Durant finally makes his home debut in Phoenix. Meanwhile Luka Doncic, Joel Embiid, and James Harden are banged up, but we’re still banging out parlays.

2023 NBA All Star Game
Luka Doncic and Joel Embiid in friendlier times
Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Two big games with playoff implications are going on Wednesday night on ESPN. The Dallas Mavericks visit the Philadelphia 76ers to try to stop their slide that started with injuries to Kyrie Irving and also trading for Kyrie Irving in the first place. Meanwhile, Philly tries to hold onto the three seed in the Eastern Conference while also resting their superstars. No, we don’t mean you, Tobias Harris. You’re playing, buddy!

In the late game, Kevin Durant finally makes his home debut for the Phoenix Suns after a catastrophic failure by a mop man led to his ankle injury in warmups three weeks ago. And another oft-injured All-Star big man, Karl-Anthony Towns, plays his fourth game since missing 51 games with his own injury. Minnesota has won all three of his games, and four in a row overall.

They have injuries and comebacks. We have same-game parlays.

DraftKings Odds

Dallas Mavericks at Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers have lost three games in a row, and Philly fans are panicking. Not about their team’s playoff seeding, but about the drop in Joel Embiid’s MVP odds. It’s honestly a bizarre level of obsession about trophies, from a city that’s had quite a bit of sports success recently. Besides, after the World Series and Super Bowl, wouldn’t finishing second be the best tribute to Embiid’s home city?

He’s listed as “questionable” for the game with a calf injury, as is James Harden, who has an Achilles injury. However, Embiid isn’t facing Nikola Jokic, so the odds are pretty good that he will play. For Dallas. Maxi Kleber is questionable.

Philadelphia is a 4.5-point favorite, and the total is 231.5. To us, that’s a sign that Embiid is going to play, and that the oddsmakers do not respect the Mavericks’ defense.

For our first parlay, we are riding with Uncle Drew. Parlay the Mavericks +4.5 points with Irving getting 20+ points, 5+ rebounds and 5+ assists for a +270 return. Look, Irving plays well in nationally-televised games, and both the Mavericks and 76ers have been bottom-10 teams in field goal percentage in the past four games.

Keep in mind, these teams also love to play very slow, so betting big on totals can be risky. We like parlaying a Doncic double-double with the overall under, and Irving going under 25.5 points, for +370. For longshots, we like taking Dallas +4.5 with Luka going over 30 points and 12 rebounds for +1100. And for Embiid-sized long shots, try Dallas +4.5 parlayed with:

  • Luka Doncic 10+ assists
  • Luka Doncic 2+ steals
  • Kyrie Irving 5+ assists
  • Kyrie Irving 2+ steals

For a +3500 return, it’s really not all that unlikely, especially if Shake Milton has to handle the ball in lieu of Harden. Meanwhile, the Philly crowd might be less boisterous than usual if they realize Doncic is not their archenemy Nikola Jokic. We like the Mavs here.

Minnesota Timberwolves at Phoenix Suns

Minnesota tries to continue their western rampage as they wrap up their road trip in Phoenix, after edging the Warriors and Sacramento Kings in consecutive games. Phoenix went 4-6 without Durant but were 3-0 with him, and they’ve won two straight.

Phoenix is favored by 4.5 points, and the total is 234.5 points. Both teams should have everyone available, except Taurean Prince is likely too sick to play.

We are riding with the Suns new superteam until they actually lose a game with Durant. We like a simply parlay of Suns moneyline, Devin Booker scoring 30+ points and Durant getting 20+ points for +320.

We also believe in Rudy Gobert, to an extent. No, he won’t be able to handle coming out on Phoenix’s three-point shooters, but he’s going to get his blocks and rebounds. Give us Gobert getting 12+ rebounds and 2+ blocks, along with the Suns moneyline for +525.

It’s not crazy to pick the Wolves, who finally have their full team together, and have really rallied behind no longer having D’Angelo Russell on the roster. If you do like the Timberwolves, that’s a bet on their defense, and that means missed shots. Try the Wolves on the moneyline, along with Gobert and Deandre Ayton grabbing 12+ rebounds for +1000.

Want a real longshot? Gobert and Ayton getting 12+ rebounds, along with Devin Booker and Anthony Edwards each going for 30+ points. You’re essentially wishing for a very fun game, and your reward is a +4500 return.

Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.

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