Lauri Markkanen over 28.5 points + assists (-110) at Indiana
Markkanen -- already an All-Star -- has seen an uptick in his usage since the Jazz dealt Mike Conley, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt. In Markkanen's first appearance after the trade, he played only 23 minutes but launched 16 shots for 21 points, adding three assists. He followed with two games where he combined for 52 points on 43 shots and eight assists. While the 3.7 APG during this three-game stretch isn't a lot, Markkanen's season average is 1.8 APG. Mike Conley was doing so much playmaking for Utah, those possessions have to go somewhere. Of course, Collin Sexton and Jordan Clarkson will get their opportunities, but neither of them is a skilled enough passer to constitute fully taking over the offense. So, it will be by committee, and Markkanen is benefitting. Indiana also has the 24th-ranked defense over the past two weeks, so it's a soft matchup for Markkanen.
Nets at Knicks under 221.0
This is a low number in the modern NBA. Only 131 of 855 games this season have had an over/under between 219 and 223. For what it's worth, there isn't a strong edge here (53.4% to the under), but most people will hesitate before hitting the under because it's just tough to imagine an NBA score that doesn't involve both teams scoring 110 points. Admittedly, the Knicks feel like a better defensive team than they actually are (20th-ranked defense on the season) because they play at the third-slowest pace in the NBA. And we also have to just throw out any numbers involving the Nets before the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving trades. But, they managed to hold the 76ers to 101 points two days ago. Brooklyn lost because they scored 98 points. That's part of my argument though. This new-look Nets squad heavily leans toward defense, and it will take some time to acclimate offensively. I think they'll continue to be a part of rockfights for the foreseeable future. Combined with a bit of same-city rivalry, and I think this game feels more like something out of the '90s.
Collin Sexton O17.5 points at Indiana Pacers
One of the biggest beneficiaries of the trade deadline, Sexton should be in position to start and see major minutes on most nights for the Jazz. While Utah did not completely clean house, Sexton should be the second or third option behind Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson. Over his last three games, Sexton has posted 22, 22 and 15 points, though he fouled out of the 15-point effort Saturday against the Knicks. Indiana enters the week with a bottom-five defensive rating in the last 10 games. During that stretch, Indiana is allowing opponents to shoot 50.2 percent from the field.
Bonus heat-check bet: Tobias Harris O1.5 STL+BLK vs. Houston Rockets
Once again, the book is catching on and not offering any O/U 0.5 props for Sixers players. And of the nine players offered for this prop, six are members of the Rockets. I like Harden O1.5 and Embiid O2.5, but those are at -155 and 150, respectively, so we'll try to mine some more value with Harris at +115. Harris has only gone over this number in four of his last 15 games, but as you know by now, the Rockets are a uniquely exploitable opponent. For some very general context, Houston has turned the ball over nearly 200 more times than Philly has this season.
Zach Collins under 12.5 points at Cleveland (-105)
Over nine starts this season, Collins has averaged 12.3 points per game. Tonight the Spurs face the Cavs, who give up a league-leading 105.9 points per game. Big men Jarrett Allenand Evan Mobley are going to make things tough for Collins. The game has a low O/U of 224.5, with Cleveland favored by -15. Keldon Johnson is probable and new Spur Devonte' Graham is probably going to keep gunning (he put up 22 shots in his Spurs debut Friday).