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With only four games on the schedule for Thursday night, keep an eye out for worthy wagers featuring some of the league's top role players!
When the New Orleans Pelicans and the Utah Jazz face off, CJ McCollum is looking to bounce back from an off-playmaking night in his last game. Brook Lopez has been in stellar defensive form this season, and he hopes to translate his shot blocking into a win when his Milwaukee Bucks face the Memphis Grizzlies. And when the Miami Heat and the Houston Rockets play, sophomore big man Alperen Sengun's non-scoring contributions will be the focus.
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CJ McCollum's veteran experience has buoyed the quality of New Orleans' play this season, and it's shown through their record. At PointsBet, McCollum is a +120 to clear 5.5 assists when he faces the Utah Jazz.
On the season, McCollum is averaging 17.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game on 40.3% shooting from the field and 32.2% shooting from three-point range. Over his last three games though, McCollum is averaging just 14.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 4.0 assists on 45.6% shooting from the field and 27.8% from three. Despite his down form, McCollum is probably being underestimated.
Yes, McCollum is coming off of a game where he posted no assists in 30 minutes of play. Having cleared 5.5 assists in 12 of his 23 games played this season, expect McCollum to bounce back from his off-playmaking night.
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Milwaukee Bucks big man Brook Lopez is looking to not only help the Bucks to a win but maintain his Defensive Player of the Year-worthy season. At bet365, Lopez is a +100 to clear 2.5 blocks when he faces the Memphis Grizzlies.
On the season, Lopez is averaging 14.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks per game in 31.1 minutes per game - his highest minutes average since the 2015-16 season. Over his last three games, where the Bucks are 2-1, Lopez has been averaging 6.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks in 30.0 minutes per game.
Lopez has been excellent on the defensive side of the ball this season, and the Grizzlies seem like a great matchup for him to clear 2.5 blocks. Memphis love to attack the rim, with 58.5 two-point attempts per game (7th in the NBA) on 53.0% efficiency (20th in the NBA). When the Grizzlies reach the rim, Lopez will be meeting them there.
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When the Miami Heat and the Houston Rockets face off, sophomore big man Alperen Sengun will be ready to maintain his stellar 2022-23 campaign against a tough defense. At FanDuel, Sengun is a +100 to clear 10.5 rebounds and assists combined when he takes on the Miami Heat.
On the season, Sengun is averaging 14.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 2.2 assists on 53.8% shooting from the field and 19.0% from three-point range. Over his last three games though, Sengun has averaged 11.3 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists on 43.2% shooting from the field. Considering the Heat are willing to collapse on the paint on defense, don't be surprised to see Sengun's playmaking take the spotlight.
Sengun has cleared 10.5 rebounds and assists combined in 14 of his 24 appearances this season. While the Heat don't play at a high pace, it may play perfectly into the style of play that Sengun thrives in. If not, his recent form suggests he could clear 10.5 rebounds and assists on the glass alone.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
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