- No player listed on Bovada’s odds scored better than 30 points in Game 1
- Will MVP candidates James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo go wild in their respective Game 2’s?
- Kyrie Irving was limited to just 20 points in Boston’s low-scoring win over the Pacers
By their absurd standards, it was an absolutely average night for James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo in their 2019 NBA Playoff Game 1 debuts.
To no one’s surprise, the pair are atop Bovada’s leaderboard again to score the most points for the Wednesday slate.
Is the Beard worth betting at this price, or is there someone else that presents better value?
Odds to Score the Most Points on Wednesday, April 17
|Player||Leading Scorer Odds at Bovada|
*Odds taken 04/16/19
Blowouts Make a Difference
Not sure when the last time this could be said, but the Houston Rockets featured a balanced attack in dismantling the Jazz in Game 1. Harden led the way with 29 points, but he was one of seven scorers who hit double digits. Houston poured in 59 points to lead by 15 at the half, and were essentially on cruise control the rest of the way.
James Harden is COOKING pic.twitter.com/c4nGuAWQwG
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) April 15, 2019
If you look at Harden’s box score and think that output is underwhelming, it’s because he’s set such a dominant offensive standard that few players have ever reached. In his last 15 games, it’s just the fourth sub-30 game he’s posted. Since December 1st, he’s failed to crack 30 points 11 times in 60 games, and he rarely goes back-to-back (just three times in that stretch).
“I’m f*cking unstoppable”
– Giannis Antetokounmpo, MVP pic.twitter.com/KjuuAkmIe7
— IKE Bucks (@IKE_Bucks) April 14, 2019
Over in the East, the Pistons without Blake Griffin is the death of Detroit, though they were likely going to get crushed by the Bucks regardless.
But this way, it doesn’t actually force Giannis to flex on the offensive end, as the opposition is going to struggle to find points. He still, however, does find ways to bend the mind as to what is possible by a human being on the basketball court.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is going to dunk from behind the FT line in a live game before it's all said & done, right? pic.twitter.com/ECSYD40BHv
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) April 15, 2019
Without any sort of resistance, the Bucks can get any shot they want in the flow of the game, meaning everyone should eat well, but Antetokounmpo won’t feast.
Who Else is Worthy of a Wager?
The next two players down the board are where the value lurks.
Kyrie Irving (+400) was limited to just 20 points in an early 2000’s-style slugfest with the Pacers. Irving is in the conversation for best pure scorer in basketball, with Harden and Kevin Durant. He has the ability to get cooking, posting 30+ points 19 times in the 67 games he’s played this season.
— FilmDroidCV2.0 (@MotionMarvels56) April 14, 2019
The Pacers are all kinds of mess heading into Game 2. They’re without their leading scorer, Victor Oladipo, and posted just 84 points in Game 1. Irving may be content getting his teammates involved, then, if it’s still close, clutching up and finishing things off.
— R.SACO (@RyoRyo719) April 15, 2019
The player who has a real chance to stealing Wednesday’s shine is Donovan Mitchell. The Jazz second-year man was a pedestrian 7-for-18 from the field, finishing with 19 points in the loss to Houston. He also made it to the line just three times. This is a guy that was just a shade under 27 points a game in his final 40 regular season games.
Career games with 40+ points:
Ben Simmons – 0
Jayson Tatum – 0
Grayson Allen – 1
Donovan Mitchell – 4
— Tavan Parker (@TavanParker) April 11, 2019
And despite Houston suddenly finding some defensive form, Mitchell should be able to puncture that defense – he needs to, if the Jazz have any chance of making this a series. He could be the value bet to lean on.
What’s the Best Bet to Make?
It would seem egregious to bet against Harden, though he was beat by a single point on the Sunday slate by Damian Lillard’s 30, and that paid out a nice +700. No one on this list topped 30 points last time out, but Harden has been pumping them out on the regular. It should be a nice little win. if you are searching for better value, then look to Mitchell.
— Sports News & Videos (@robinsportsnews) May 9, 2018
Looking for a real long shot? To close out Utah last year in five games, Chris Paul had a 27-point triple-double in Game 4, and a 41-point clincher in Game 5, where he went 8-for-10 from downtown. A retro performance could net you a +4000 payday.