Welcome to ‘Lock of the Day’, where I’ll be representing The Athletes Hub with the latest trends in sports betting. Be sure to check in daily for which bets are considered locks:
NBA ’21-22 Record: 46-24 (65.7% Accuracy)
NFL ’21-22 Record: 17-6 (73.9% Accuracy)
UFC ’22 Record: 2-0 (100% Accuracy)
Overall Record: 64-29 (68.8% Accuracy)
March 1st: Boston Celtics ML & Jayson Tatum 20+ points vs Atlanta Hawks (-189)
The Boston Celtics will square off against the Atlanta Hawks for the fourth time this season on Tuesday, entering the game with a 1-2 head-to-head record. However, each team has won their respective matchups given home court advantage by an average of 12.3 points. The Celtics boast a 7-3 record across their last 10 home games, while the Hawks are 3-7 across their last 10 contests on the road.
Jayson Tatum is averaging 30.7 points per game against Atlanta this season, who ranks 27th in defensive efficiency to this point. He has reached the 20-point mark in eight of his last ten games both overall and at home. I love Tatum in this game to hit multiple-three point shots as well, considering the Hawks are currently 25th in the league when defending shots from deep. In the three matchups against Atlanta this season, Tatum is averaging 10 three-point attempts per game, converting at a 36.7% rate.
Result: Boston W (107-98), Jayson Tatum 33 Points
March 1st: Luka Doncic UNDER 31.5 Points vs Los Angeles Lakers (-115)
The Los Angeles Lakers defense has been poor this season, but the line on Luka Doncic is a little too rich for Tuesday night. Across 10 career matchups against the Lakers, Doncic has never reached the 32-point mark. In his last 10 matchups on the road, the 23-year old is averaging 26.3 points per game. Los Angeles has surrendered 31.2 points per game to opposing scoring leaders across their last 10 games, but have limited point guards to 20 points per game, with the lone outlier being Trae Young for a 36-point performance on January 30th.
Result: 25 Points
March 2nd: Philadelphia 76ers ML & James Harden OVER 22.5 Points vs New York Knicks (+100)
In his home debut with the Philadelphia 76ers, this is a great value play involving James Harden. The 76ers are coming off a 125-109 road victory against the Knicks on Sunday and receive a nationally-televised game on Wednesday night. Philadelphia has won each of their last three games, while New York has been on the losing side in 12 of their last 15 games in which seven of the losses were on the road. The win over the weekend saw Harden finish with 29 points, which included 10 successful free throws. Harden shoots from the charity stripe at the fourth-highest rate in the NBA, while New York commits the eighth-most fouls in the league. The Knicks are also below the league average in regards to defending the three-point shot and has allowed 119.1 points per game across their last 10 contests. I love both bets individually, but the +100 odds for a same game parlay is too good to ignore.
Result: Philadelphia W (123-108), James Harden 26 Points
March 2nd: Khris Middleton OVER 18.5 points vs Miami Heat (-106)
Khris Middleton has been a frustrating player to bet the over on this season, but this is a positive matchup. Over their last two weeks, the Miami Heat defense has limited opportunities for opposing leading scorers in DeMar DeRozan (18), Julius Randle (11), LaMelo Ball (14). In those same matchups, the next man has consistently exceeded point projections. This occurred with Zach LaVine (22), RJ Barrett (46), and Miles Bridges (29). This season, Middleton is averaging 19.5 points per game, eclipsing the 19-point mark in two matchups against the Heat this season in December. Miami will focus on limiting Giannis Anteokounmpo, which should leave Middleton with the opportunity to shoot 15+ times from the field.
Result: 26 Points
March 2nd: Tyrese Haliburton OVER 16.5 points vs Orlando Magic (-115)
This line seems low, right? Since joining the Indiana Pacers, Haliburton is averaging 20.3 points per game, shooting 52.7% from the field. He has surpassed 17+ points in seven of his first eight contests with the team. Against the Orlando Magic on Monday, Haliburton finished with 23 points, nine of which came from three-point range. The Magic have struggled defensively to this point, as they are below the league average in both defensive efficiency (22nd) and opponent three-pointers made per game (24th). Chris Duarte (toe) and Lance Stephenson (ankle) are continuing to deal with injuries, leaving Haliburton to play 32+ minutes on Wednesday night.
Result: 21 Points
March 3rd: Miami Heat ML vs Brooklyn Nets (+105)
The Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets square off for the third time this season, as the Heat have won each of the first two matchups by an average of 8.5 points. Kevin Durant returns to the Nets lineup after missing 21 games with a knee injury, but is likely to play more than 32 minutes on Thursday night. Brooklyn has lost four of their last five matchups, while Miami won nine of their last ten games prior to a one-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday. The Heat are in rhythm, while the Nets are limping during the home stretch of the season. Ironically enough, Miami has posted a 20-15 record on the road this season, while Brooklyn continues to miss Kyrie Irving in home games, compiling a 13-17 record in the Barclays Center.
Result: Miami W (113-106)
March 3rd: Desmond Bane UNDER 24.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists vs Boston Celtics (-120)
While Desmond Bane is averaging 27.6 PRA this season, that number has declined to 22 PRA across his last five games. In seven road games in the month of February, Bane missed the 24.5 PRA mark on five occasions. The Boston Celtics rank second in defensive efficiency this season and lead the league in opponent effective field goal percentage. The attention will surely be on Ja Morant, who has the fifth-highest usage rate in the NBA this season. I see Morant attempting 20+ attempts from the field for the sixth consecutive game, limiting the opportunities for Bane.
Result: 25 PRA
March 4th: Philadelphia 76ers ML & Joel Embiid Double-Double vs Cleveland Cavaliers (-136)
Since acquiring James Harden, the Philadelphia 76ers have won three straight games by an average of 20.7 points. When the 76ers last played the Cleveland Cavaliers on February 12th, they won 103-93. In their first matchup, Joel Embiid put together a triple-double performance that consisted of 40 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists. While the Cavaliers are above the league average in defending the paint, Embiid has totaled a double-double in seven of 11 career matchups against them. He has finished with a double-double in 18 of his last 20 games and has hit the double-double mark in 17 of 25 home games this season. The Cavaliers have a winning record on the road, but this is a relatively safe bet for Philadelphia at decent odds.
Result: Philadelphia W (125-119), Joel Embiid fails to record double-double
March 4th: Kyle Kuzma UNDER 9.5 Rebounds vs Atlanta Hawks (-135)
Both the Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards have struggled to rebound this season, but this line is too rich for Kyle Kuzma. He has averaged a career-high 8.8 rebounds per game, but that figure has fallen to seven rebounds per contest across two matchups against the Hawks this season. He has failed to record 10+ rebounds in seven of his last ten games, which makes this is a difficult line to pass on. Deni Avdija is likely to return to the lineup on Friday night after averaging seven rebounds per game during the month of February.
Result: Five Rebounds
March 5th: Kevin Holland & Colby Covington ML (-164)
The highly-anticipated matchup between Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal headlines UFC 272 on Saturday night. Oddly enough, this was a bout that I said the UFC needed to make in early January. I have Covington to win if he can utilize the ground game, as his 61 takedowns are second all-time among welterweights. He averages 4.1 takedowns per 15 minutes, but Masvidal enters with a 75% takedown defense rate. If Covington can expose Masvidal, this is a great leg to bet on. Meanwhile, Kevin Holland has -410 odds against Alex Oliveira, who has lost six of his last eight fights. Holland has a five-inch reach and four-inch height advantage on Saturday night, not to mention he’s moving down in weight for the bout. Oliveira has only been knocked out once in his career, but Holland is a threat if this becomes a standup fight.
Result: Kevin Holland W (KO/TKO), Colby Covington W (DEC)
March 6th: Kyrie Irving OVER 26.5 Points vs Boston Celtics (-125)
Kyrie Irving returns to the action for the first time since February 26th, due to COVID restrictions. Since joining the Brooklyn Nets, Irving has averaged 38 PA in three matchups against the Boston Celtics. He has surpassed the 26.5 PA mark with ease in each of his last four contests, and hasn’t even needed a single assist to reach it. Irving averages 30.4 this season, while the Celtics are coming off games in which they allowed 45 PA to Ja Morant and 37 PA to Trae Young. Kevin Durant is bound to get the most attention from the Nets starting lineup, opening the window of opportunity for Irving to have an efficient game.
March 6th: Milwaukee Bucks ML & Giannis Anteokounmpo Double-Double (-176)
The Phoenix Suns are staying afloat without Devin Booker and Chris Paul, but the Milwaukee Bucks have won three straight games that include key opponents such as the Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, and Miami Heat. Cam Johnson, who scored 38 points against the New York Knicks on Friday, is also ruled out for Phoenix. In a home game on ABC, I have the Bucks picking up their first win against the Suns since the 2019-20 season. As for Giannis Anteokounmpo, he has recorded a double-double in eight of his last ten game and in nine of his last ten home games. Phoenix held the MVP in check last time out on February 10th, but it’s worth noting he was only two rebounds and three assists short of a triple-double.