Superstars determine the fate of their teams, but with over seven of them playing Tuesday night, we examine which four to bet or fade. The NBA’s Vegas odds are setting lofty totals for these stars. Two will get it done, two won’t.
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Trae Young: Hype Down
Trae Young has taken over the Eastern side of the NBA Playoffs as he led his Atlanta Hawks to an upset over the Philadelphia 76ers in the opener. Young is putting up ridiculous playoff numbers: 30.2 points and 9.8 assists while shooting 44.8% from the field.
Trae Young is the first player in Hawks franchise history to have 35+ points and 10+ assists in a playoff game. pic.twitter.com/BosredNaE0
ESPN Stats Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 6, 2021
However, he finally cooled off during the second half of Game 1 posting 10 points and three assists in 21 minutes while shooting just 30% (0-of-4 from three). That’s a per-36 minute average of 17 points and five assists. He’ll be better than that in Game 2, but another 30-and-10 performance is asking for too much.
Pick: Young (ATL) Total Points+Assists – Under 37½ Points+Assists (Ev)
Ben Simmons: Fighting Back
I’m excited at the prospect of Ben Simmons going full heel (a la Kevin Durant) and lighting up the media and fans for constantly criticizing him. Instead, he’ll do the next best thing: shut them up with a powerful game to lead his Sixers to tie the series.
Simmons went 7-of-7 and had a 17-point 10-assist double-double. Yet all everyone focused on was his 3-of-10 free-throw shooting. Either way, Simmons is the type to turn it up when the pressure is on and he’ll respond here with a monster stat line, provided he doesn’t get into foul trouble.
Pick: Simmons (PHI) Total Points+Rebounds+Assists – Over 32½ Pts+Rebs+Assists (-120)
Kawhi Leonard: On Broad Shoulders
Board man will earn his paycheck as he gets dirty inside against the Utah Jazz. Leonard averaged 24.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in two games against Utah. His New Year’s game was notable as he grabbed a season-high 16 boards, four on the offensive end.
The Jazz predicate their success on their 3-point defense, which forces them to give up the second-most two-point attempts. Utah is allowing 50.4% shooting from inside the arc, thanks to Rudy Gobert, but the master of the mid-range should be able to score in bunches. Bet online on Kawhi to score and rebound.
Pick: Leonard (LAC) Total Points+Rebounds – Over 35½ Points+Rebounds (-125)
Gobert: Keeping The Klaw at Bay
Not a lot of players, never mind non-centers, who can go at it Gobert and tell the tale. But Leonard has not only held his own against the big man but has beaten him on the boards. In 16 games against each other, Gobert has only averaged 9.6 boards against Leonard, which is well below his 11.3 average.
In fact, Gobert has been held to single-digit rebounds in three of his last five games against Leonard as a Clipper. Gobert has averaged double-digit boards in four of five playoff games so far. But bet against his 13½ number tonight.