10 Jan

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander sits atop Clutch Player ladder, Celtics strong bet to win East

We’re just over a week into 2024 and the markets for some future bets have shifted quite a bit since 2023. Are you looking to find value as the back half of the season approaches? We’ve got you covered with one player-based award prop and two team bets worth considering.

It’s unclear what it takes to win this award, as SGA is the odds-on favorite despite being nowhere close to where De’Aaron Fox was in terms of volume scoring in the clutch en route to winning this honor in 2022-23. Kyrie Irving led the league in fourth-quarter points last season and finished outside the top 10 while Fox racked up 91 of the 100 first-place votes as the league’s top clutch scorer.

Stephen Curry (+500) leads the league in clutch points now and could be worth watching, but SGA has a much better outlook right now. The Oklahoma Thunder guard is averaging 3.1 points on 63.3 percent shooting in the clutch and will have opportunities to go on a big shot-making spree in the back half of the season to seal the deal. He went on a ridiculous run last season and could do so again in a season where there have been just three game-winning buzzer-beaters. Another dark horse worth considering is Tyrese Haliburton (+1500) should his hamstring strain not hinder him too much moving forward. These odds for this award are available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Eastern Conference winner: Boston Celtics (+130)
The Boston Celtics suffered an overtime loss to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday but still have a league-high 28 wins on the year. The Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers are the two teams that could give the Celtics a run for their money. Joel Embiid has been dominant, but his team is 2-6 without him this season and it’s unlikely that he’ll play every game for the rest of 2023-24. The Bucks are looking to clean things up defensively but have lacked consistency on that end since swapping Jrue Holiday out for Damian Lillard. Boston’s plethora of scorers and capable defenders makes this bet seem like free money at this point.

New Orleans Pelicans to make play-in tournament: (+100)
The Pelicans are a respectable 22-15 and rank seventh in the Western Conference. Zion Williamson has been relatively healthy and Trey Murphy III is back in the mix after suffering a knee injury ahead of the season. But knocking off more than one team down the home stretch will be challenging. The Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers are looking to climb up while the new-look Phoenix Suns are finally getting to work on making their big three mesh. New Orleans appears destined to finish seventh or lower with teams like the Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings and piping-hot Los Angeles Clippers directly ahead of them.

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