Welcome to my newest edition of Bales' Best NBA Bets. In this article, I will outline my favorite bet for August 26, 2020. You can also find all of Bet Karma's staff bets through our NBA Premium Package.
The Milwaukee Bucks hold a 3-1 lead over the Orlando Magic entering tonight’s game. This is a must-win for Orlando or their time in the bubble will be over.
There have been plenty of inconsistencies in the Magic rotation, but the [relatively] consistent option has been Nikola Vucevic. In the series, he’s averaging 29.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 3.8 assists in 36.2 minutes per game. In other words, he’s averaging a healthy 43.3 points, rebounds, and assists per game.
These numbers would jump off the page even more if it weren’t for his Game 3 struggles. In that game, he posted only 20 points with 5 rebounds and 2 assists. Excluding that contest, Vucevic is averaging 32.7 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in 36.3 minutes per game. He posted 30+ points and 10+ rebounds in each of those three games.
Vucevic has been an extremely efficient scorer, shooting 54.7% from the field, 44.1% from beyond the arc, and 1.000% from the line. He’s a major part of the offense, as well, averaging 21.5 shot attempts, 8.5 three-point attempts, and 2.3 free throw attempts per game.
Vucevic gets an interesting matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks. On the season, they have featured one of the best defenses in the NBA against scoring centers. They rank as an average defense in rebounds allowed to opposing centers while allowing the most assists per game to opposing centers. These numbers bode well for Vucevic’s peripheral stats. The scoring aspect would have likely scared me off at the beginning of this series, but after Vucevic has posted 30+ points in 3 of 4 games, it’s clear he has the ability to score against them.
If the Magic want to keep their hopes alive, he’ll need a massive night from Vucevic. He’s coming off of a near triple-double and is likely to see 20+ shot attempts once again. While I could see Vucevic posting 30+ points for the second consecutive game, I don’t believe he needs that to hit this play. He’s a versatile center that can contribute in each of the three categories. His role in the offense and increased usage rating is what makes this bet so appealing.
Bet 1.2 units on Nikola Vucevic over 38.5 points, rebounds, and assists (-120) to win 1 unit
2020 NBA Season Record - 9-14 (-4.43 units)