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Tipico One-Play Payday (Feb. 28)

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Welcome to a Sunday edition of One-Play Payday. If you aren’t familiar with “One-Play Payday,” we provide you with one play, whether it be a spread, total or moneyline, that stands out as a rock-solid play on Tipico Sportsbook

Sunday’s marquee matchup is between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Milwaukee Bucks, two NBA teams with championship aspirations. Both teams head into this matchup fairly healthy, with Jrue Holiday expected to return to the Milwaukee Bucks after missing the last 10 games in the COVID-19 protocol. 

The Bucks open as 1.5-point favorites, -130 on the moneyline, against the Clippers with a high 236.5 implied total on Tipico Sportsbook. A big reason for the Bucks being favorites is because of Jrue Holiday’s return. Using our NBA Splits Tool, the Bucks team metrics have improved dramatically in games that Holiday has played, improving their defensive rating by 2.79, their net rating by 4.28 and their plus/minute by 5.11. 

Still, the Clippers +105 moneyline is Sunday’s One-Play Payday. The Clippers are 7-3 in their last 10 games, to the Bucks’ 5-5. While one could argue that the Bucks’ .500 record in their last 10 games is due in part to Holiday’s absence, the Clippers were also without star player Paul George for eight of their last 10 games. The teams are nearly identical in PIE (the NBA stat that most correlates to winning), with similar metrics across the board in terms of offensive rating, defensive rating and net rating. The Clippers have nearly a 1,000-minute larger sample size, and I would argue are the better team between the two. While the spread indicates it’s close to a pick ‘em, I like taking the Bucks at plus-money. At the end of the day, we are getting a discount on the Clippers because they are on the road (which does not matter with stadiums under 20% capacity) with a skewed sample size and expected improvement with the return of Jrue Holiday, making the Clippers undervalued. If you are more risk-averse, you can choose to take the points-and-a-half at -105 as well. 

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