Moore: Will Luka Doncic Go Over 6.5 Assists Against Clippers?
Photo credit: Shane Roper-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Luka Doncic
Betting odds: Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Clippers
- Spread: Clippers -4
- Over/Under: 220.5
- Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
- TV channel: TNT
>> All odds as of 9:15 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds and track your bets
Luka Doncic is a sensation. A phenom. A legit star.
That’s evident, even early on in his rookie season.
It’s been just two months, but he’s the runaway leader for Rookie of the Year and the biggest name in the class.
Part of what makes Doncic sensational is his incredible feel for the game, which is unreal at just 19. He stands out to anyone watching the game, whether it’s a hardcore fan who has been watching for 20 years or your dad who never liked the NBA and just has it on while he’s reading Dan Brown or whatever.
However, maybe the hype on him is a little high. His assists prop for tonight vs. the Clippers is set at 6.5. Our FantasyLabs Prop Bet analysis has the under as a Bet Quality of 10. And there are a lot of emerging reasons for that.
For starters, he’s averaging only 4.9 dimes per game. Dennis Smith Jr. accounts for 0.6 assists per game for Doncic, via NBA.com’s tracking data, and he’s out with injury.
Then came word Thursday afternoon that DeAndre Jordan is ill, missed shootaround and is questionable Thursday night. There have been a lot of rumblings about Jordan’s fit with the Mavs, both on the court and in the locker room, but he also accounts for the lion’s share of assists for Doncic at 1.5 per game.
Without him, the Mavs’ gravity gets all messed up, and tonight he’ll go against a tough front line of Marcin Gortat, Montrezl Harrell and Boban Marjanovic.
Doncic is still dangerous even with those injuries. If defenders help down, as Juancho Hernangomez does in the clip below, it’s not just that Doncic recognizes the help to make this pass early — it’s the placement on the ball. He lands it right in the shooting pocket:
But without Jordan’s gravity, that changes. Throw in minor injuries to J.J. Barea and Maxi Kleber, and there’s a good chance Doncic sticks to his common stat line.
Doncic has averaged 6.5 per game in December, but much of that is off his 12-assist performance vs. the Nuggets, who, as shown above, sell out to protect the rim in pick-and-roll coverage and have an unathletic rim protector in Nikola Jokic.
Doncic is worth the hype, and I lean toward the over on his 18.5 points prop tonight with the injuries fueling a greater need for him to produce. But against a veteran team with good defenders in L.A., there’s cause for trusting the props tool, beyond just its excellent performance this season.