NBA Threesday: How to Bet Today’s DraftKings Promo

NBA Threesday: How to Bet Today’s DraftKings Promo article feature image

(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) Pictured: Buddy Hield

Today, DraftKings is offering the following promo:

They also offered the promo last week, and I'm hopeful it'll be offered going forward because it's a good promo. Let's dive into the NBAThreesday math to figure out which teams to target, and who to bet this week.

The Math

Teams hit an average of 12.8 3s per game this season. If we picked a random game with random teams, we'd expect there to be a $25.60 free bet return on the game. There are different ways to convert free bets to cash, but let's say each free bet is worth about 70% of the dollar value. So, the $25.60 worth of free bets would then be worth $17.92.

It's also important to note that it appears there's roughly a 28% hold on this market.

So, if we picked a random game and a random player, we would expect to return 72% of our $50 wager — a return of $36. Add that to the free bet, and we're getting back $53.92 on our $50 bet — 7.8% EV.

This promo is definitely worth betting every week. Even if you picked randomly, getting 7.8% EV is a must bet, but if we focus more thoroughly on specific games and players, the returns will be higher.

The Strategy

Last week, I recommended betting both Julius Randle and Jaylen Brown for this promotion.

There are two methods for choosing who to pick. We can choose by game, or by player.

If we look by player, we'll target the players whose odds vary the most different from their hit rate. This is what many first basket cappers do, targeting players whose rates should be higher than they are on the books. Many of them are profitable.

The other way is by game. With this method, we'd target the game with the most 3s. For example, if Detroit was playing Orlando, those two teams are at the bottom of the league in 3s per game, so we'd want to avoid that matchup. We'd also look at how many attempted 3s per game each team allows, because teams can impact how often other teams shoot 3s, even if they have less impact on how they ultimately shoot over a year-to-year basis.

The first 3 of the game is very difficult to predict, even with trends, because teams aren't consistent. Also, I'm not trying to become a first basket capper, so I'll be looking by game first, then by team.

This Week's Targets

There are five games tonight. Here they are, with each team's rank in 3s per game:

Indiana (6) vs. Boston (1)
Lakers (30) vs. Atlanta (9)
Utah (11) vs. New York (12)
Toronto (24) vs. Chicago (25)
Philadelphia (27) vs. Golden State (4)

Indiana allows the fewest attempted 3s per game, but that's not enough to keep me off this game. In the four games these teams have played against each other this season, they have averaged 29 3s per game.

So far this season, four players on either the Celtics or Pacers have hit at least five first 3s:
Derrick White (6)
Jayson Tatum (5)
Buddy Hield (5)
Myles Turner (6)

In the four games these teams have played against each other, Turner, White, Aaron Nesmith and Jalen Smith have each hit a 3 to open the game. When Smith hit his, he was starting in place of Turner.

I also took a look at other sportsbooks, to see who else has odds on first 3 made, and I compared the odds to Caesars. By that comparison, Hield (+450 vs. +410), Kristaps Porzingis (+750 vs. +675) and Turner (+1200 vs. +1100) all have a little bit of value.

Ultimately, I'm going with Hield at +450 for first 3. Hield has only started 26 games this year, but has hit the first 3 in five of those games. I would not bet Hield below +400 and my backup would be Turner at +1200 (play down to 900).

I'm looking forward to betting this promo going forward! It's a great promotion and I won't dive too far into the bet every week, but as long as they post it, I'll try to give my recommended play from an EV perspective.

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