James Paxton Under 30.5 Pitcher Fantasy Score
I went over this game in today’s MLB Best Bets article. Boston and Cincinnati were involved in a slugfest last night, with 17 runs scored. Given the pitching matchup, we should see similar numbers today. Paxton hasn’t pitched a full season since 2019 and is making just his fourth start of the year. So until he demonstrates some consistency, bettors can feel good about fading him.
Jimmy Butler Under 27.5 Points
After taking his over too many times in the Eastern Conference Finals, I’m headed the other direction for the Finals.
Jimmy Butler fell flat toward the end of the Boston series, and it’s a significant reason why the series ended up going seven games. Opening things up in Denver, he will no doubt struggle in Game 1. We’ve seen throughout the playoffs that teams can’t keep up with the Nuggets in Game 1 — especially coming off a Game 7. The altitude is likely to blame, but seeing that Butler hasn’t eclipsed 28 points since Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, this is a safe bet.
Kentavious Caldwell Pope Over 10.5 Points
While Jokic over 27.5 in Game 1 of the Finals is an easy bet, it’s a little too chalky for this Flex Play. Bettors shouldn’t feel bad about grabbing that line, but I wanted to dig a little bit deeper for the third leg.
Caldwell Pope was a standout against the Lakers; while it was a revenge series, he has played solid throughout these playoffs. He has 11+ points in three of his four games against the Lakers and 10+ in four of his six games against the Suns. So based on those numbers, this line is appropriately placed, but the Nuggets will route the Heat in Game 1. So Pope should have more than enough opportunities to hit this play for bettors.