This article is a breakdown of the three-stat contest on PlayLine tonight that includes the million dollar perfect line bonus. If you’re new to PlayLine, this means that if you perfectly predict the stat lines tonight for DeMar DeRozan, Andre Drummond, and James Harden, PlayLine will give you a million dollars. You can click here to go straight to this contest. Now let’s dive into the projections you should make to potentially win that million.
We’ll start with DeMar DeRozan, who is one of the more consistent players in the league. DeRozan has taken between 15 and 19 shot attempts in his last four games. In two of the three games before that, he took over 29 shot attempts, but it’s important to note that Kyle Lowry was out. When Lowry plays, DeRozan’s stat lines are quite consistent. Projecting him for 5 assists is a must. He’s had 4, 5, or 6 assists in 8 of his last 9 games played with Lowry. If this continues, you’ll get at least 100 points from his assist total. It simply does not make sense to project him for any other number than 5. When it comes to rebounds, he’s more volatile. Sometimes he snags as many as many as 7 and sometimes he only grabs 1. A safe projection that is most likely to hit would be in the 3-5 range. Lastly, we want to project DeRozan’s points. With Lowry playing and a pretty average matchup, we’d recommend projecting DeRozan between 21-27 points. If your projection is within 5 points, you pick up a +150 bonus, which is equal to the bonus you get for nailing rebounds or assists precisely. Projecting DeRozan for a total like 25 points gives you the entire range of 20-30 and upside to hit it spot on if he has a perfectly average game.
Next, we’ll move on to the center for the Detroit Pistons, Andre Drummond. Drummond has been an absolute monster this year, averaging 14.3 points per game and 15 rebounds per game. Drummond has at least 17 rebounds rebounds in six of his last eleven games, but his point scoring is much more volatile. He has failed to score double-digit points in two of his last four games and combined for only 15 shot attempts in those games. One trend we have noticed is that Drummond tends to excel in games against opposing teams whose big man stays in the paint. He was able to put up 25, 21, and 22 points against the Raptors, Bulls, and Nets, but only scored 16 and 10 points against Joel Embiid and Demarcus Cousins who stretch the floor. Tonight, Drummond has a matchup with Rudy Gobert, who lives in the paint, which should benefit Drummond. The Jazz rank about middle of the pack in the NBA in rebounding rate to centers and this has held true even with Gobert in the lineup. One thing to take note of here is that Drummond has shown via social media how upset he is about not making the All-Star team and it is likely that he will be playing with a chip on his shoulder tonight. We believe he is likely to get more rebounds than his season average tonight as we are projecting him anywhere from 16-20. As for points, we like the range of 15-19 as research also suggests he will produce above his average rates. Keep in mind that this is a narrative that most people are aware of, so you could go contrarian by just predicting him for a very average game. In predicting his assists, a safe number to choose is 4 as it is right in line with his season average and he has produced between 3-5 assists in six of his last 11 games. While extra effort can lead to more rebounds and sometimes more points, it rarely leads to more assists as they are very dependent on teammates getting open and making shots.
Lastly, we have James Harden. Since coming back from injury, Harden has yet to see over 34 minutes and we have him projected for exactly that tonight. Harden averages 31.4 points per game, 8.9 assists per game, and 4.8 rebounds per game on the season. However, when Harden plays alongside Chris Paul, his stats drop to 30.7 points per game, 7.8 assists per game, and 4.5 rebounds per game. While this isn’t a substantial drop, it is definitely something to take note of as Harden does not have as high of a ceiling playing alongside Chris Paul. Over the last two years, Harden has averaged 27 points per game against the Mavericks in 35 minutes of playing time. Vegas has the Rockets projected for 112 points in a relatively close 6 point spread. We like Harden to score between 26-32 points tonight. Even though we just told you some negatives about Harden, Dallas ranks fourth worst in defending shooting guards over the past five games and with the high projected game total we don’t want to go much lower than 26 for Harden’s points. As for his assist total, we feel it is safe to project 7 or 8 here as he has consistently been right around his season average of 7.8 since coming back from injury with Chris Paul active. When it comes to rebounds, Dallas ranks dead last in rebounding rate which makes things interesting for Harden. He has only recorded 2 rebounds in each of the three games he has played since returning from injury, but we like projecting 4-6 for him tonight as this is a superior matchup for him on the glass and his season average is 4.8.
Good luck tonight and enjoy the games! Hopefully one of you wins the million dollar prize!