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, that means if you perfectly predict the stats of James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Lebron James, PlayLine will give you a million dollars. You can click here to go to the contest. Now let’s dive into the projections you should make to potentially win that jackpot.
We’ll start with James Harden, who is averaging 30.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 9 APG. Since James Harden has returned from injury, he has taken between 15 and 26 shots in those six games. Four of these games have included him taking either 15 or 16, but last game, Agent James had his minutes restriction lifted and he dropped a line of 27/10/8 on 21 shot attempts. Tonight James Harden gets a matchup with the Orlando Magic who rank fourth worst in defensive efficiency and ninth in overall pace. The Rockets are favored by 12.5 even without Trevor Ariza and with Chris Paul questionable.Trevor Ariza’s unavailability hurts Harden’s assist rate as he only averages 8 per game when he doesn’t play. However, he averages about 33 points and 6 rebounds, so his other stats get a boost. If Chris Paul were to sit out alongside Ariza, Harden averages about 34 points, 6 rebounds, and 9 assists per contest. Since these averages are so close to each other, we believe we can safely predict Harden for 29-35 points, 6 rebounds, and 8-9 assists. Note that while he may not get exactly 6 rebounds, that is the optimal projection you can make to give yourself the best chance of scoring bonus points off of rebounds.
Next, we will move on to the small forward for the Golden State Warriors, Kevin Durant. On the season, Kevin Durant averages 25.8 PPG, 7 RPG, and 5.6 APG. However, Durant receives a brutal matchup with the Utah Jazz as they rank sixth best in defensive efficiency while playing at the league’s fifth slowest pace. In four games against the Jazz as a member of the Warriors, Durant’s numbers have definitely suffered as he averages 20/8/4. This is something we need to take seriously as every statistical category drops for him other than rebounds, which is likely coincidental. Due to his brutal matchup, we want to predict Durant under his season average of points and slot him for around 19-23. When it comes to rebounds, even though he has averaged 8 against them, Rudy Gobert is healthy for this contest and should clog up the paint, therefore we don’t want to overproject his rebounds. Anywhere from 6-8 rebounds should be a solid projection for Durant. Lastly, with a healthy Warriors team around him and Curry controlling the ball for the most part, we can predict Durant to get 4 or 5 assists which is about what he averages against the Jazz.
Last but definitely not least, we have Lebron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers who is averaging 26.8 PPG, 7.9 RPG, and 8.8 APG. Lebron and his Cavaliers travel to Detroit to face a Pistons team that will be without Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, and Boban Marjanovic as they have been traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in a blockbuster trade for Blake Griffin. Not only will these players be unavailable for the Pistons, but Blake Griffin will also be unable to suit up for this game. This leaves us with a projected lineup for the Pistons of Ish Smith, Stanley Johnson, Reggie Bullock, Anthony Tolliver, and Andre Drummond. In other words, this one could turn into a blowout quickly, so we do not want to overproject Lebron’s stats. It is also important to note that Dwyane Wade will most likely be returning for this contest which will eat into some of Lebron’s minutes. While Lebron is averaging a massive 37 minutes this season, we feel we can safely project him for low 30s in minutes due to the potential blowout. Because of this, projecting Lebron a little under or right around his season averages is the best strategy here. Anywhere between 24-27 points, 6-8 rebounds, and 6-9 assists is where we comfortably slot Lebron James.
Good luck tonight and enjoy the games! Hopefully one of you wins the million dollar prize!