You can wager on a lot of things at DraftKings Sportsbook, but not everything. Conspicuously absent are season triple-double prop bets … but that may be changing soon.
Johnny Avello, the director of race and sports operations for DraftKings, told TheLines.com on Wednesday that the online sportsbook is giving serious consideration to posting numerous over/under triple-double props for the remainder of the NBA season.
“I like the idea, and I’m going to pursue it,” he said.
Crunching the numbers
Avello likes the idea so much, in fact, that he has already done some research regarding the likelihood of certain players ending the season with a certain number of triple-doubles (double figures in three different statistical categories.)
Currently, the NBA leader is Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks with eight, followed by LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers with seven and Russell Westbrook of the Houston Rockets with six, Nikola Jokic of Denver with four, and Jimmy Butler of Miami with three.
“No one has thought of this before, and I’ll propose it. There will be no problems with the regulatory guys,” Avello said.
Having done his homework, here is where Avello would like to set the lines:
- Doncic: “The most interesting guy is Doncic, who had eight last year … and will blow that away. His scoring, rebounding and assists are all up, and I would set his over/under number at 19.5.”
- James: Noting that James is not taking part in load management and is having a freakish season for the Lakers, Avello noted that The King had eight last year in a season shortened by injury and said he would set this season’s over/under at 13.5.
- Westbrook: This is a particularly tricky one because this is a guy who averaged a triple-double for two straight seasons but is now with a new team and is playing with another ball-dominant player in James Harden. “He has gone from 34 last season to six this season, and his assists and rebounds are way down. He’s going to get his points, and I believe he’ll pick up the other numbers, too, even though he is surrounded by a supporting cast that does a lot of those things. I would put the number at 20.5.”
- Giannis Antetokounmpo: The Greek Freak is the MVP betting favorite at every legal sportsbook. “He had five last year, and right now, he is at two, so I would put him at 4.5,” Avello said.
- Nikola Jokic: The Joker had a dozen triple-doubles last season, but his numbers are down across the board for a Denver Nuggets team currently sitting in fourth place in the West. “I would make him 12.5,” Jokic said.
- Jimmy Butler: He didn’t have a single triple-double last season playing for Philadelphia, but he already has three this season as the primary ballhandler and playmaker for the Miami Heat (who are reportedly in pursuit of Jrue Holiday of New Orleans). “I would have to put his number at 6.5,” Avello said.
- James Harden: The Beard had seven triple-doubles last season and is sitting on a goose egg right now (although that 38.9 ppg average is none too shabby.) “His rebounding is down, but his team is more complete, and I would set the line at 3.5.”
One of the more interesting triple-double prop bets Avello envisions is an over/under for a grouping of players who excel at double-doubles: Domantis Sabonis (23 this season), Andre Drummond (21 this season), Joel Embiid (17 this season) and Karl Anthony-Towns (18 this season).
Looking at last season’s stats, that foursome produced two triple-doubles (both by Embiid).
“If we lumped them together, I would make the number 2 1/2,” Avello said.
NBA trade markets?
There is another category of prop bet that Avello would like to post but would only be able to do so in New Jersey: The most likely landing spot for players who are strongly rumored to be traded, including Holiday and Kevin Love.
“On something like that, we would have to get permission from the regulatory authorities, and only New Jersey would give that permission. They are a little more aggressive. They think outside the box,” said Avello, noting that New Jersey allowed wagering on the Academy Awards and the Emmy Awards last year.
But for the short term, the triple-double prop is on the front-burner at DraftKings.
Every NBA fan who wagers should be looking forward to this.