Paul George’s Festive Feast

This bet is going to seem a bit obvious after his 43 points against the Jazz last night, but I really fancy Paul George to lead the NBA in scoring over the festive period (25th December to 1st January) and was looking forward to tipping him up at the 10/1 that was available yesterday afternoon. But alas, that price is gone and he’s now available as the second favourite behind Harden at 5/1 with Skybet.

For me, last night’s performance has no bearing on whether George is a good bet here. He is averaging 26.1 points per game (25.5 before Saturday night’s outburst) and is really playing himself into the MVP conversation. George is a player who is able to put up more or less his average PPG on a nightly basis – he’s consistent at both ends of the floor.

Over the festive period teams are either playing three or four times. Obviously you’d be looking to back someone due to play four times over the week and George is doing just that with the Thunder. Of the four games, the toughest test is on Christmas Day when OKC head to Houston to face James Harden and co. When these two faced each other early in the season the Thunder dominated and ran out 98-80 winners in Houston. George led the scoring with 20 points – still hitting around his expected numbers in a relatively low-scoring game. Should he manage the same on the 25th, he’ll be looking good for 100+ points over the period – putting him right in contention.

Following the game against the Rockets, the Thunder travel to Phoenix to face the Suns – the league’s worst team. You can expect this to be a one-sided affair and a perfect opportunity for George to score plenty coming off a four-day break. In both of the games against the Suns this season, George has scored 32 points – I think there’s a great chance of him scoring similarly high once again on the 28th.

The Thunder close out the period with back to back games against the Mavericks – first in Dallas and then in Oklahoma the next night on New Year’s Eve. The last time these met, the Mavs broke a seven-game win streak OKC were on. However, George still managed to score 20 points in a disappointing 15-point loss.

I think George can possibly afford two 20 point games to go with two games with scoring above his season average. With the opposition he’s up against over the period compared to that most other stars face and the opportunity to firmly put himself into the MVP race, I fancy his chances. 5/1 is still a big enough price to get involved – next time I’ll make sure to get the post written before the price is cut in half!

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