3 NBA Props for Wednesday: Jimmy Butler Over/Under 22 Points?
USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jimmy Butler
- LeBron James over/under 11 rebounds, Cleveland vs. Indiana (7 p.m. ET).
- Jimmy Butler over/under 22 points, Minnesota at Houston (9:30 p.m. ET).
- Taj Gibson over/under 8.5 points, Minnesota at Houston (9:30 p.m. ET).
All lines accurate as of 4:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 25. Looking for more props? Check out the FantasyLabs NBA Player Props tool.
LeBron James Over 11 Rebounds (-115)
7 p.m. ET | TNT
While it gets more and more difficult to bring yourself to back LeBron’s team with every passing minute that Jose Calderon or Tristan Thompson plays in this series, it’s difficult not to bet on LeBron as an individual performer in the playoffs. If 12 rebounds sounds like a lot, it is — it just hasn’t been for LeBron lately. It’s hard to find another prop on the board where a) the player in question would have been over the current prop in each of his past three games, and (b) the player would have been under by just one in the game before that. In fact, this prop would be 5-2-2 over LeBron’s last nine postseason games dating back to the 2016-17 season.
LeBron has flipped on his switch to average 11.8 rebounds per game in this series and has spent over 75% of his team’s offensive possessions being guarded by either Bojan Bogdanovic or Lance Stephenson, both of whom would give up at least 20 pounds to LeBron if he still really weighed “250.” Add all that to the fact the majority of money is on the under in this game despite the majority of tickets coming in on the over, and you have a recipe for another 12-plus rebound day for one of the main drivers of the city of Cleveland’s economy. And if you’re backing the Cavs to win this game, note that during the regular season LeBron averaged 1.6 more rebounds per game in wins than in losses while the Pacers allowed 4.3 more rebounds per game in losses than in wins.
Taj Gibson Under 8.5 Points (-115)
9:30 p.m. ET | TNT
Derrick Rose’s newfound involvement in the Minnesota rotation damages the scoring prospects of Gibson. Not only does Gibson’s usage rate plummet by 7.9% with Rose on the floor according to the FantasyLabs NBA On/Off tool, but Rose enables head coach Tom Thibodeau to field a smaller lineup where Gibson is the odd man out. After playing 32 minutes in Game 1, Gibson has averaged 22.6 in the three games since — which is not good for a player that needed 30.9 minutes just to average 8.5 points per game against Houston across four regular season meetings. Here are Gibson’s field goal attempts in each game, starting from Game 1: 6, 4, 4, and 1. And if Gibson taking five shots over his last two games while playing reduced minutes is not reason enough to bet this prop, also note that Gibson averaged 2.6 points per game fewer in losses than in wins during the regular season, which you should take into consideration if you’re among the roughly two-thirds of bettors backing the Rockets as of this writing.
Jimmy Butler Under 22 Points (-115)
9:30 p.m. ET | TNT
Butler has topped 22 points in just one of four games in this series and only twice across seven meetings with Houston dating back to the regular season. Butler’s scoring prospects suffer from the suddenly rejuvenated Rose (who’s averaging 23.7 minutes per game in the series). Per Labs’ On/Off tool, Butler’s usage rate has taken a 5.5% hit this season with Rose on the floor. Now Butler has to lead his team back into Houston — where he averaged only 12.0 points per game in Games 1-2 — as an underdog for a game that’s seeing over 90% of the money coming in on the under as of this writing.
Pictured above: Jimmy Butler
Photo credit: Jesse Johnson – USA TODAY Sports