Five NBA Prop Bets for Saturday Night: Harden Over/Under 30.5 Points?
Troy Taormina- USA Today Sports
Tonight’s NBA slate features seven games, including a marquee primetime showdown between the Celtics and Rockets. As usual, the FantasyLabs Player Props tool has identified a handful of potentially exploitable props at five of the most popular online sportsbooks. There are currently four props with a Bet Quality of 10 out of 10, and an additional 32 props with a Bet Quality of at least eight.
Let’s dive in with five of my favorite props on tonight’s slate, including one from the biggest game of the night. The players below play at 7:30, 8:30 and 10 p.m. ET.
Cavs PF Tristan Thompson under eight rebounds (-120)
7:30 p.m. ET
Thompson has ripped down at least 11 rebounds in three straight games, but he seems like a prime candidate for some regression. He’s pulled down an astounding 28.7 percent of all rebounds during that time frame, which is a massive increase from his career mark of 17.0 percent. Denver has the third-best team rebound rate in the league, so things will likely not come as easy for him on the glass tonight.
Jazz PG Ricky Rubio under 12.5 points (-120)
10:00 p.m. ET
I lost on this prop by 0.5 points yesterday, but I’m going back to the well tonight. This game features two of the slowest teams in the league, with Utah currently ranking 25th in pace and Sacramento tied for 26th. The result is an over/under of just 202 points, which is tied for the lowest mark on today’s slate. Points should come at a premium in this game, and Rubio has averaged just 12.1 points per game on the season.
Heat C Hassan Whiteside under 14.5 points (-105)
7:30 p.m. ET
Whiteside may be the most volatile player in the NBA. He’s capable of being a game-changing force on both ends of the court or getting benched for inferior effort. He wound up playing just 18.5 minutes in his last contest for that reason, and head coach Erik Spolestra could decide to limit his minutes again today to try and send a message. Whiteside is not a guarantee to exceed 14.5 points even if he does see a full workload against the Pistons — he’s averaged just 14.0 points per game this season — which makes this bet pretty enticing.
Cavs SG Rodney Hood under 13.5 points (-120)
7:30 p.m. ET
Hood moved into the starting lineup for Cleveland’s last game but should return to his normal bench role as long as JR Smith avoids any soup-related incidents prior to tip off. That should result in a fewer minutes for Hood, who has only gone over 13.5 points in one of his past five games.
James Harden under 30.5 points (-130)
8:30 p.m. ET | ABC
Harden has been a monster this season, averaging 31.3 points per game and looking like the eventual league MVP. That said, tonight’s matchup with the Celtics should be one of the toughest that he’ll face all season. Boston currently ranks first in defensive efficiency, and they limited him to just 7-of-27 shooting in their first matchup this season. The total on this game has decreased by 3.5 points since opening, and the Rockets’ current implied team total of 111.25 represents a decrease of approximately 2.5 points when compared to their season average (113.8). Harden can obviously go off against anyone, but this line seems a couple points too high.
Top photo: James Harden; credit: Troy Taormina- USA Today Sports