3 NBA Props for Thursday: Simmons Over/Under 8.5 Assists?

The NBA Props article offers data-driven analysis on player prop bets for each day’s slate using The Action Network’s public betting data along with the tools at FantasyLabs and Sports Insights to highlight notable props.

Thursday’s analysis will cover the following three props:

  • Serge Ibaka over/under 11.5 points, Toronto vs. Cleveland, 6 p.m. ET.
  • Jayson Tatum over/under 17.5 points, Boston vs. Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m. ET.
  • Ben Simmons over/under 8.5 assists, Philadelphia at Boston, 8:30 p.m. ET.

All lines accurate as of 4:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 3. Looking for more props? Check out the FantasyLabs NBA Player Props tool.


Serge Ibaka Under 11.5 Points (+100)

6 p.m. ET | ESPN

Ibaka was averaging 16.5 points per game after Games 1 and 2 of the first round, but he seemingly lost his offense somewhere between Toronto and Washington D.C. and has yet to regain it.  Over his past five games, Ibaka hasn’t cleared double figures and is averaging just 5.8 points per game. He’s become less assertive, averaging a 15.3% usage rate in the playoffs, which is down from 19.4% during the regular season. On top of that, his minutes are trending downward, with him failing to top 23 minutes played in two of his past three games. The trend will probably regress at some point, but the value here is too good to pass up.

Jayson Tatum Over 17.5 points (+100)

8:30 p.m. ET | TNT

Jaylen Brown (hamstring) isn’t ready to return yet, which is huge for Tatum’s scoring chances. Per the FantasyLabs NBA On/Off tool, Tatum’s usage rate is 16.9% with Brown and Kyrie Irving on the floor but 23.2% with them off. Tatum has poured in 20 or more points in four of his past five games, including 28 in Game 1 of this series. Tatum has averaged 0.53 points per minute across five regular-season and postseason meetings with Philadelphia even with his ball-dominant teammates on the floor a good amount of the time, a rate that would put him on track to score 18 points if he played 34 minutes — fewer than the 39-plus he’s logged in each of his past two games.

Ben Simmons Under 8.5 Assists (-114)

8:30 p.m. ET | TNT

The Celtics have had Simmons’ number this season, limiting him to a high of seven assists and an average of 5.0 per game over five regular-season and playoff matchups this season. That 5.0 average comes despite Simmons logging a healthy 36.3 minutes per game against Boston. Like the Ibaka prop, you just know positive regression is going to hit at some point, but the value is still too good to pass up at this point. Like they did in the regular season, the Celtics threw multiple defenders at Simmons throughout Game 1, with Marcus Morris, Al Horford, Marcus Smart and Semi Ojeleye responsible for the majority of the work, and on 64 possessions against those four, Simmons managed only four assists while committing just as many turnovers.

Pictured above: Ben Simmons
Photo credit: Steve Flynn – USA TODAY Sports

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