Clippers v. Suns Player Prop Odds: Why Deandre Ayton’s Rebound in Game 5 Was Revoked
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Deandre Ayton
The Phoenix Suns were disappointing and lifeless in a 116-102 Game 5 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference Finals on Monday, but it's a rebound that was taken away from Deandre Ayton that had some fans more upset.
Ayton picked up his 12th and final rebound late in the fourth quarter — one over his total of 11.5 (-115), according to NBA Stats at that time in the game. The player prop became especially popular after the Clippers' Ivica Zubac — Ayton's main opposing big man this series — was ruled out about an hour before tip-off with a right MCL sprain.
But one of Ayton's rebounds was revoked seconds after the final buzzer, leaving him below his 11.5 total and shifting thousands of dollars in the process.
The play in question took place with about six minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
Ayton nabbed an offensive rebound and attempted to put it back up. His shot missed, but he was close enough to reach up for a tip-in.
Unfortunately for Ayton bettors, so was teammate Torrey Craig.
A slow motion replay is below. Ayton is No. 22 and Craig is No. 12.
Initially, statisticians awarded Ayton a rebound for the tip-in. But after the game, Craig was given the board instead.
The replay shows that Craig may have extended his arm toward the ball first. But, using this angle alone is hardly irrefutable — especially enough to reverse the statisticians' initial ruling.
However, the NBA does utilize in-depth cameras and tracking algorithms produced by a company called Second Spectrum. It logs precise data on everything a player does in a given game.
According to proprietary Second Spectrum data obtained by The Action Network, Craig touched the ball for 0.04 seconds on the play. Ayton did not touch the ball at all, according to the tracking software.
An NBA spokesperson told The Action Network that "Craig clearly tapped the ball toward the basket," but did not elaborate as to what method the league used to definitively come to that conclusion.
It is also unclear whether there are other camera angles that more clearly show Craig was the one who tipped the ball.
This incident came on the heels of another Ayton player prop controversy from Game 4. In that contest, the play below was declared a steal instead of a rebound, which prevented the big man from notching a double-double. His odds to do so for that game were -160 (61.5% implied probability).
18 points & 9 rebounds…
Deandre Ayton came 1 rebound shy of his prop total & a rebound shy of a Double-Double (-160)
This was called a steal instead of a rebound 🤔 pic.twitter.com/Z5w0F8LtqC
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) June 25, 2021
Ayton's rebound prop is another major storyline heading into Game 6, especially with Zubac listed as questionable.
In Game 5, the Clippers were able to negate Ayton's size by boxing out the 6-foot-11 center with multiple players and pulling him out to the perimeter as much as possible. The Suns have now had two days to develop a counterstrategy. The degree to which Ayton is involved in that new rebounding strategy remains to be seen.
The odds on Ayton nabbing more than 11.5 rebounds have dropped since Game 5 to +105 as of Wednesday afternoon, according to DraftKings. The under is -134. Ayton's odds to obtain a double-double are -225.