Friday NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks: 3 Plays, Including Gary Trent Jr., Brandon Ingram, Bobby Portis
Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Brandon Ingram.
We all get into habits, don’t we?
Sports books get into habits too, and we as bettors can take advantage. Books can sometimes get stuck on old trends and fail to adjust as quick as the bettors, and that’s bound to happen when they have to set thousands of daily lines for hundreds of players.
Today’s three props are all on players who started out the season slowly but have gotten hot lately, with the lines failing to catch up.
We’ll be using the Action Labs Player Prop tool to compare our NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks.
Below, I have laid out three prop bets that I’m playing, the case for each bet and the best books to find odds on those player props.
NBA Player Props & Picks
Gary Trent Jr., over 2.5 threes (+105)
|Raptors at Pacers||Pacers -4|
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET | League Pass|
Gary Trent Jr. has always been a sharpshooter, but it took him awhile to settle in with the Raptors. Toronto traded Norman Powell for Trent last season but it was a rough to out of the gates. Trent shot 0-for-5 on 3s in his debut Raptors game, then followed that up going 2-for-10 from the field. He hit six threes each in his fourth and five games with Toronto, but it was an up-and-down uneven campaign and he finished the year just 35% on 3s with the Raps.
For the first 11 games this season, it looked like more of the same for Trent. He was hitting under 34% of his 3s and making only 2.1 per game on 6.2 attempts. His 15.2 PPG were fine but nothing particularly special or exciting. But it turns out Trent may be a bit better in a smaller role.
Pascal Siakam finally returned to the lineup near the start of November, and Trent has seen his numbers go up dramatically with Siakam back. Just take a look at Trent’s last eight games. He’s suddenly at 20.8 PPG and has gone red-hot from beyond the arc, hitting 42% of his 3s.
And it’s not just Trent’s percentage that’s up. His attempts are way up too, from 6.2 per game during opening stretch to 8.6 during this hot stretch. You can attribute some of that to finding the hot shooter but some just to a better and more balanced offense that’s finding cleaner, better looks.
Trent has hit at least a pair of 3s in every one of these last eight games, and he’s gone over 2.5 in six of the eight games after doing so only three times his first 11.
Tonight we’ll keep it easy and ride the hot hand, especially at plus juice. I’ll play Trent’s 3-point over to -125.
Brandon Ingram, over 3.5 assists (+100)
|Pelicans at Jazz||Jazz -13.5|
|Time | TV||9 p.m. ET | League Pass|
Suffice to say the season really couldn’t have started any worse for the New Orleans Pelicans. Zion Williamson has yet to play a second this season, and the Pels stumbled badly out of the gates. They lost 12 of their first 13, and their one remaining star Brandon Ingram missed the final seven games of that stretch.
Ingram is back healthy now, and the Pelicans are slowly finding their feet. New Orleans is 3-4 since Ingram returned — hey, that’s pretty good compared to a 1-12 start! — and BI is a big reason why. But it’s not necessarily in the way you think.
Ingram scored 20 or more points in all six of his games at the start of the season as a big volume scorer, but he’s sharing a little more lately. His shots are down since his return and he’s averaging just 19.0 PPG, but he’s focusing on getting his teammates more involved.
That’s why we’re playing the assists today. This line feels an assist too low. Ingram had cleared 3.5 assists in eight straight games until his last time out, when he finished with three dimes in a blowout win. That’s not likely to repeat itself with a tough game in Utah, and the Jazz actually allow the fewest assists in the league.
This over won’t be easy against Utah, and Ingram probably won’t clear it by much. He’s had six games of his 13 — almost half! — at exactly four assists. That means a real sweat, but it also means an over. In fact, Ingram has gone over 3.5 assists in 11 of 13 games this season.
We’re projecting him at 5.1 dimes, and I’ll play the over at even money and up to -125 as needed.
Bobby Portis, over 22.5 points + rebounds (-110)
|Bucks at Nuggets||-3.5|
|Time | TV||9 p.m. ET | NBA TV|
The Bucks are still missing two of their planned starters with both Brook Lopez and Donte DiVincenzo out for the foreseeable future, but Milwaukee is starting to do just fine now that its three stars are back in the lineup. The Bucks have won five in a row and are moving stealthily right back toward the top of the East, and it’s partly because of the other two fill-in starters.
Grayson Allen has become a regular scorer for the Bucks, and Bobby Portis has put up star numbers since moving into the starting lineup. In 10 starts with the Bucks this season, he’s averaging an impressive 18.1 points and 9.6 rebounds.
That’s nearly a double-double average, and Portis has had a double-double in six of those 10 starts. He’s scored at least 11 points in every one of the starts too. Portis plays with such energy and intensity that he often racks up energy stats just be getting the the ball faster than his opponent — and his teammates, for that matter.
Our Props Tool loves all the Portis overs tonight, and when that’s the case, it’s often a good idea to play a combo prop. Portis is scoring and racking up rebounds, so let’s play both. That way if he’s extra high in one of them, it covers a bit of margin on the other.
Portis has gone over 22.5 points + rebounds in seven of his 10 starts, and he was just one away from two more overs. If you can only play single stats, I prefer the points to the rebounds since that’s been more consistent and since Portis has made multiple 3s in four straight.
You could also stack some of these individual lines if you want to play a Same Game Parlay. You can also play Portis to get a double-double at +150 at PointsBet if you prefer. Remember, he’s done that in six of 10 starts.
For our purposes, we’ll keep it simple with the combo over. I’ll play the PR over to -135.