Friday NBA Player Prop Best Bets & Top Picks: Fade Evan Mobley, DeMar DeRozan After Hot Starts

Friday NBA Player Prop Best Bets & Top Picks: Fade Evan Mobley, DeMar DeRozan After Hot Starts article feature image
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Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images. Pictured: Chicago Bulls standout DeMar DeRozan.

It’s always exciting to get hyped about players putting up outstanding numbers at the start of the season. That’s the fun of a long regular season, after all.

But about 12 games in for most teams, this is also right around the time of the year that we start to get a little too certain about these new “trends” we’re seeing, when a week-long hot streak has inflated the numbers and set the bar a little too high.

Tonight we’re fading two players who have been awesome in November but whose lines have moved just a bit too high for comfort, leaving value for us as bettors.

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 and the book that has the best odds as of Friday afternoon.

Friday NBA Player Props & Picks

Evan Mobley, under 18.5 points (-110)

Pistons at Cavs Cavs -4.5
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
Best Book DraftKings

Evan Mobley is awesome. He is the Rookie of the Year front runner, and he’s been a standout on both ends of the court. Mobley is flashing fluid movement skills and already swallowing guards whole on the perimeter defensively, and he’s been producing points and rebounds at a much higher than expected pace for a player of his age and body type. It was supposed to take some time for Even Mobley to arrive — but he’s already here.

Still, this line is an overreaction.

Mobley has scored 19, 26, and 18 points his last three games. Just over the last week, he already has the production of an All Star. But the season is not three games long. He’s averaging 15.3 PPG for the year. That’s still really great! It’s well short of this overinflated line.

Mobley is still pretty raw offensively. He’s not a guy you’re going to dump the ball into the post for buckets, and he knows it and plays accordingly. His points come in the flow of the offense, more like an Anthony Davis type, which means he’s likely to have some big spikes when the matchup is right but be a bit quieter in other games.

We don’t even need him to be that quiet. Mobley has gone under 18.5 points in nine of his 12 NBA games. Even in this hot stretch this last week, he’s under this line once and a point away from going under twice.

The line is just too high. Besides, Mobley’s minutes haven’t totally stabilized yet either. He’s not getting into much foul trouble, but that’s always a risk for a young big man who plays aggressive defense at times. And honestly, this could go the other way with briefer minutes if a surprisingly good Cavs team takes care of business quickly against Detroit.

I love, love, love Evan Mobley. But I’m fading him here based on the line. I’ll play the under to -130.


JaVale McGee, over 9.5 points (+105)

Suns at Grizzlies Suns -2
Time 8 p.m. ET
Best Book DraftKings

You don’t get too many chances to play JaVale McGee props, so let’s back this NBA champion and Team USA Olympic gold medalist tonight.

McGee has moved into the starting lineup with Deandre Ayton injured, and he’s doing a nice job. Over the last six games, he’s playing 19.1 minutes per game and averaging 10.5 points and 6.2 rebounds. He’s scored at least six points in all of those games, basically all of them at the rim, and that makes sense.

McGee gets to play with Chris Paul as a starter, after all, and that has been a great thing for big men for a couple decades now. McGee is getting easy lobs and finishes on the nightly with so much offensive talent around him, and tonight he gets to play against a Grizzlies defense that has been awful to start the season.

It’s always a bit of a risk playing McGee. The minutes are never a certainty if he’s just not playing well or gets into foul trouble. But we only need 10 points, and McGee averages 11.7 PPG for his career when he plays at least 20 minutes. We should be in that range tonight.

This one will probably be close, down to one bucket or a couple free throws either way, but that’s why we’re getting plus juice. We project McGee at 11.2 points, and our Props Tool loves all of JaVale’s overs tonight in a plus-matchup. I’ll play the points over to -115.


DeMar DeRozan, under 31.5 points + rebounds (-115)

Bulls at Warriors Warriors -5.5
Time | TV 10 p.m. ET | ESPN
Best Book DraftKings

The Chicago Bulls head west to take on the Golden State Warriors, and this Friday night November game suddenly has a marquee feel about it. The Warriors have been the best team in the league. And as well as the Bulls have been playing, this could even be a sneaky NBA Finals preview if all goes right.

The Bulls offense has been flying high on the backs of DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine. LaVine is still the leader of this team, but DeRozan’s numbers have been outstanding, too. He’s scoring 26.0 PPG right now, the second highest total of his entire career. His 5.8 RPG are also the second highest total of his career. DeRozan is playing big minutes and producing big numbers.

This line reflects that career-high production, and that’s why we have to fade Costco Kobe tonight.

DeRozan has gone over this combo 31.5 points + rebounds line three times on points alone, with games of 32, 37, and 37 points in a blazing hot consecutive three-game stretch. But he’s gone under 31.5 PR in six of the other eight games, and the two overs were by a single point or rebound. Basically, he hits this over when he has a huge scoring game, but otherwise stays under.

The Bulls have been fantastic, but the Warriors have been even better. Golden State has the best defense in the league, and the Warriors have been surprisingly great on the glass as well. Life won’t be as easy for DeRozan tonight as it has been in other matchups, so the numbers may not be there.

This line has moved too high, especially in such a difficult matchup. We have to take the under. I’ll play to -135.

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