NBA Finals Player Prop Bets & Picks: Expect a Strong Jimmy Butler Performance In Game 2 (Friday, Oct. 2)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat during Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
- The Lakers are heavy favorites against the Heat in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. How will that affect player props on Friday night?
- Brandon Anderson breaks down the best player prop bets for Game 2 below.
Betting on props can be one of the easiest ways to build your bankroll, especially in the NBA postseason. Sportsbooks tend to offer lower limits and take less action on props than they do on games, so they don’t have as much incentive to post an accurate line.
That’s where our Player Prop tool comes in handy. We compare our industry-leading NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks to identify the best plays each day. Each bet is then graded on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade.
|Bet Quality Grade||Win-Loss (Win Pct)|
|Bet Quality of 10||775-572 (57%)|
|Bet Quality of 9||942-776 (54%)|
|Bet Quality of 8||1432-1263 (52%)|
Odds as of Friday at 12 p.m. ET.
The most important thing you need to know tonight is that Heat starters Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo are listed as doubtful with injuries sustained in Game 1.
Dragic leads the Heat in scoring this postseason while Adebayo is arguably their most important all around player, especially against Anthony Davis. With those two not expected to play, the Game 2 line has more than doubled what it was in Game 1, from Lakers -4.5 to -9.5 and rising.
Every prop we play from Game 2 should have those two key injuries in mind:
- Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers at 9 p.m. ET
NBA Player Prop Bets
LA Lakers, LeBron James
The Prop: Under 47.5 points, rebounds, and assists (-110) [DraftKings]
I’m not feeling great about Lakers overs tonight. The Lakers are heavy favorites, and there’s a distinct possibility of another blowout. LeBron still played 36 minutes in Game 1, but he hadn’t played for a week so he probably needed the work. It’s easy to see a scenario where the Lakers are coasting enough for James to coast, and much harder to see one where he has to push hard all the way.
James had 25 points, 13 rebounds, and 9 assists in Game 1. Heck of a line for a guy who didn’t have to try, right? That’s 45 combined points, rebounds, and assists. Our projections put James at 26.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 9.3 assists tonight, a total of 44, and our Props tool prefers the under on his points and rebounds.
James typically puts up spectacular totals in the Finals, but he has done that because he’s been playing the Warriors and needed every point and rebound and assist. That doesn’t look like the case against Miami. James was not an aggressive scorer in Game 1, and a moderate scoring game is the easiest way to go under this prop.
This is a good way to fade LeBron having a huge stat line while leaving a bit of a buffer in case he goes high in one area. I’ll play to -130.
Miami Heat, Jimmy Butler
The Prop: More points than LeBron James (+150) [DraftKings]
With Heat stars, I’m looking at overs. If they are really missing Dragic and Adebayo, that’s 38 points, 15 rebounds, and 9 assists per game that have to be replaced. It’s like missing an entire LeBron!
Butler is an alpha, and there’s no doubt he will do all he can to put this team on his back if necessary. In games without Dragic this season, Butler has been on the ball far more often and seen his scoring and assist totals rise. The Heat just don’t have many scoring options without Dragic and Adebayo. Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn can find their own shot, but the other Heat players are dependent assisted field goals.
Butler is averaging 20.8 PPG in the playoffs, but oddsmakers have set a line of 22.5 points, knowing his scoring should go up. We’re projecting him at 21 points, but I think that’s low. Butler was aggressive early in Game 1 and had almost all his scoring in the first half before injuring his ankle and seeing the game get away.
This is a way to play Butler’s scoring and fade a big LeBron game all at once. If James goes low, like mid-teens, Butler should cover with any normal game. If Butler does explode for a big game, he can beat James outright that way too. DraftKings is also offering Butler at +600 to lead all scorers tonight, and that too looks like a worthwhile bet.
Miami Heat, Jae Crowder
The Prop: Under 13.5 points (-115) [BetMGM]
The Heat need every contribution they can get if they’re short handed, but Jae Crowder is not really a guy who can just up his scoring. Crowder was hot early in Game 1 with three first-quarter 3-pointers, but that’s what his offense is mostly — shooting open jumpers.
He will probably have fewer of those with a more clogged Heat offense, and he’s not really a guy who can create much of his own offense. Crowder has gone under this number in five of the past six games, and we’re projecting him at 12.1 points.
I’d rather play scoring overs on players like Butler, Herro, and Nunn. Crowder is a fade, and I’ll play to -135.