NBA Player Prop Bets & Picks: P.J. Washington, CJ McCollum Among Top Plays on Wednesday (March 2)
Michael Owens/Getty Images. Pictured: CJ McCollum
- CJ McCollum's matchup against the Kings is an enticing one in the NBA player props market.
- Our analyst is targeting the Pelicans' sharp-shooter, along with several other intriguing plays.
- Continue reading for the full rundown of player prop options from tonight in the NBA.
It’s March, and we’re down to only 20 or so games left before the NBA postseason. That means we’re starting to get some shifting lineups as some teams settle in to new looks after the trade deadline, while others look to develop some of their younger guys. Shifting lineups mean changing minutes and roles, and that means prop opportunities.
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 six 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
Isaiah Jackson, over 9.5 points (-122)
|Pacers vs. Magic||Pacers -1.5|
|Time | TV||7 p.m. ET | League Pass|
It’s a brand new era in Indiana, and it’s an entirely different Pacers roster these days. We never got to see that presumed starting Opening Day lineup of Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert, T.J. Warren, Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner. In fact, we never got a single minute of that lineup, and now two of those guys are traded and two others are presumably out for the season.
Instead, here’s the starting lineup the Pacers rolled out their last game out: new acquisitions Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield, along with another acquisition, Jalen Smith, plus Oshae Brissett and rookie Isaiah Jackson.
Jackson is the guy we’re focusing on today. The Pacers first turned their big-man minutes over to Goga Bitadze, but he still hasn’t caught on in Indiana. So now the Pacers are turning to their bouncy rookie out of Kentucky. Jackson profiles as a rim runner in the NBA. He can jump out of the gym and is a huge vertical threat, and he’s a great athlete who is getting his chances these days.
Jackson has started five of his last six appearances. He left under a minute into one of those starts injured, but his numbers in the other starts are quite impressive: 15.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks per game. Not bad for a rookie still getting his sea legs.
Jackson has played at least 15 minutes seven times this season. He’s averaging 14.9 PPG in those games with double-digits in six of them, hitting this over 86% of the time. The only under was his last time out against these Magic, when he had only six points, but it’s not like Orlando is an intimidating opponent so that’s really just buying us some value on the line.
Jackson has also recorded multiple blocks in each of these last four starts. You can play his blocks over at -155 if you like, or even parlay it with his points if you want to be more aggressive. You can also play Jackson to score 15-plus points, if you prefer, at +350. He’s done that in four of his five games over 18.5 minutes this season.
We project Jackson at 12.4 points. I’ll play the traditional points over to -150.
P.J. Washington, over 10.5 points (+102)
|Hornets vs. Cavaliers||Cavaliers -4|
|Time | TV||7 p.m. ET | League Pass|
You’ll never believe this, but Gordon Hayward is out with an injury again. Hayward has played only three times since January 23, and the Hornets are a painful 4-13 without him, spiraling to the fringe of the play-in race.
Charlotte is looking for lineup solutions without Hayward. The Hornets tried to start Kelly Oubre Jr. a few times, but he’s a better weapon off the bench. Cody Martin wasn’t really getting the job done either. Youngster Jalen McDaniels is still out with an injury.
Lately, the Hornets have turned back to P.J. Washington, a guy who had fallen out of favor in Charlotte but who is starting to produce again now that his minutes have returned. Washington has started five straight for Charlotte, and he’s averaging 12.8 PPG over the last four games.
On the season, Washington has only gone over 10.5 points in exactly half of his 46 games. But look what happens when he records at least 27 minutes, like he has in all five of these recent starts: In those games, Washington has gone over 10.5 points in 14 of 19 games, hitting this over 74% of the time. Washington isn’t flashy, but he’s a solid rotation guy who can produce when he is out there, and he’s out there more lately.
I’m not looking for an alternate over here. The Cavs play slow and allow the fewest points to opponents, and Washington won’t find life easy against Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. But the presence of those two is exactly why Charlotte will need big minutes from Washington, so that makes us more confident in the over.
I’ll play Washington’s over at any plus number or to -115 as needed.
CJ McCollum, over 2.5 threes (-136), over 3.5 threes (+200)
|Kings vs. Pelicans||Pelicans -6|
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET | League Pass|
For years, we have wondered what CJ McCollum might look like without Damian Lillard constantly by his side. McCollum is one of the league’s finest shooters, but he was always a bit limited with the focus on Dame in Portland. Now that McCollum has been traded to New Orleans, the Pelicans appear to have unleashed him for all he can be.
McCollum scored only 15 points in his Pelicans debut, a relatively forgettable first appearance. But he exploded for 36 his next time out and has averaged 30.2 PPG in the six games since, including at least 22 points in every game. It’s clear that McCollum is immediately “The Guy” in New Orleans.
McCollum’s 3-point prop has been a strong play each of the past two seasons after an uptick in volume from his earlier years, and that trend continues to be the case in New Orleans. He’s averaging 3.3 makes on 43% shooting as a Pelican, going over this line in four of his seven (57%) games and taking 7.6 attempts per game.
That’s not much of a sample size, but what’s telling is that his 3-point volume looks a lot like it did in Portland these last two seasons after a jump. McCollum was at 8.1 attempts per game with the Blazers this year. He’s hit at least a trio of 3s in 26 of his 43 games this year, hitting this over 60% of the time. All the better that he’s playing the Kings, who rank dead-last defensively against opposing shooting guards and fourth-worst in 3-point percentage defense.
That’s why this is a good spot to be aggressive and look at an escalator prop. We can play McCollum to hit four or more 3s at +200 at FanDuel. He’s done that in 20 of 43 games, nearly half of them at 47%, and he was just over 50% at that feat last year. That should imply a line pretty close to even odds +100 and we’re getting double that.
We can also play McCollum to hit five or more 3s at +500. That line is off too. He’s done that nine times already this season and did it 11 times last season, hitting that over 22% of the time versus an implied hit rate under 17% here. And remember, this is the Kings. We should get plenty of shots and volume.
You can decide how you want to split your bet up here. The strongest play looks like the over 3.5 at +200 since we’re getting nearly double the value, so you should put at least half of your bet at that number. You can skew higher or lower on the other two lines depending on your confidence and risk level.
We’re projecting McCollum at 3.2 makes. I’ll play the traditional over here to -150 or just pivot to the alternate overs entirely.
Bonus Prop Bets
- Matisse Thybulle, over 2.5 steals + blocks (+120 DraftKings): This continues to be a strong play all season. Thybulle has at least one steal or block in all but two games and at least two in 34 of 45, putting us within one play of an over 76% of the time. He’s gone over in 56% of his games, including both games against the Knicks, and we’re getting plus juice.
- Tobias Harris, over 2.5 assists (-105 DraftKings): Harris is averaging 3.6 APG and has gone over this line in 71% of his games, though obviously his role as a handler is changing dramatically with the presence of James Harden. Still, he’s at 6.0 Potential Assists per game in two Harden games, not far down from 7.3 on the season, so this line feels like an over-adjustment.
- Jeff Green, over 2.5 rebounds (-125 PointsBet): Hello darkness, my old friend. Green never feels particularly reliable, but he’s gone over this line in 61% of his games with the Nuggets this year at 3.2 RPG. That includes eight of the last nine games (89%) and 20 of the last 30 (67%), and OKC ranks dead last in the NBA in rebounding.
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