NBA Player Prop Bets: Paul George Over/Under 3.5 Assists, More for Opening Night
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Andrew Wiggins and Paul George
- The 2018-19 NBA season tips off on Tuesday night with Philadelphia 76ers-Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder-Golden State Warriors.
- These are the player prop bets offering value: Jayson Tatum over/under 4.5 rebounds, Ben Simmons O/U 15.5 points and Paul George O/U 3.5 assists.
Prop bets can be a great way to get action on a game. Bookmakers don’t have to worry about taking a lot of action on them, so there isn’t as great an incentive to post a competitive line.
As a result, props can be some of the most exploitable bets on the board.
These props can become downright unfair when you combine them with the FantasyLabs Player Prop tool.
We leverage props from five of the most popular sportsbooks against our projections and award each prop a grade. The most exploitable props earn a Bet Quality of 10 out of 10, and those props have historically crushed during NBA season:
Working on adding backtesting to our player props tool. Over the past three seasons, @jphanned and the @FantasyLabsNBA team have gone 1007-510-48 (66.4%) vs. the closing line on bets with a "10" grade. pic.twitter.com/cLHA8nQPR1
— Jonathan Bales (@BalesFootball) June 26, 2018
Tuesday’s props focus on NBA opening night, featuring the Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics (8 p.m. ET on TNT) and the Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors (10:30 p.m. ET on TNT).
Let’s dive into three props that I feel are offering significant value on Day 1 of the 2018-19 season.
Celtics PF Jayson Tatum: Over 4.5 Rebounds (-143)
Tatum is expected to spend the majority of his minutes at power forward because of the Celtics’ depth on the wing, which should do wonders for his rebound numbers. He averaged 7.6 rebounds per 48 minutes when playing at small forward last season, but that number jumped to 10.2 when playing at the four.
Tatum averaged 5.0 rebounds per game last season to begin with, so any improvement in tonight’s contest should put him comfortably within this number.
I would feel comfortable paying up to -165 on this prop at 4.5 and would pay up to -130 if it goes up to 5.
76ers PG Ben Simmons: Under 15.5 Points (-114)
Simmons tips off the new campaign with a brutal test against the Celtics, who ranked first in defensive efficiency last season. They’re particularly strong on the wing, so it’s not surprising that Simmons struggled mightily in this matchup in four regular-season meetings last season. He averaged only 12.0 points per game and eclipsed the 15.5-barrier just once against the Celtics.
Markelle Fultz in the starting lineup could also have a negative effect on Simmons’ scoring average. Fultz figures to be a higher-usage player than JJ Redick, and his lack of perimeter shooting could create spacing issues for Simmons in the paint.
I wouldn’t recommend playing this bet at much lower than 15.5, but I think you can comfortably pay the juice up until about -130.
Thunder SF Paul George: Over 3.5 Assists (-103)
This is the highest-rated prop for the late-night game between the Thunder and Warriors, and it’s an easy one to get behind.
Star point guard Russell Westbrook will almost certainly miss Tuesday’s contest, which means that George will have to take on more playmaking responsibilities. His assist percentage increased by a whopping +14.1% with Westbrook off the court last season, and George averaged 5.5 assists per game in the two contests that Westbrook missed.
There is some blowout risk in this contest in light of the 12.5-point spread, but George should be able to beat this number if the game stays competitive.
This is the highest rated prop on Tuesday’s slate, and I would play it up to about -150.