NBA Saturday Player Prop Bets & Picks: A Rare Single-Digit Rebound Total for Karl-Anthony Towns
David Berding/Getty Images. Pictured: Karl-Anthony Towns
- On a full NBA slate, our props tool is lighting up with value.
- Gordon Hayward and Mason Plumlee are both seeing increased usage with their new teams, leading to value on their point totals.
The NBA season is officially under way now.
All but two teams have played, thanks to a mess in Houston that postponed the season opener for the Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder. Ten teams have now played twice, after a glorious Christmas Day slate.
Saturday brings a full weekend slate, with 10 games on the books for the day ahead, including a triple header on NBA TV. It’s a bit of an odd slate since the league stacked all of its brightest stars on Christmas, leaving the other two-thirds of the league for today, but less visible teams typically mean more value for the bettor.
As usual, we’ll find our three best prop bets of the day, and we’re off to a great start at 8-3 so far on the season. Prop bets are typically a great way to build your bank roll, and we’ve found great value early in the season.
For those who are new to this article, we’ll be using the Action Labs props tool to compare our NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks. You can see our biggest edges on props, and shop for the best price on any prop bet you want to make.
Below, I have laid out three props that I’m playing, the case for each bet and the best books to find odds on those player props.
NBA Player Prop Bet Picks
Gordon Hayward over 17.5 points (-115)
|Thunder at Hornets||-2.5|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
Gordon Hayward is on a new team now, and he’s been in the news a lot over the last month. First it was for surprisingly declining his player option with the Celtics and then for his shocking nine-figure contract with the Hornets, and then it was for a broken finger which ended up sidelining him exactly zero games.
Is Hayward injury prone? Is he overrated? Is he overpaid?
None of that matters in the world of props. All that matters here is that we get some of that Hayward coin, and this over prop should help us do just that.
Hayward scored 28 in the opener for the Hornets, hitting 11-of-18 from the field and looking like the centerpiece of the team. He also shot 4-for-8 from behind the arc, and that number of attempts is a very promising sign for Hayward as a scorer. Charlotte is playing much faster and has far more playmaking this year with Hayward and LaMelo Ball, and that means many more scoring opportunities.
Hayward was in a complementary role in Boston, and don’t forget, he had that gruesome injury in literally his first few minutes as a Celtic. But he was more of a central figure for the Utah Jazz before that, averaging 20.3 PPG in his three previous seasons and over 19 per game each year. That’s the sort of Hayward role we should be expecting again in Charlotte.
We’re projecting Hayward at 23.6 points, giving you a whopping 33% margin of error here. If Hayward is going to cash in on his talents, we might as well too! I’d play this happily up to -140 and am glad to play even if it rises a point by tip.
Mason Plumlee over 8.5 points (-115)
|Cavs at Pistons||-2|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
Call me crazy, but I’ve always thought Mason Plumlee was a pretty good basketball player. The dude did play on Team USA after all. He’s no Nikola Jokic and became a bit of a punching bag as Jokic’s backup in Denver, and he caught a lot of flak for the rough contract Detroit signed him to this offseason, but none of that matters in props world.
What matters here is that Detroit signed Plumlee to start at center, and he had a nice game in the opener with 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists in 32 minutes. The happiest part of that line is the 32 minutes. Plumlee has been lucky to crack 20 minutes the last few years, but it looks like he’ll have more opportunity in Detroit.
Plumlee averages 13.9 points per 36 minutes for his career, which averages out to a point every 2.6 minutes. Teams aren’t really drawing up plays for Plumlee, and he is not exactly scoring in bunches — he just looks off the pick and roll and on the glass as the game goes along. At that career scoring rate, Plumlee would only need to go over 22 minutes to hit the over on this prop.
Don’t be thrown off by seeing Plumlee at around 7 PPG each of the last three seasons. He’s got a new role in Detroit and looks like he’ll play nearly double the minutes at times. He’ll certainly need to do so against a Cavs team with plenty of veterans in the post in Andre Drummond and Kevin Love, so take the over here up to -140 and expect the points to roll in as the game goes along.
Karl-Anthony Towns over 9.5 rebounds (-105)
|T’Wolves at Jazz||-9|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
My eyes popped out of my head when I saw this one. I had to double and triple check to make sure my eyes were not deceiving me. I can bet Karl-Anthony Towns to simply hit double digit rebounds and that’s an over? Oh my.
Towns averages 11.8 RPG for his career. That dropped a bit last year when KAT was struggling through some injuries for the first time ever, but he was at 12.3 RPG or better in each of the three seasons prior to that.
Towns had 11 rebounds in 30 minutes in the opener, and that 30 minutes is a slight concern in a game that was close all the way. If Towns is shaking off the rust and working back into shape, a couple fewer minutes could cost a rebounding opportunity, but we’ve got room for some error here.
So why else is this line oddly low? I wondered if Towns had struggled against the Jazz in the past, as good as Rudy Gobert is. But KAT averages 11.2 RPG against Utah for his career. That’s a bit lower than his usual but still almost two boards above this line, and he’s hit double-digit boards in 16 of 19 career games against Utah, even with that slightly depressed average.
The only way I see this hitting the under is if Towns gets into quick foul trouble, as he has the tendency to do. KAT played the Jazz six times in 2019 and had at least five fouls in all but two of the games. He also averaged 10.7 RPG even in those six games, hitting this over in all but one of them.
Our Props tool rates this a 10 out of 10, and that’s only because it can’t rate it an 11 or 12. This is one of my favorite props of the new season so far. Smash that over.