Friday’s NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks: Is Anthony Davis Worth a Play? (April 30)
Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony Davis.
- It's Big Man Night in our daily player prop piece.
- Brandon Anderson has plays on Jakob Poeltl, Deandre Ayton, and Anthony Davis, and he explains how to play each one with a full breakdown.
- Check out the reasoning for all three games below.
It’s Big Man Night here at Action Network. For tonight’s props, it’s time to play three centers around the league, including two who were former No. 1 overall draft picks.
For those who are new to this article, we’ll be using the Action Labs Player Prop tool to compare our NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks. Each bet is then graded on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade.
Below, I have laid out three 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
Jakob Poeltl, Over 1.5 Assists (-120)
|Spurs vs. Celtics||Celtics -4.5|
|Time | TV||7:30 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
The Spurs have finally turned the page toward the future, and it looks like that future includes Jakob Poeltl as the starting center.
Way back on Valentine’s Day, Poeltl played a then-season-high 36.5 minutes. He recorded eight points, 11 rebounds, a pair of assists, and four blocks in a comfortable road win for the Spurs. And Pop must have liked what he saw because he’s been riding with Poeltl ever since.
Since Feb. 14, Poeltl has played 30 minutes a game and started every game for the Spurs. During that stretch, he’s averaging 10.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.0 assists, plus a bonus 2.0 blocks per game, quietly emerging as one of the more reliable big men in the league and a nightly threat to put up another double-double.
We’re not interested in points or rebounds tonight, though. We’re playing the assists.
Poeltl has recorded multiple assists in four straight games, and two is all we need for our over. He’s had two or more dimes in 21-of-34 games since Valentine’s Day, hitting our over 62% of the time, and this is a nice matchup against the Celtics, who don’t have a reliable center to match up with Poeltl.
We project the Spurs big man at 2.2 assists, which is almost 50% higher than his line here, so it’s a more significant margin than it seems. I’ll play to -140.
Deandre Ayton, Over 1.5 Assists (+180)
|Suns vs. Jazz||Suns -4.5|
|Time | TV||10 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Friday night brings us one of the biggest regular-season games left on the NBA schedule when the Phoenix Suns play the Utah Jazz with the West 1-seed on the line.
The Suns have won each of the first two meetings, and winning a third here would tie Phoenix for the 1-seed and effectively put it in the lead since it’s already clinched the season tiebreaker.
I’ve been warming up to the idea of the Suns versus the Jazz head-to-head lately, and it’s in part because I actually like Deandre Ayton a lot in this matchup.
Ayton has really blossomed over the past couple of months. You can see it in his play on the court as he’s finally gotten comfortable in his role with the Chris Paul version of this team, and he has the size and quickness combo to offset a player like Rudy Gobert and give him real problems.
The Jazz love to play drop coverage and let Gobert sag to the rim where he’s at his best, but Ayton’s passing has been improving lately, and this looks like a spot where he could pick up a couple of assists and get us an over.
He’s had eight assists in the last three games, hitting this over all three times. He also had four assists in the first two games against the Jazz, hitting the over once.
For the season, Ayton has hit this over in 26-of-62 appearances, going over 42% of the time. And with a matchup that could be in his favor, I’d put this one around 50/50, maybe even slightly in our favor of hitting an over.
I was actually considering playing this over when I mistakenly thought it was around even odds. When I checked back and saw the +180, I couldn’t believe my eyes. With an implied hit probability of under 36%, I’ve got to make the play here.
I would play anything over 1.5 at +130 or better.
Anthony Davis, Under 23.5 Points (+107)
|Lakers vs. Kings||Lakers -8|
|Time | TV||10:30 p.m. ET | NBATV|
It’s never going to be fun betting an under against the terrible Kings defense, but this Anthony Davis line just feels too high.
For all his talent, Davis has gone over 23.5 points only 10 times all season. That’s a 63% hit rate on the under, with nearly twice as many unders as overs. Davis is at 21.6 points per game on the season, a couple of points below this line.
Of course, most of those games have come with LeBron James, and James is still out tonight, so the books are expecting a big night from Brow. And while that seems to make sense, it hasn’t been the case since Davis returned from his injury. Even if you throw out the ramp-up game, Davis is averaging only 20.3 PPG the last three games and playing just over 30 minutes per outing.
Davis’s scoring and minutes remain down as the Lakers are clearly being cautious with him and just trying to get this team to the playoffs healthy.
There’s another easy way to hit this under, too. Even without LeBron, the Lakers are big favorites against the Kings and typically dominate them, and Sacramento is missing its best player. If the Lakers are up big, you can bank on them limiting Brow’s involvement and minutes late.
Davis always has the potential to put up a huge line and make us feel silly, but he’s not as big a scorer as you think outside of the outlier games, and Richaun Holmes can hold his own enough to make Davis work for it. At plus juice, I have to play the high line here and bet the under, even without LeBron.
I’m seeing this same line as low as -125 at other books like BetMGM, so grab the positive number while you can. Our Props Tool still likes the play even at that -125 but loves it at plus juice, giving this one a 17% edge in our favor.