Friday’s NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks: Fade Anthony Edwards After a Historic Scoring Night (March 19)
David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony Edwards #1 of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
- Looking to get in on NBA player props tonight? You've come to the right place.
- Fresh off his 40-point night, rookie Athony Edwards is ripe to fade as a scorer tonight.
- Dan Titus explains why and gives out two more plays for Friday night's slate using the Action Labs prop tool.
March Madness is officially underway, giving hoops fans everywhere an excuse to stay glued to the couch for the next 72 hours. In the midst of the chaos, the Association lined up 10-games for Friday night.
Tonight is really going to put my channel flipping skills to the test, with 60% of the league in action. There is no shortage of entertainment for Friday’s slate, and this is easily shaping up to be one of the best days for basketball in over a year.
Five teams play on the second leg of a back-to-back set (Jazz, Magic, Suns, Timberwolves, and Blazers) while the Spurs and Kings are on the front-end of a back-to-back. While it’s not the only factor, zero rest days offer an opportunity for opposing teams with fresh legs.
Friday’s props feature Michael Porter Jr. lighting up the Bulls, Anthony Edwards getting shut down in a rematch with the Suns, and Luka Doncic going over 9.5 assists against the Blazers. Let’s get to it!
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
Michael Porter Jr Over 16.5 Points (-113)
|Bulls vs. Nuggets||Nuggets -7|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
Porter Jr. comes into Friday’s tilt against the Bulls averaging 23.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, 0.4 assists while shooting 65% from the field and 50% from distance over his last five games. The man is hot, and Chicago won’t have an answer for him tonight.
The Bulls are a good team on the road, going 9-7 overall and 12-4 against the spread. According to NBA Advanced Stats, the Bulls rank seventh in the NBA in pace, and with the game total sitting at 224.5, this has the makings of a favorable game script for MPJ.
When the two teams played in early March, Porter Jr. tied a career-high with 15 rebounds to go along with scoring 17 points — shooting an efficient 7-of-10 from the floor. The Bulls lost by six points, and tonight they’re 7-point road dogs. According to Fansure, Porter Jr. has exceeded 16.5 points in each of his last eight games as a favorite, averaging 21.4 PPG over that span.
Not only does he produce more points at home (16.2 PPG) compared to on the road (15.4 PPG), but he’s made a habit of feasting on the Central Division of the Eastern Conference.
This year, in seven games against Central Division opponents, he’s averaging 17.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, and has a net rating of +15.5. He’s attempting a shade under 14 shots per contest (13.6) in his past 10 games and should have no qualms pulling up early and often in what should be a high-tempo game.
Our projections have MPJ scoring 17.8 points tonight, but I would play the over up to 17.5.
Anthony Edwards Under 23.5 Points (-120)
|Timberwolves vs. Suns||Suns -11|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
Edwards is steadily making a case for Rookie of the Year honors as he’s been on an absolute tear lately. Over his past 10 games, he’s averaging 24.7 points while attempting 21 shots per game. Efficiency is not his game.
However, he’s still only 19 years old and is already making an impact for the young Timberwolves. He joined elite company last night, becoming the third-youngest player in NBA history to score 40 or more in a game, trailing only LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
What’s even more impressive? He scored his new career-high of 42 points on the road against one of the best teams in the NBA, the Phoenix Suns. According to NBA Advanced Stats, the Suns rank in the top-10 in Offensive (115.0) and Defensive Rating (108.8) this season.
Surprisingly enough, he, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Giannis Antetokounmpo are the only players to put up a 40-piece against the Suns this season. Now, all that to say — Edwards is due for a letdown, and it's going to come at the hands of the Suns tonight.
Minnesota's covered in four of its past five games heading into Friday. However, this time they’ll face the Suns on their home floor for the second consecutive night.
Currently 11-point dogs, I expect the Suns will come out motivated and aggressive on defense after losing to one of the worst teams in the league. Considering that KAT and Edwards accounted for 68% of their team's points, there's little chance the Suns will allow that to happen again, nor is that sustainable offense for the Wolves.
Edwards is averaging 17.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.6 assists with zero days rest this season and facing one of the league’s best; regression is expected here. While his points market is on par with his recent performance, we project Edwards to score 19.7 points.
With a bet quality score of 10, I’m taking the under suspecting the back-to-back set will impact his recent scoring barrage.
Luka Doncic Over 9.5 assists (-113)
|Mavericks vs. Trail Blazers||Blazers +3.5|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
The Trail Blazers are coming off a convincing win over the Pelicans last night. They’ll play host to the traveling Mavs in what should be the most compelling game on the schedule.
Luka Doncic comes in averaging 9.3 assists per game through Friday. The market is right in line with his production, but this still feels a bit low. As I’ve been harping throughout this article, Portland is playing on a back-to-back with three games in four nights. The Mavs are 3.5-point favorites, leaving Doncic as a great player to target in what could be a shootout between two top guards.
Doncic went off for 44 points and nine dimes in their first meeting this season, and he'll be active once again tonight. He’s averaging 9.6 assists over his past 10 games and 9.7 assists against the top eight teams in the Western Conference this season.
According to NBA Advanced Stats, both teams rank in the bottom-10 in Pace, but the total has gone over in each of Dallas' past five games when playing on the road against Portland. To add to my faith in Doncic’s assist line, he's seen a boost in his his assist numbers in four games since the All-Star break, averaging 12.3 per game while posting a Usage Rate of 35.8%.
Our projections have Doncic hitting the over at 10.7 assists and, with a bet quality score of 8 out of 10, watch Luka work his magic against an overworked Blazers squad.