NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks: Ben Simmons the Distributor, Haliburton the Disrupter (March 27)
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Tyrese Haliburton #0 of the Sacramento Kings.
The NBA Trade Deadline saw 17 trades involving 23 teams and 45 players, and we’re still taking shape of the league as teams adjust to new players and rotations. It’s important to consider those new rotations in the world of props because they mean shifting playing time, and more playing time means more opportunity for overs.
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
Jarrett Allen, over 11.5 rebounds (-105)
Editor’s Note: Allen is in the concussion protocol and will not play Saturday night.
Jarrett Allen has finally been unleashed as a full-time starter, and the results are looking pretty good.
Allen has at least nine rebounds in 18 of his last 20 games. He’s averaging 11.2 rebounds per game over that stretch, including 3.4 per game on the offensive glass, and he has at least 11 rebounds in exactly half of those games.
Allen has dominated the glass in only 31.7 minutes per game, and those minutes are starting to tick up even further. He played 34.5 minutes on Wednesday, over 36 last night and should be in for another heavy minutes load tonight, especially now that the Cavs have no other real center on the roster now that Andre Drummond has been excised and JaVale McGee was traded.
Those extra few minutes should be huge, considering Allen averages a rebound every 3.0 minutes this season. The Kings also play at a fast pace and play very little defense, so this should be a fast-moving game with lots of scoring and plenty of rebounds to be had. Sacramento ranks second to last in defensive rebounding rate too, so there should be plenty of opportunity for Allen to rack up rebounds.
We’re projecting Allen to have a huge night with 14.1 rebounds, and he’s hit that number 10 times already this season. When he hits the boards hard, he can post a really big number. We only need 12 for a winner. I’ll play the over as high as -130.
Ben Simmons, over 6.5 assists (+110)
|76ers at Clippers||+4|
|Time | TV||10 p.m. ET | NBATV|
The Philadelphia 76ers are quietly thriving without Joel Embiid. Philadelphia has now won seven of its last eight games without Embiid, and the Sixers are doing it mostly with an elite defense that’s been the best in the league during that stretch even without Embiid.
That’s because Ben Simmons has emerged as a real threat to win Defensive Player of the Year as the linchpin of this defense, but Simmons has also stepped up his game without Embiid. Simmons spends much more time on the ball without Embiid eating up post touches, and that has been a boon for his passing numbers.
In 11 games without Embiid this season, Ben Simmons is averaging 7.6 assists per game, and he’s gone over 6.5 in seven of those 11, hitting this over 64% of the time. That includes two games with nine dimes and three with 12 apiece, including his last time out.
The Clippers are a formidable opponent because of their elite shooting, so Philly will need a big night from Simmons to keep up. He probably won’t do it as a scorer though, with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard (if healthy) long enough to bottle him up, and that means Simmons will need to move the ball and get his teammates going.
Simmons is at 7.7 APG on the season, and that number hasn’t budged with Embiid out, so I think this line is too low. All the better if you can find it at plus juice. I’ll play to -105.
Tyrese Haliburton, over 1.5 steals + blocks (-135)
|Cavs at Kings||-8.5|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
Tyrese Haliburton is starting now, and he’s already making a very positive impact for the Kings. Haliburton is not a flashy scorer, but he’s been one of the league’s best rookies because of his ability to impact the game without having the ball. On offense, Haliburton is a high IQ player and a terrific passer with a wonky but effective shot.
His elite feel for the game has been impactful on the defensive end too, where Haliburton has already recorded 50 steals and 23 blocks, and that’s the direction we’re playing tonight. Sacramento is nothing resembling good on defense, but the team’s lack of ability on that end means Haliburton is free to jump into lanes and gamble on his turnover-forcing ability.
Haliburton has started the last six games for the Kings and probably won’t give up his starting spot anytime soon, and that of course means more minutes and opportunity to put up numbers. Haliburton has played more than 32.5 minutes 11 times this season. He’s averaging 2.7 stocks (steals + blocks) per game in those outings and has had multiple steals/blocks in all but one such game. Heck, he’s had at least one steal and at least one block in all but one of those 11 games.
Haliburton has gone over 1.5 “stocks” in 20 of 39 games already, hitting the over more than half the time, and that’s despite playing 30 minutes or less in 20 games. Now that his minutes are up as a starter, he’s an even better bet to rack up stocks, especially against a young Cavs team that has turned the ball over the second most times in the NBA.
I’ll play Haliburton’s over for another impactful defensive game here up to -155.