NBA Player Prop Bets & Picks: Back Overs on Blake Griffin, Nikola Vucevic, & Pascal Siakam (Saturday, January 16)
Leon Halip/Getty Images. Pictured: Blake Griffin.
- It wouldn't be a packed NBA Saturday slate without player props.
- There are a number of intriguing propositions on the league's big men on Saturday, including Blake Griffin, Nikola Vucevic, and Pascal Siakam.
- Brandon Anderson breaks down the props below and explains which side he likes.
It’s a day for NBA big men here at Props Central.
With so many unknowns around the NBA these days, it’s important to hang onto what we do know.
And what we know right now is that Nikola Vucevic, Blake Griffin, and Pascal Siakam are former All-Stars who are very talented and will play big minutes for teams that are looking for answers and consistency.
That gives us some opportunity for All-Star overs today as we look to build another winner.
For those who are new to this article, we’ll be using the ActionLabs 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
Blake Griffin, Over 3.5 Assists (+135)
|Pistons at Heat||Heat -5.5|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
Griffin has always been a nice passer for his position. He averages 4.4 assists per game for his career, and his playmaking role has increased in Detroit, up to 5.2 APG as a Piston during his years there, even in less time on the court.
At the start of this season, it looked like that role might be a bit muted this year. Griffin had only two assists in the season opener, then four and three for an average of 3.0 APG. He looked old and out of shape and sat out a couple of games for rest along the way.
Well, Griffin still hasn’t found his scoring boots this season, but he’s become much more of a playmaker again over the last 10 days.
It’s probably not a coincidence that that’s come with rookie Detroit point guard Killian Hayes now out indefinitely with an injury. Early in the year, the Pistons were starting Hayes and forcing the action through him, but now Griffin is seeing much more of the ball. He’s racked up at least five assists in four straight games and is starting to see his minutes load tick up a bit, too.
Griffin has gone over 3.5 assists in six of his eight games, including each of his last five.
He’s on a couple days of rest here, too, so there shouldn’t be real danger of a reduced load, and the Pistons are playing the remnants of a Heat roster missing most of its players, so this shouldn’t be a blowout that would otherwise limit Griffin’s time.
We’re projecting Griffin at 29 minutes and 4.1 assists, and I honestly think both of those are low.
This line feels like a mistake to me. I’d have put it at 4.5 assists and still considered an over, and instead, we’re at 3.5 and getting juice on the over. Grab it while you’ve got the chance.
Nikola Vucevic, Over 10.5 Rebounds (-104)
|Magic at Nets||Nets -9.5|
|Time||6 p.m. ET|
This game is a mess.
The Magic are permanently shorthanded with Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac out for the season.
That leaves Orlando short two starters and likely a third with Evan Fournier still ailing. The Nets look like they won’t have James Harden yet either, and Kyrie Irving is still gone while Brooklyn obviously can’t play all the guys it traded for Harden, either.
Both teams are very shorthanded here, and that means they should be relying on what they do have more than ever. For the Magic, that’s Vucevic.
Vucevic is a double-double machine. He has hit double-digit rebounds in eight of his 12 games this year, giving him eight double-doubles, and he averages 10.7 RPG for his Magic career and 10.8 RPG this season.
That average actually undercuts what Vucevic has done, too, because the Magic have been so bad that Orlando has been blown off the court a few times, hurting Vucevic’s minutes load. Four times this season, he’s played under 30 minutes. He’s averaging 11.8 RPG in the other eight games and over this line in five of them.
I expect a lot of Vucevic tonight with the Magic, as usual. The Nets play at one of the league’s fastest paces, which should quicken the pace for the usually-leaden Magic. Nets games feature high point totals, and more points and shots mean more rebounds available. Brooklyn is a poor rebounding team, and Vucevic is going to eat.
We’re projecting Vucevic at 12.2 rebounds, and I’ll play this one to -140. Our Props tool is also recommending his over 3.5 assists with the Magic lacking playmaking. I like that one, too, if you want to play a second Vucevic prop and go for a big game.
Pascal Siakam, Over 7.5 Rebounds (-121)
|Hornets at Raptors||Raptors -7|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
Little by little, it feels like Siakam is starting to find his way again.
Siakam looked lost to start the season. He averaged 17.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 3.6 assists over the first five games and was barely hitting 40% of his shots on the season with rough advanced and on/off metrics.
He broke out of his slump with 32 points against the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 and has increased his numbers to 22.2 points, 9.8 boards, and 6.4 dimes in his five most recent games while shooting over 50% from the field.
What a bounce back. That’s the Siakam we’ve come to know — a double-double threat each night — with his usual defense and some increasingly intriguing creation ability. Siakam even recorded his first triple-double against the Blazers earlier this week, and he’s playing with much more confidence now.
He’s also playing a heavy load at over 37 MPG during this recent stretch, and he’s playing more of his minutes at center as Toronto searches for an answer there.
Siakam has a career-best rebounding percentage on the season, and that number is up even further in this recent stretch, with him going over this number in four of his last five games.
Our Props tool likes both Siakam and fellow skinny big man teammate Chris Boucher to hit around nine boards apiece here, both going over 7.5. I like both props but trust Siakam a bit more at this stage while Boucher is still earning consistent minutes. I’ll play Siakam over 7.5 up to -140.