NBA Player Prop Bets & Picks: Value on PJ Tucker, Carmelo Anthony and More (Saturday, Aug. 29)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: P.J. Tucker #17 of the Houston Rockets handles the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Betting on props can be one of the easiest ways to build your bankroll, especially in the NBA postseason. Sportsbooks tend to offer lower limits and take less action on props than they do on games, so they don’t have as much incentive to post an accurate line.
That’s where our Player Prop tool comes in handy. We compare our industry-leading NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks to identify the best plays each day. Each bet is then graded on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade.
|Win-Loss (Win Pct)|
|Bet Quality of 10||775-572 (57%)|
|Bet Quality of 9||942-776 (54%)|
|Bet Quality of 8||1432-1263 (52%)|
Today’s player props come from two of the slate’s three games:
- Rockets vs. Thunder at 6:30 p.m. ET on TNT
- Lakers vs. Blazers at 9:00 p.m. ET on TNT
NBA Player Prop Bets
Houston Rockets, P.J. Tucker
The Prop: Over 5.5 rebounds (-130)
P.J. Tucker is a man’s man. Tucker is the smallest starting “center” in the league, but he battles hard and is one of the keys to Houston’s small ball lineup working. In the regular season, Robert Covington had played a huge role for the Rockets as one of their big men, but RoCo has struggled and been marginalized in the playoffs.
The Rockets have lost control of this series, and they are turning more and more to the guys they trust most. And right now, outside of James Harden, that’s Tucker.
Tucker’s minutes have increased from 32 per game the first two games of the series to 43.9 (in OT) and 37.9 the last two games. His work rate has gone up too, with his rebounding numbers rising from 4.5 the first two games to 8 and 11 boards the last two.
Tucker has seen his rebounding numbers rise from regular season to postseason four straight years as his minutes rise and his toughness stands out. This line feels like a mistake.
We’re projecting Tucker at 8.5 rebounds, giving you a ridiculous 47% margin of error. Our Props tool rates this a 10 out of 10, only because it can’t rate it an 11 or 12. Jump on the line at 5.5 as high as -200, and don’t be afraid to play it at better odds up a number too.
Oklahoma City Thunder, Danilo Gallinari
The Prop: Over 1.5 assists (+185)
Danilo Gallinari has two assists total in his last three games. That’s probably not going to get you too excited for this prop, but hear me out. There’s two things in our favor here.
First is the way this series is trending. I wondered going into the series if Steven Adams might be marginalized, and things are going that direction. Adams struggles to defend the Harden pick-and-roll and his size isn’t advantageous enough to offset that.
OKC has found a Harden stopper in Luguentz Dort so they need Dort out there as often possible. But Dort can’t shoot or do much on offense, so that effectively gives the Thunder two centers on the court when Adams plays too. The Thunder have started going smaller with Gallinari at the pivot and Adams on the bench, and that should give Gallo more opportunities to handle and create a bit.
The second thing in our favor is the odds here, currently at +190. In 10 (relatively) full-effort bubble games, Gallinari has gone over 1.5 assists four times. In the full regular season, Gallo went over 1.5 dimes in 37 of 62 appearances, a 60% hit rate! With a line near +200, we don’t even need to hit this prop 40% of the time for it to be profitable. Heck, Gallinari had three or more assists 21 times this season (34%) so this line should be closer to 2.5 to be fair.
If it stays at 1.5, smash that +185 while it’s out there and play it as low as +120.
Portland Trail Blazers, Carmelo Anthony
The Prop: Over 17.5 points (-135)
The Props tool will tell you to stick with those first two props today and stay away from this one, but the algorithm doesn’t account for human emotion and sometimes you just have to go with your gut.
Damian Lillard is out for the Blazers, and all signs point to this being the end of Portland’s magical bubble run. That could make this Carmelo Anthony’s last game ever against his longtime buddy LeBron. No Lillard leaves a whole lot of shots to be taken, and you know Melo is happy to step up to the plate.
Portland’s only real option at this point is Melo and C.J. McCollum straight up outgunning the Lakers on their own. Our tool is going under on both their point totals, but I don’t buy it. I’m not exactly expecting 60 points from Melo tonight, and it may not even be his last game ever, but Anthony already scored 20 and 16 the last two games.
I like Melo to score into the 20s easily, so I’m going against our Props tool on this one. Melo out.