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NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks: 3 for Suns vs. Clippers, Including Chris Paul and Reggie Jackson (June 24)

NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks: 3 for Suns vs. Clippers, Including Chris Paul and Reggie Jackson (June 24) article feature image

Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

It’s Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, and Deandre Ayton’s Valley Oop on the final play of Game 2 has put the Suns up 2-0 in the series and made Phoenix a prohibitive favorite. And as if that wasn’t enough, now Chris Paul will make his return after escaping the health protocols.

So how much will CP3 play in his return? And how much will the Clippers continue to play Ivica Zubac in their attempt to match up with Deandre Ayton? Those minutes are the two key angles we’re playing in tonight’s props.

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 bet that I’m playing, the case for each bet and the best books to find odds on those player props.

NBA Player Props & Picks

Chris Paul, under 17.5 points (-118)

Suns at ClippersSuns -1
Time | TV9 p.m. ET | ESPN
Best BookFanDuel

The Point God is back, and he’s returning to a team in pretty good shape, considering the Suns have more than held down the fort without him.

In Game 1, it was the Devin Booker show. Booker had a 40-point triple-double to carry the Suns to victory. And then when Book struggled to find his shot in Game 2, it was Phoenix’s third guard, Cam Payne, who stepped up with 29 points and nine assists.

And all of that makes me think the Suns may not exactly rush Chris Paul back out to mega minutes in his return. We still don’t know exactly what happened with CP3 over this past week, but over the course of this season, the most typical return from an extended absence in the health protocols like this has usually seen most returning players see only a fraction of their usual minutes, often as low as 18 or 20 minutes.

This is the playoffs, so it may not be that low, but we’re still projecting Paul to play just 28.5 minutes. That would be somewhat of a cautious return, and that makes sense for one of the oldest players in the league and a guy with a long injury history, one of them a shoulder injury from less than a month ago.

CP3 isn’t really a go-to scorer for this team as much as he is part of the machine, and it’s hard to put up a big scoring line if you don’t play big minutes.

So far this season, Paul has played under 30 minutes in 28 games, including the postseason. He’s gone under 17.5 points in 24 of those games, hitting the under 85.7% of the time. In fact, he’s played 27.8 or fewer minutes 20 times this season and gone under this points line in all 20 of those games. That’s a 100% hit rate to the under, for those of you bad at math.

Paul has gone under 17.5 points in six of 10 playoff games, so let’s bet on him going under again in what could be a cautious return. I’ll play the under to -135.

Ivica Zubac, over 7.5 rebounds (-104)

Suns at ClippersSuns -1
Time | TV9 p.m. ET | ESPN
Best BookFanDuel

While Chris Paul’s minutes may be reduced in his return, Clippers center Ivica Zubac’s minutes may be up.

Paul’s guard teammates aren’t the only players who have been great for Phoenix. Former No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton has been lighting things up for the Suns, looking the part of a franchise center on both ends of the court. He’s scored at least 20 points in both games this series, and he’s dominating on the glass.

The Clippers won in the past two rounds with a terrific and deadly small ball attack, but Ayton is punishing LA’s small lineups and forcing the Clippers to respond by putting more size on the court. The Clippers are also starting to run short of capable wings with Kawhi Leonard out and both Marcus Morris and Nic Batum ailing a bit too. LA has tried Boogie Cousins at times, but he gets wrecked defensively. Their only real option against Ayton right now is Ivica Zubac.

It’s not exactly a ringing endorsement, but we need production, not endorsement. One thing we know Zubac is definitely good at is rebounding, so as long as he gets some good minutes, he should put up a nice rebounding total. In Zubac’s 29 games this season with at least 24 minutes played, he’s gone over 7.5 rebounds 19 times, hitting this over 65.5% of the time. If you look at just Zubac’s 16 highest minutes totals, he’s gone over this line 13 times and missed by a single rebound two other times.

The bet here, really, is on Zubac’s minutes load more than his rebounding ability. And the minutes are trending up. Zubac played 34.4 minutes in Game 2, his highest total of the playoffs. We’re projecting him at 28.9 minutes, and that would be more than enough to get the eight rebounds he needs. And Zubac can gobble up rebounds in a hurry, so even if he’s a bit limited, we should still have a shot.

I’ll play the rebounding over to -120, and with our minutes projection so high for Zubac, our Props Tool likes just about any and all Zubac overs tonight. In fact, one of our highest rated props on the board is for Zubac to go over 0.5 steals tonight. That’s going off at +475 at BetMGM, an implied 17.4% chance.

Zubac has yet to record a playoff steal, but he recorded one every 67 minutes in the regular season, and he had at least one in seven of his 16 highest-minutes games — nearly half of them! Play at your own risk, but know that anything above +200 on this line is a serious edge in our favor.

Reggie Jackson, over 7.5 rebounds + assists (-128)

Suns at ClippersSuns -1
Time | TV9 p.m. ET | ESPN
Best BookFanDuel

With the Clippers starting to run out of bodies, Reggie Jackson has quickly become the second most reliable player for L.A. It feels like Paul George and Reggie Jackson against the world right now some nights.

Jackson was picked up off the scrap heap a year ago, but he’s been a vital part of this Clippers playoff run. He’s scored 20 or more points in six games already this postseason, and his minutes have gone way up lately.

Once Kawhi Leonard went out after Game 4 last series, Jackson stepped into a much bigger role. In the four games since, he’s averaging 23.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game, and he’s playing a huge 38.1 minutes per game during that stretch. We’re projecting him at 38.4 minutes tonight, so he should continue to see huge minutes and usage.

Jackson’s scoring can still run hot and cold, but he’s going to have the ball a lot and get plenty of chances for rebounds and assists, so that’s the angle we’re playing. Jackson has gone over 7.5 rebounds + assists in three straight games, all of them with huge minutes totals, and he’s gone over that line in all four of his biggest playoff minute totals.

With his minutes up again, the rebounds and assists should be too. It wouldn’t be a shock to see Jackson go over 7.5 on rebounds or assists alone. We get both. I’ll play the over to -145.

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