NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks: Back Gordon Hayward, Fade Tyus Jones on Wednesday (Dec. 30)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: Gordon Hayward
- Tonight's NBA slate is lighter on games, but there's still value to be found.
- Brandon Anderson uses the Action Labs prop tool to identify three props with value on Wednesday.
It’s a bit of a quieter Wednesday night after a torrid first week of the NBA season, with an NBA TV double header featuring a Bucks-Heat game on the second straight night with a fun Blazers-Clippers matchup in the nightcap.
We’re digging into three of the other games today looking for some value, and our Props tool continues to pay off in spades. We went 3-0 again last night and are now a sparkling 14-6 on prop best bets this season.
This is the part where I remind you that you can get far more than three prop bets each day if you use some of that newfound cash sign up for just $25 for your first month. You can also compare prices on props at more than 40 sportsbooks.
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 gets an “edge” percentage that compares our industry-leading projections to odds posted at sportsbooks.
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
Tyus Jones under 13.5 points (+101)
|Grizzlies at Celtics||+6.5|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
Ja Morant looks like he’ll be out for around a month (ankle), leaving the Grizz without their two best players now, since Jaren Jackson Jr. is also still rehabbing.
Morant’s injury should push Tyus Jones into the starting lineup, and the books have adjusted accordingly, pushing this line upward to 13.5. After all, how hard can it be for a starting point guard to score 13.5 points?
The problem is that Jones is not a scorer and really never has been. He is far more of an old-school pure point guard, who plays hard-nosed defense, passes well, and gets his teammates in position to succeed. He’s also very clearly a backup point guard and one that will probably be overwhelmed against good NBA starters like, you know, Marcus Smart.
Jones played nearly 35 minutes his last time out with Morant sidelined and scored only nine points anyway on 4-of-12 shooting. In 40 career NBA starts, Jones has averaged 10.1 points in 31.9 minutes of action. He’s just not a scorer and isn’t even a good shooter if someone else sets him up.
Memphis does need to find some scoring, but they’ll need to find it elsewhere. This line is a gift and will probably drop a point or two once the books get a good look at Jones in a starting role. I love the under at plus odds and would play to -125.
Gordon Hayward over 17.5 points (-125)
|Hornets at Mavericks||+8|
|Time||8:30 p.m. ET|
You’ve got to have a short memory as a bettor. Yesterday we went back in on Mason Plumlee even after he burned us less than a week before and got a win. Today it’s back to the well on Gordon Hayward.
I played Hayward’s points over four days ago and saw him put up a dud, just 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting and well short of the target. But Hayward has scored 28 points in both of his other games with the Hornets, and it still looks like the books are underrating his expanded role with Charlotte.
Remember, Hayward has played in a starring role before. He averaged 20.3 PPG his final three seasons in Utah as the lead guy before heading to Boston and moving into a complementary role while also rehabbing that nasty leg injury. We should be comparing Charlotte Hayward to the Utah version, not the Boston one.
Hornets Hayward is taking 17.0 shots per game, a career high, and he’s also attempting a career high 3-point attempts at 5.3 per game. This is simply a volume play. The Hornets have become one of the fastest teams in the league, and Hayward is getting up a ton of shots. We’re projecting him at 22.2 points and our Props tool rates this a 10 out of 10.
Let’s give Hayward another shot and play this one to -140, or up a point if necessary.
Cam Reddish over 3.5 rebounds (-125)
|Hawks at Nets||+6|
|Time||8:30 p.m. ET|
It’s always a bit riskier playing a prop at a low number, just because there’s more variance involved, so you may want to play a half unit on this one. Still, Cam Reddish looks like a good player to bet on against the Nets.
Maybe you’ve heard: Kevin Durant is back and looks as good as ever. The Hawks will need someone to at least try to defend Durant, and the guess here is that Reddish gets the biggest crack at it. Reddish is long and starting to show some real defensive chops, and though no one can really guard KD, Reddish will likely be asked to put in plenty of minutes to do his best against Durant.
Rebounds tend to be a volume play as much as anything, and more minutes mean more opportunities to rebound. Reddish is averaging 5.3 RPG through three games, but his playing time has bounced around a bit. Our projections put Reddish at 27.3 minutes and 4.8 rebounds, and I think his minutes could end up north of that number too.
Never go crazy on a low number, but our Props tool rates this one a 10 as well, so let’s play it to -140.