NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks for for New Year’s Day: 3 Picks, Including DeMar DeRozan, Royce O’Neale & More (January 1)

NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks for for New Year’s Day: 3 Picks, Including DeMar DeRozan, Royce O’Neale & More (January 1) article feature image
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Alex Goodlett/Getty Images. Pictured: Royce O’Neale.

  • The NBA opens 2022 with a six-game slate on Saturday night.
  • Tyler Schmidt has scoured those matchups for the best NBA player props for bettors.
  • Check out his picks and breakdowns below.

Happy New Year!

I am so excited to see what 2022 has in store for all of us. Let’s start this year out with a bang! There are three props that I absolutely love on this six-game New Year’s Day slate. Let’s have a great 2022 everyone.

We’ll be using the Action Labs Player Prop tool to compare our NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of 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

DeMar DeRozan, Over 25.5 Points (-108)

Wizards vs. Bulls Bulls -2
Time | TV 7 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass
Best Book FanDuel

The Bulls are absolutely rolling right now, entering this game against the Wizards on a six-game winning streak. Due to three of their games being postponed, the Bulls actually haven’t lost since Dec. 11 and come into this game as a two-point road favorite.

DeMar DeRozan is averaging a career-high 36.4% from the 3-point line, but DeRozan does most of his damage inside the arc. He leads the league in makes between 15-19 feet and ranks second behind Kevin Durant in makes between 10-14 feet.

This matchup against the Wizards is specifically great for DeRozan since they allow the second-most makes between 15-19 feet and the third-most between 10-14 feet. DeRozan should feast tonight.

The Bulls have won the last nine games that DeRozan has played in, having not lost since Nov. 27. During that stretch, DeRozan has averaged 29.1 points per game while attempting 20.8 field goal attempts per game. He has shot 52.4% from the field and is coming off of an incredible buzzer-beating game-winner last night.

DEMAR DEROZAN FOR THE WIN!!@NBCSChicago | @DeMar_DeRozan | #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/VjJt8UUtP5

— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) December 31, 2021

DeRozan has scored over 26 points in eight of his last 10 games. He continues to lead the Bulls in points averaging 26.8 per game with a 30.7% usage rate.

I would take this bet up to 26.5 points in what is a fantastic matchup for DeRozan.


Daniel Gafford, Over 1.5 Blocks (-125)

Wizards vs. Bulls Bulls -2
Time | TV 7 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass
Best Book DraftKings

Staying in the same game, I am flipping sides and looking at a Wizards prop.

Our prop model absolutely loves the lines we get for Daniel Gafford tonight. Most of his totals pop in our model and also provide juice. Even though I do like those value props, I am going with the safest one. I love taking the over 1.5 blocks for Gafford, who is still playing without Montrezl Harrell again tonight.

In the last two games without Harrell in the lineup, Gafford has averaged 13.5 points and 10.0 rebounds while playing 34.4 minutes per game. The minutes increase is massive for Gafford compared to normally splitting time with Harrell. Gafford is also averaging 2.5 blocks per game in that span because he recorded five blocks in his last game against the Cavaliers.

The Bulls rank 10th in both Defensive Rating and rebounds allowed this season. They rank middle of the road in most points allowed in the paint and that is where most of Gafford’s work comes from. In 129 games played in his career, Gafford has never attempted a 3-point shot. Those stats have me a little worried about Gafford’s other props, so I will stick with the blocks.

Getting over 1.5 blocks is a lot, but our model has Gafford projected for 3.4 blocks tonight. The Bulls allow 5.6 blocks per game which is the fourth-highest in the league, and they rank dead last in 3-point attempts this season. Like DeRozan, the Chicago offense operates inside the arc. That should give Gafford plenty of chances to block shots.

If this prop moved to 2.5 blocks tonight, I would be very intrigued at the value provided. If he can stay out of foul trouble, Gafford should be able to have a block party down low in what is projected to be a close game.


Royce O’Neale, Under 6.5 Points (-130)

Jazz vs. Warriors Jazz -5
Time | TV 9 p.m. ET | NBA TV
Best Book DraftKings

The Utah Jazz have won six straight games and 14 of their last 16. They welcome in the best team in the league in the 27-7 Golden State Warriors as a 5-point favorites with the total set at 222.5 points.

Royce O’Neale continues to play massive minutes for the Jazz, but he’s starting to slowly turn into Tony Snell, which is certainly not good. O’Neale has averaged 30.8 minutes per game in his last six games, but he’s yet to top five points in any of those games. He has a ridiculously low 9.5% usage rate this season.

In the Jazz’s last game, O’Neale played 32 minutes and had zero field goal attempts. He is on the floor primarily for his defense, and that will be put to the test against leading MVP candidate Stephen Curry. Foul trouble is also a concern in this matchup for O’Neale, who simply put isn’t looking to score. In his last four games, the most field goal attempts he’d had is four.

Golden State will be without Draymond Green tonight, which is a massive loss for the Warriors on both ends, but especially on defense. The Warriors’ Defensive Rating has dropped from 102.0 to 111.4 in the three games that Green has missed this season.

O’Neale is averaging seven points per game this season, but like I previously mentioned his offensive output has been lacking recently. O’Neale has averaged a whopping three points per game in his last six games. Make sure to shop around for the best value, but right now that is on DraftKings.

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