NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks: 3 For Monday’s Slate, Including Draymond Green Assists (Feb. 15)
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Draymond Green
It’s Presidents Day, and I had a whole thing planned to go with presidential puns today. We could be playing Derrick Rose-evelt, Clint-on Capela, Dwight Howard Taft, Joel Embiid-en, and James Harding. Heck, we could’ve been living the life if the Grover Cleveland Cavaliers had just been playing the New York Knicks-on.
Alas, it was not meant to be. We can only play the slate in front of us, and what’s more presidential than making money? Let’s just take the best three props on the board and let the rest play out from there.
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 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
Myles Turner under 8.5 rebounds (-150)
|Bulls at Pacers||-5.5|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
Myles Turner is having a brilliant season — on defense. Turner leads the league at 3.4 blocks per game, and he’s one of the leading candidates for Defensive Player of the Year. Turner is a rim protector but also defends the perimeter and switches where necessary, doing a little bit of everything on defense for a Pacers squad built around his defensive prowess.
Of course, you’d never know anything was different looking at a box score. Turner’s 13.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.0 assist per game are almost identical to his numbers from each of the last four seasons. He’s been remarkably consistent and mostly inconspicuous from a box score standpoint.
Turner’s rebounding rate is actually a career-low this season, though only just barely. The name of the game with Turner boards this season has been variance. Five of his 25 games have seen him record double-digit rebounds, while six others have seen him tally just four or fewer boards. Pick a number from 2-12 and Turner has at least one game this season with that many rebounds. He’s had at least two games at every number from 2-10, other than three.
That makes Turner’s rebounding more unpredictable than it looks, and it also means there’s a chance we could end up way above or below this number. Turner has only gone over 8.5 rebounds in seven games this season though, staying under safely in 72% of his games. Sometimes that’s barely under, and other games it’s not even close.
The Bulls have been one of the league’s best rebounding teams, ranking fourth in defensive percentage with a gang-rebounding effort. We’re projecting Turner at 6.4 rebounds, giving us plenty of margin for a win here.
And while we’re here, let’s celebrate one of Turner’s outstanding teammates, guard Malcolm Brogdon. I don’t love any Brogdon props today, but the man is nicknamed The President and putting in an All-Star caliber campaign, so here’s to you, Mr. President.
Patrick Williams over 5.5 rebounds (+110)
|Bulls at Pacers||+5.5|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
One of the reasons the Bulls are rebounding so well is standout rookie Patrick Williams.
Williams didn’t even start as a young freshman at Florida State last season, so it was a shock to many when he skyrocketed up draft boards and was ultimately selected fourth overall by the Bulls. Scouts saw a ton of untapped potential in the raw youngster, comparing him to Kawhi Leonard at times because of his physical prowess and length on defense along with his offensive upside. Williams plays with a mean streak and has some real flashes as a passer and scorer, and he always plays with high energy.
That earned Williams a spot in the Bulls starting lineup right out of the gates. Williams has started all 24 games he’s played, and though the box score isn’t telling much of a story, he’s making a real impact. You’d never see much from the 10.0 points and 4.4 rebounds in the box, but some of the quieter numbers have impressed. Williams is hitting 39% of his 3s, and he’s recorded at least 0.7 assists, steals, and blocks each.
He’s done that despite playing under 28 minutes a game, and perhaps that’s why he’s seeing a serious uptick in playing time lately. Williams is averaging 34.1 minutes a game over his past six outings. His box score doesn’t reflect that too much with his points and peripheral stats mostly the same, with one exception: rebounds. Williams is averaging 6.5 rebounds per game in this recent stretch, and he’s gone over this line in four of those six games.
We’re not expecting him to slow down anytime soon, projecting Williams at 6.7 rebounds in 34.8 minutes tonight. Those projections are well above his season averages but right in line with what he’s been doing the past two weeks, and they give us an edge on the books here with his line starting to tick up but giving us plus-money for the trouble.
I love this one at +110 at BetMGM, and would play to -110 if necessary.
Draymond Green over 8.5 assists (+100)
|Cavs at Warriors||-9|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
The Warriors and Cavs rivalry may be over as quickly as it started, but you have to believe Draymond Green still loves to put up big lines against his old Finals opponent. Cleveland is nothing like it was when LeBron James led the Cavs to the Finals in four consecutive seasons. This team is getting blown out, with nine losses in its last 11, six of them by at least 17 points.
If that happens again here, it could mean for an easy night for Draymond and cost us our over — but as is often the case with stars, if a team does blow out an opponent and rest stars late, it’s usually because the stars put up big enough numbers early to afford it. And make no mistake about it, Draymond has been playing like a star again.
The Warriors are missing all their centers, so Green has been playing point center for the team, and he is lighting up defenses with his passing. He’s averaging 11.7 assists over his past six games, which lines up perfectly with him playing that devastating small-ball center role he has mastered over the past decade. Green had double-digit rebounds in all of those games until the most recent one, and he still had eight in that one but saw his minutes limited a bit by injury and blowout factors.
I would have set this line at least a full assist higher, and that’s about where we project Draymond, at 9.6 assists. Getting this line at even-money to go over 8.5 feels criminal to me since I like him to have another big game as a passer. I’d play to -125 but will jump on that +100 while it’s there at BetMGM.