NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks: 3 for Monday’s Slate, Including Enes Kanter & Brandon Ingram (March 1)
Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Enes Kanter
The NBA feels like it has become impossibly difficult to predict with so many late scratches for injuries and health protocols, and our February props plays were a roller coaster with nearly as many downs as ups. We finished the month 63-50-4 for a 56% clip and 10.4% ROI. A down month for this piece, but a profitable one.
It’s certainly nothing compared to 93 wins and just 51 losses over the first two months of the season, a sparkling 65% hit rate with an insane 27.5% return on investment (ROI). We were running hot for all of December and January and have cooled down considerably.
We’re still hitting over 60% of these props on the season at an even 20% ROI, and it’s a new calendar month, so let’s start March out on the right foot with some winners and close out the first half of the NBA season strong.
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. There are six total props graded 9 or better for Monday.
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
Evan Fournier over 3.5 assists (+110)
|Mavericks at Magic||+6.5|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
If we’re going to start March out right, we may as well go back to the cash cow that was carrying us through that smoking-hot January: the Orlando Magic.
You know the drill with the Magic by now. Orlando is playing seriously shorthanded this season. Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac are out for the season. Aaron Gordon is still out a few weeks with his injury, and so is rookie Cole Anthony. That’s three starters missing from this team, and for almost the entire season, it’s meant for a serious increase in usage, shots, and assists for the best Magic players — and overs for us.
Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic are the two remaining Magic starters, and they’ve consistently hit serious overs this season on points, assists, and — for Vooch at least — rebounds. Today our Props Tool likes the assist over for both players, and you might consider playing both. I’m going with Fournier here.
Michael Carter-Williams is about the only point guard to be found on this roster right now, so that’s meant an increase in passing for Fournier and Vucevic. Fournier is averaging career highs in both assists and assist rate, and Vucevic is having his second-best season ever. Vooch is a bit higher variance. Of the two, he’s more likely to hit five assists for a big night but also more likely to bottom out and not even get close.
We’re playing Fournier instead because he has the higher floor. Fournier is averaging 3.9 assists per game this season, and that’s up to 4.5 APG since his return from injury, which also coincides with Fultz’s absence. Fournier has at least three assists in each of his last 14 games. If that’s Fournier’s assists floor, we only need one above his floor to hit this one, and that’s why he’s gone over 3.5 assists in nine of his last 15 games (60%).
You can play either prop you like better, or both if you prefer. Both are around even odds at most books, and I prefer Fournier if the juice is similar. I’ll definitely play him at plus money and would take him down to -110 and otherwise pivot to Vooch at plus money.
Brandon Ingram over 3.5 assists (-129)
|Jazz at Pelicans||+7|
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET | NBA TV|
Brandon Ingram is also averaging a career high in assists, but it’s been a bumpy ride. At the start of the season, it looked like Ingram was the breakout star for the Pelicans. Last year’s Most Improved Player looked to be taking another step forward out of the gates. Over the first nine games, he was averaging 24.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game, flashing some serious playmaking.
Ingram’s assists overs were a great play early on. But then the books adjusted — and so did the Pelicans. Even as Ingram was breaking out, Zion Williamson was breaking out even more. Zion started the season well enough but then really started to ramp up his scoring in the paint in January, and the team started to feed him more. In February, the Pelicans introduced Point Zion, playing even more of the offense through Zion as both a passer and a scorer.
All of those fabulous Zion numbers were not as kind to Ingram’s numbers. He’s still averaging 24.2 PPG since that opening stretch, but his secondary numbers have fallen to 4.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game since Jan. 8. The drop in numbers there probably cost Ingram a second straight All-Star berth. For awhile, Ingram’s assists under was the play.
Now, the books have adjusted again — and so will we.
Ingram’s assists line is back down to 3.5, and that’s an over adjustment. The Pelicans are starting to find more balance between their two stars, and Ingram’s assist numbers have started to rise again. He’s averaging 5.0 APG over his last 10, and he’s gone over this line in seven of 10 with at least three dimes in all but one game.
It certainly won’t be easy against the Jazz. But Utah will make life difficult for Zion too, so hopefully Ingram will need to be even more involved in a tough matchup. I’ll play this over up to -150.
Enes Kanter over 0.5 assists (-200)
|Hornets at Blazers||-6.5|
|Time | TV||10:30 p.m. ET | NBA TV|
This line is just disrespectful, but Enes Kanter is used to the disrespect by now. After all, this is the same guy whose own Oklahoma City coach once mouthed the words “Can’t play Kanter” during a game a few years ago, giving the poor Turk one of the most unfortunate alliterative nicknames ever.
Kanter can play for the Portland Trail Blazers. Kanter was terrific in a late-season stretch for the Blazers in 2019 when they signed him to fill in for the injured Jusuf Nurkic. Kanter left for greener pastures in Boston last year but struggled to find consistent playing time and returned to Portland this season, and now he’s found a consistent role with Nurkic sidelined again.
Kanter has started at center for the last 20 games, and he’s become a reliable pick-and-roll partner for Damian Lillard. Kanter has always been a beast of a rebounder and a good roll man and post scorer, and the Blazers don’t really play much defense anyway, so they may as well take his production, right?
As a starter this season, Kanter is averaging 12.7 points, 13.1 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. Not bad for a guy no one seems to want. Tonight should be a good night for Kanter against the Hornets, who finished a miracle comeback late last night in Sacramento before a long flight to Portland and now might be missing Cody Zeller, their only real center.
I’m expecting a big game from Kanter, and so is our Props Tool, projecting him at 14.4 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists. His minutes are ticking up even higher lately, and he should have his way in the post, so a combo prop over could be a good play here, even a points + rebounds + assists over.
I’m sticking with just the assists for a line that feels disrespectful. Kanter has at least one assist in 16 of his 20 starts this season, hitting this over 80% of the time. So before you get scared away by a -200 line, remember that implies a 67% chance here. Kanter’s true odds of going over 0.5 dimes this season have been -400, so there’s still real value here, and with room to spare.
Grab the Kanter assists over 0.5 if you can find it at your book, or if you don’t like the assists or prefer a combo prop, I like the PRA over too. Let’s give this man a little respect!