NBA Player Props & Betting Picks (Friday, Dec. 13): Injuries Creating Tons of Value
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George (13).
- Friday's nine-game NBA slate features three player prop bets offering value.
- This piece will focus on Heat SG Jimmy Butler, Clippers SF Paul George and Kings PF/C Richaun Holmes.
Betting on props can be one of the easiest ways to build your bankroll. Sportsbooks tend to offer lower limits and take less action on props than they do on games, so they don’t have as much incentive to post an accurate line.
That’s where our Player Prop tool comes in handy. We compare our industry-leading NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks to identify the best plays each day. Each bet is then graded on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade.
Odds as of Friday afternoon. Check out FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
How about a little reminder on just how impressively these bets did last season? Props with a Bet Quality of 10 posted a win rate of 60.31%, and props with a Bet Quality of nine won at a 58.82% clip.
As is the case with most sports, betting on unders proved to be more profitable than betting on overs last season:
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 10: 341-172 (66.47%)
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 9: 457-273 (62.6%)
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 8: 898-589 (60.39%)
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 7: 1447-1086 (57.13%)
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 6: 1992-1663 (54.95%)
Overall, if you just blind bet every under with a Bet Quality of eight or higher, you would’ve won at a 62.1% clip on more than 2,700 bets.
Tonight’s props come from three of the slate’s nine games:
- Los Angeles Lakers at Miami Heat: 7 p.m. ET on ESPN
- Los Angeles Clippers at Minnesota Timberwolves: 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
- New York Knicks at Sacramento Kings: 10 p.m. ET
Let’s dive in.
Heat SG Jimmy Butler
THE PICK: Over 7 assists (-114)
The Heat have a tough matchup today vs. the Los Angeles Lakers, but I’m still very bullish on Butler. The Heat are going to be extremely thin in the backcourt. Goran Dragic, Justise Winslow and Dion Waiters have all been ruled out, while Tyler Herro is currently questionable. That doesn’t leave a ton of depth behind Butler, who has played at least 41.3 minutes in back-to-back games.
Unsurprisingly, Butler has seen a massive spike in production with all four injured players off the court this season. Even if Herro plays, Butler has still increased his assist rate by +5.2% and averaged 40 minutes of playing time in four games without Dragic and Winslow this season. He’s averaged 10.3 assists in those contests, so I like his chances of exceeding seven tonight.
I’m considering betting the over on points, rebounds and assists for Butler tonight. The assist prop is my personal favorite — I’d play it up to -130 — but the over on his rebound prop is actually grading out better in the Player Prop tool.
Clippers SF Paul George
THE PICK: Over 3.5 assists (-130)
The Clippers are going to be thin in the backcourt today. Both Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams have been ruled out, while Landry Shamet remains out with an ankle injury. That should open up plenty of ball-handling opportunities for the rest of the roster.
The Clippers haven’t played a ton of minutes with Beverley and Williams off the court this season, but the small sample size suggests that Paul George should crush. He’s increased his usage rate by +14.8% in that situation, but don’t sleep on his increased potential as a distributor.
He leads the team with an assist rate of 34.6% with Beverley and Williams off the court, resulting in an average of 8.6 assists per 36 minutes. He has plenty of upside in that department vs. the Timberwolves, who rank sixth in pace and 22nd in defensive efficiency.
This number seems really low given the matchup and the Clippers’ current injury situation. I’m willing to play it up to -175.
Kings PF/C Richaun Holmes
THE PICK: Over 7.5 rebounds (+100)
Holmes is coming off just seven rebounds over 24.9 minutes in his last outing, which makes this a nice potential buy-low opportunity. He’s expected to return to his usual workload today — we currently have him projected 29.3 minutes — and he should be able to grab at least eight boards if that happens. He managed that feat in each of his prior seven games and in 17 of 18 games in which he’s played more than 25 minutes.
I love this prop at even money, but I’d be willing to play it up to -130.