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Friday NBA Player Prop Bets & Picks: Jaren Jackson Jr., Ayo Dosunmu, Bobby Portis Among Top Plays

Friday NBA Player Prop Bets & Picks: Jaren Jackson Jr., Ayo Dosunmu, Bobby Portis Among Top Plays article feature image
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Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Bobby Portis of the Milwaukee Bucks.

  • There is plenty of value on the NBA board Friday, with 11 games across the league.
  • Jaren Jackson Jr., Ayo Dosunmu and Bobby Portis have caught the eye of our expert in the props market.
  • Continue reading for why and how Brandon Anderson is betting that trio from the slate of NBA games.

It’s been a red-hot week in our props column. We went 4-1 on Wednesday and added to our profits at 2-0 Thursday, so let’s see if we can finish the work week with a few more winners.

Today is a good reminder to use the Props Tool creatively at times, almost as a starting point for further bets or parlays. If the tool helps us realize we like a particular player or angle a lot, sometimes there are even more profitable or aggressive ways to play it. Tonight, I’ll offer additional angles on all three guys.

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

Jaren Jackson Jr., over 1.5 threes (+122), over 2.5 threes (+440)

Jazz vs. Grizzlies Grizzlies -4
Time | TV 8 p.m. ET | League Pass
Best Book FanDuel

The Grizzlies continue to roll. Memphis’s long winning streak is over, but the Grizz have still won 14 of 17 and now rank top 10 in the NBA in both Offensive and Defensive Rating at Basketball Reference. The Grizzlies aren’t just third in the West — their record is so strong they’d be leading the entire Eastern Conference, too.

Ja Morant has rightfully gotten a lot of buzz as the reason for the Memphis rise, and Desmond Bane has broken out, too. But a big part of the reason for the Grizzlies’ progress this season has been young big man Jaren Jackson Jr. finally starting to put everything together.

Jackson has always been very talented, but he’s had a hard time getting things right defensively without getting into foul trouble, and he hasn’t been as strong as is often needed on the glass. Now that those things are improving, his ability to stretch the floor as a big man has become more valuable than ever, and that’s the angle we’re playing tonight.

The Jazz famously play a lot of drop coverage, and that’s true with or without Rudy Gobert. That makes Utah vulnerable to big men who can shoot; we saw it in the first matchup between these teams this season, when Jackson attempted his most 3s of the season with a whopping 11 attempts beyond the arc, making four of them.

Jackson’s shooting has gone a bit colder lately, but I’m betting on a bounce back with volume tonight. Over the last 10 games, he’s made only 30% of his 3s and over 1.5 just four times. But he has at least one make in all but one of those games, putting us within a lucky bounce of our over all but one game. And he’s still taking 4.3 attempts per game and makes 35% of his treys. That career rate would put him right at 1.5 makes on 4.3 attempts once his shooting progresses to the mean.

I’m expecting a volume boost against Utah. I’ll make my main play the over 1.5 3s at +122 since that’s already a nice line. But I’ll take this two steps further. I have to sprinkle a little of my bet on Jackson making just one more trey at +440. He hasn’t done that in 12 games, and only once in the last 18, but I’m hoping a volume boost gets us there.

And if he does hit a trio of 3s, the Grizzlies are 10-2 in those games so Memphis has a good chance to beat a reeling Jazz team missing one or both of its stars. I wrote about why I like Memphis -4 tonight in our staff best bets. You can make a Same Game Parlay with Jackson over 2.5 made 3s and Grizz covering the -4 at +800 at FanDuel. I’m playing that one too.

Ayo Dosunmu, over 10.5 points (-120)

Bulls vs. Spurs Spurs -1
Time | TV 8:30 p.m. ET | League Pass
Best Book DraftKings

It’s becoming clear that the Chicago Bulls really found something in second-round rookie Ayo Dosunmu.

Dosunmu was the local kid after playing at the University of Illinois, and he’s already a fan favorite and a serious spark off the bench for one of the best teams in the East. But now that the Bulls are shorthanded, Ayo has stepped into the starting lineup, and he’s doing just fine there, too.

Dosunmu has started each of the last seven games and should continue to start with the Bulls missing Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball, even with Zach LaVine returning to the lineup. In these past seven games as a starter, Dosunmu is playing huge minutes at 38.4 per game. He’s also racked up 13.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 6.0 assists in those games.

And yes, Dosunmu will lose some touches and usage with LaVine back in the Bulls’ lineup, but there’s still plenty of need with Chicago so shorthanded at guard. And Ayo hasn’t even shot that well in this recent stretch anyways, or his numbers would be even higher.

He’s gone over 10.5 points in four of the seven games, but he hasn’t been within a 3-pointer of this line in either direction in any of the seven. Four times, Dosunmu has hit shots and finished with at least 15 points, and three other times he’s finished with seven or fewer points, hitting 33% of his shots or lower in each game, thanks in part to going 1-for-10 behind the arc.

I’m betting on volume here with Dosunmu getting so many minutes. A line of 10.5 points just isn’t that high for a starter, and LaVine’s return will chip into Ayo’s volume but should also create easier looks for his rookie teammate. I don’t see any alternate overs yet but may look to play Dosunmu over 15 points too if they post. I’ll go over 10.5 points to -140. We project him at 13.6 points.

Bobby Portis to record a double-double (+185)

Knicks vs. Bucks Bucks -9
Time | TV 10 p.m. ET | ESPN
Best Book FanDuel

Our Props Tool loves Bobby Portis today, and who doesn’t love the bug-eyed Buck? As of writing, the top five props on the board for Bucks-Knicks are Portis overs. The tool loves his points and rebounding overs, projecting Portis at 17.3 points and 10.4 rebounds.

Portis has really stepped into the gap for the Bucks this season. Milwaukee has missed all five of its starters for big swaths of the season. Most of the focus has been on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, but it’s important to remember that this team has been missing starting center Brook Lopez ever since the season opener.

Portis missed the start of the season too, but he has mostly started in BroLo’s place once he got up and running. And as a starter, he’s playing 29.8 minutes and averaging 15.7 points and 9.8 rebounds, nearly a double-double.

When Portis is out there, he’s producing. That’s basically always been the case with him. He’s played 29 or more minutes in about half his games, 20 of the 39 so far. Five of those games under 29 minutes were off the bench, mostly as he ramped up from injury, and eight others came in blowout wins of 15 or more points.

If he wasn’t returning from injury or sitting late in a blowout — and the Bucks are -8.5 tonight — Portis has been a double-double machine. In 20 games with at least 29 minutes played, he’s recorded a double-double in 15 of them, hitting this prop 75% of the time when the minutes are there.

Look, if we don’t get enough minutes for whatever reason, we probably won’t hit a points or rebounds over anyway. I’d rather play more aggressively and hope we get at least 10 of each, then reward ourselves with a +185 payout if we’re right. If you can only play one prop, I prefer the points over, but look for double-double if you can find it.

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