Thursday NBA Player Props: Duncan Robinson, Jae Crowder Highlight Card
Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured:Jae Crowder #99 and Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns.
- NBA player props are moving fast and furious as the slate approaches, and we're targeting three props at plus-money.
- Jimmy Butler, Duncan Robinson and Jae Crowd all made Brandon Anderson's Thursday card.
- Get all his favorite NBA props for tonight below.
Uh ohh … guess what day it is?
Regular readers know that cue — it’s Plus Juice Day!!
It’s just a light plus juice day today, with all three props currently at +105, so get them quick before they drop into the minus numbers. But either way, all three props below favor us as bettors but are giving us better than 50/50 odds. They’d all be solid plays to -115 or -120, so we might as well get some plus juice action and see if we can win a little extra cash.
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
Jimmy Butler, Over 5.5 Assists (+105)
|Celtics vs. Heat||Heat -6.5|
|Time | TV||7:30 p.m. ET | NBA TV|
Don’t look now, but Jimmy Butler might be the early season MVP. He’s been the best player on the best team in the league, a star offensively and an absolute stud in defense.
Butler leads the league in many advanced metrics like Win Shares and Defensive Box Plus-Minus, at Basketball Reference. With Butler on the court this season, the Heat have a 130 Offensive Rating and a 93 Defensive Rating. That’s just silly.
It would have been easy to think Butler’s numbers might fall off a bit this year with the addition of Kyle Lowry, but he’s basically maintained last year’s production, which already should’ve made him a top-10 MVP contender. His scoring is actually up a bit with him getting more 2s and free throws than ever.
Tonight, we’re playing the assists. That’s an area Jimmy Buckets has really blossomed with the Heat, exploding to 6.5 APG in Miami after averaging just 3.5 APG the rest of his career. His playmaking has slowly increased throughout his career. He averaged 6.7 APG his first season in Miami, 6.9 last year, and is at 6.9 again this season.
It would have been reasonable to expect Lowry to eat into Butler’s playmaking and assist numbers, but that simply hasn’t happened. Bam Adebayo’s assist numbers have plummeted, so that’s where Lowry’s numbers are coming from. Butler’s are holding steady.
Butler has at least five assists in all but one game, and he’s gone over 5.5 dimes in five of seven games. He also went over 5.5 assists in 62% of his games over the past two seasons. And the Celtics, much as they are struggling, typically show up and give a fight so that should lower the chances of a big blowout — and Miami has been blowing everyone out anyway, even while Butler hits these numbers.
It’s no slam dunk, but nothing is on Plus Juice Day. I think Butler ends up in that 5-to-7 assist range like usual. We’re projecting him at 6.9, and our Props Tool rates this a 10 out of 10. I’d play to -115.
Duncan Robinson, Over 15.5 PTS + REB + AST (+105)
Duncan Robinson absolutely loves playing the Boston Celtics. The numbers tell the story. He averages 17.2 PPG against the Celtics, his third highest against any team, and gets up almost 10 3-point attempts per game. The way Boston defends, Robinson just isn’t a priority defensively and he’s going to play a bunch and get his shots up.
So far this season, Robinson is struggling. He’s scoring just 9.9 PPG and shooting only 37.5% from the field and just 34.5% from behind the arc. I’m not worried. Robinson isn’t a high volume shooter so those numbers can swing in a hurry, and there’s little question he’s an elite shooter who can get hot at any time. And he sure loves to get hot against Boston.
Besides, this line is just too low. The last two seasons, Robinson averaged 13.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. That’s 18.2 points + rebounds + assists (PRA), far above this line. Robinson cleared 15.5 PRA in 45 of 72 games last year, hitting this over 62.5% of the time. Heck, even has he’s struggled this year, he’s still gone over 15.5 PRA in five of seven games.
Last season, Robinson scored at least 13 points in 39 of 72 games and went over this PRA line every single time he did that. He doesn’t get a ton of rebounds or assists, but he gets enough — and with the 3-point volume so high, that’s enough.
If you really want to get crazy on Plus Juice Day, there’s another Robinson prop I’m eyeing. You can play him to go over 1.5 assists at +170 at both DraftKings and BetMGM. He’s went over that line in 37 of 72 games last year, and he’s over in three of seven this season. It’s basically a coin flip, totally unpredictable, but wouldn’t you flip a coin for +170 odds?
For the column, we’ll stick with the more stable PRA and hope Robinson stays hot against Boston. He’s gone over 15.5 PRA in all six career games against the Celtics. Let’s hope he makes it 7-for-7.
Jae Crowder, Under 18.5 PTS + REB + AST (+105)
|Rockets vs. Suns||Suns -10.5|
|Time | TV||10 p.m. ET | NBA TV|
There aren’t many players streakier than Jae Crowder. We played a ton of Crowder props in last year’s extended playoff run. Heck, I even made the case for Jae Crowder, Finals MVP, just in case he got hot and looked good defensively. That was a ton of fun, right up until Crowder went 0-for-8 in Game 1 and left my ticket bleeding out on the side of the road.
Well, we’re back! And this time we’re fading Crowder, who has not looked himself to start the season. His defense has not measured up, and he’s really not contributing much offensively. His true shooting is under 50% for the first time since his rookie season, and his 3-pointer is an ice cold 28%, a career low. He’s also getting to the line less than ever, just seven times in six games.
For many players, this would be a great buy low spot. But Crowder is so streaky that I have to ride the cold streak instead.
The dude is scoring just 8.5 PPG right now, and if he does that, it’s going to be pretty hard for him to hit this PRA over. He did go over this PRA line his last time out, but that was his only over the season.
He averaged just 14.4 PRA over the first five games, going way under. Even last year when Crowder was playing much better, he went under this combo line in 37 of 60 games, hitting this under 62% of the time.
Deandre Ayton is questionable. If he’s out, I do like this a little less since it means a few more touches available and, more importantly, probably spikes Crowder’s rebounds. But even then, we may have a shot if Crowder just doesn’t score. He’s barely even attempting 2s this year, so we just need to hope he stays cold behind the arc.
If you want a safer win, you can play Crowder under 19.5 PRA at -125 at BetMGM. But what fun is that! This is Plus Juice Day — and besides, that one extra PRA point really isn’t worth the extra 30 cents on the dollar. Crowder did not land on exactly 19 PRA all last season. He’s either going to get hot and go way over, or we’ll coast to victory. Go ahead and take the plus juice.