NBA Player Prop Bets & Picks for Sunday: 3 Plays Featuring Butler, Jokic and Curry (January 23)
Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Jokic.
After hitting on two of three props last night, we try and make it a clean sweep with three more props today. This is a very stud-driven slate, so all of our picks will be focused on three players who have high ceilings tonight.
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
Jimmy Butler, Over 7.5 Assists (-125)
|Heat vs. Lakers||Heat -2|
|Time | TV||6 p.m. ET | NBA TV|
The Miami Heat have gotten back to their winning ways, and Jimmy Butler’s return has certainly been a big boost. They have won 11 of their last 15 games and are two-point home favorites against the inconsistent Los Angeles Lakers.
The Heat will be playing without key backcourt pieces Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro which will force them to lean heavily on Butler to provide most of their scoring opportunities. Butler has shown his versatility lately with these two out of the lineup. He had a triple-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists three games ago against the Raptors. He then got tossed early in the next game, but in their last game he nearly had another triple-double vs. the Hawks.
Since returning from injury, Butler has relied on his playmaking abilities. He has had eight or more assists in four of his last five games. He has taken the reigns of the ball handling duties, and this line seems a little too low for his production.
The Lakers are likely getting back Anthony Davis in this game, but I can’t imagine he plays his normal minutes rotation after missing 16 straight games and well, being Anthony Davis. This is a matchup that suits Butler very well. The Lakers rank third in pace and fourth in points allowed with 112.7 per game.
Butler will have an uptick in usage and production as the main distributor in this fantastic matchup against the Lakers. I would take this up to 8.5 assists tonight seeing as Butler has crossed that line three out of his last five games.
Nikola Jokic, Over 24.5 Points (-122)
|Nuggets vs Pistons||Nuggets -11|
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET | NBA TV|
Despite all of the studs on this slate, it is impossible to ignore what Nikola Jokic has been doing lately. He is the entire Nuggets team – he leads them in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. I’m sure if you dig into all the advanced stats he leads every one of them as well. There aren’t any players like him.
Jokic is playing at an elite level lately. He has had a triple-double in each of his last four games, averaging 29.3 points, 13.0 rebounds, 12.3 assists, and 2.0 steals per game over that span. He has played 40 or more minutes in each of the last two games. He may not need to go for 40 tonight as the Nuggets are 11-point home favorites against the Pistons, who have the second-worst record in the league.
This matchup for Jokic is very intriguing. The Pistons rank last in Rebounding Percentage, which is perfect for Jokic who is averaging a career-high 13.9 rebounds per game. They also have allowed 48.1 points per game in the paint, which ranks 23rd in the league. Jokic should absolutely feast in this matchup.
The spread is certainly concerning, but Jokic is playing at another level lately, and our model has Jokic projected for 29.1 points. He should have no problem dominating the Pistons and putting up points with ease even if doesn’t play a full game. This prop is best on FanDuel, but be sure to shop around for the best line.
Stephen Curry, Over 24.5 Points (-135)
|Warriors vs. Jazz||Warriors -5|
|Time | TV||8:30 p.m. ET | NBA TV|
The Warriors have really struggled in their past two home games. They lost to an extremely short-handed Pacers team in overtime two games ago and then barely beat the struggling Rockets. It’s time for them to get back on track against a very good Jazz team as five-point home favorites.
Our model absolutely loves all of Stephen Curry’s over props tonight. The one that stood out the most to me was this ridiculous line on Curry’s points. Curry has failed to reach 25 or more points in four of his last five games. This cold streak doesn’t have me worried as Curry is projected for 31.4 points tonight.
Having Draymond Green out of the lineup has really hurt this Warriors offense. Their Offensive Rating has dropped from 112.7 to 107.1 in the 12 games that Green has missed this season, and the Warriors are just 5-7 this season with him unavailable.
The Jazz are also still playing without Donovan Mitchell and potentially Rudy Gobert. Both teams still play at a top 15 Pace this season, and this game total sits at 220.5 points tonight. Curry will have plenty of opportunities to get more than 25 points. He was visibly frustrated with his performance last game, so I think he has a little extra motivation to get back on track tonight.
Despite Curry’s recent struggles, it’s hard not to trust his long-term form. There are several Curry props that you can target tonight, but this Over 24.5 points prop on PointsBet stood out the most. Take this confidently up to 25.5 points tonight.