NBA Player Props To Bet This Wednesday: Fade John Wall In Revenge Game vs. James Harden
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images. Pictured: John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets.
- Jordan Clarkson's points. John Wall's points. Ricky Rubio's assists.
- Find out why this trio of unders are among the best NBA player props to bet Wednesday night.
We are dragging toward the All-Star Break, and it’s time to play unders. This is not great basketball right now. Everyone is exhausted and ready for a break, and we are getting extra blowouts, fading star minutes, and weaker efforts overall.
I’ve been hunting unders this week, and we had a successful Fade the Stars Night yesterday here in this column. Today we’re taking it one step further and making it “Fade the Guards Night”, grabbing the under for three guards with lines set too high.
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.
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
Jordan Clarkson, Under 19.5 points (-118)
|Jazz vs. 76ers||Jazz -3|
|Time | TV||7 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Jordan Clarkson is a bucket.
The odds on favorite to win Sixth Man of the Year has some monster games this season. Clarkson is averaging 18.2 points per game, and he leads the league in free throw percentage at 96.6%. He’s literally missed two all year, and it feels like it.
Clarkson had his best game of the season a couple weeks ago against the 76ers, dropping 40 on Philly with eight 3-pointers. Mike Conley was sidelined for that game, but he’s back now.
Clarkson didn’t start in Conley’s place, but he did soak up quite a bit more minutes and usage without him. Since Conley’s return, Clarkson is down to 25.6 minutes and 18 points per game. Still excellent! Just not quite the same production.
Conley hasn’t scored more than 20 points in any game since Conley’s return. In fact, he’s only scored more than 20 points three times in his past 17 games. We still think of him as a guy who will go for 40 one night and six the next, but the truth is that Clarkson has become a pretty steady, reliable contributor — he’s just reliably contributing a point or two below this line.
We project Clarkson at 25 minutes and 16.5 points tonight, and I think this could be a tough matchup against Philly, even as well as he played last time. I like the under here to -140. He’s gone under this line in 71% of his games this season.
John Wall, Under 25.5 points (-117)
|Nets vs. Rockets||Nets -9.5|
|Time | TV||7:30 p.m. ET | ESPN|
I’m sorry, which John Wall is listed at 25.5 points again?
It’s really great to see Wall playing ball again. We’ve seen rare flashes and glimpses of the star we once knew. But it’s also become pretty clear that all-caps JOHN WALL is gone and not returning with the injury history.
This version is fine. Wall has put up decent numbers, helped by a super fast Rockets pace, even though Houston has now lost 12 in a row and is far past the post-Jame Harden honeymoon high.
Of course, that’s the big storyline tonight, as Harden makes his return to Houston. And if this was against someone like Russell Westbrook or Chris Paul in a pissed-off revenge spot, I would stay away.
But I don’t think Wall even played long enough with Harden to hate him. I’m not that worried about the personal motivation here, much as I’m sure Houston the team would love to shut the Beard down.
Wall’s scoring is ticking up lately as he gets his legs, but even then, he’s still at 22.7 points per game over the last 10 games, and that’s still way short of this line. Even with his scoring on the upswing, he still went under this line in six of the past 10, and he’s gone under it in 17 of his 24 games this season. That’s a 71% hit rate on the under.
Wall’s median scoring outcome this season is 20.5 points. That’s a far cry from another line that just seems a little too high.
Maybe I’m wrong, and perhaps this is in fact a revenge spot for Wall. Maybe he’ll come out firing. I’d like this bet a little more if I knew Eric Gordon was playing for sure.
If he sits, that’s a little extra scoring available for Wall. But this is such a high line that I have to play it either way. I’ll fade Wall and grab the under to -145.
Ricky Rubio, Under 7.5 assists (+116)
|Hornets vs. Timberwolves||Hornets -2.5|
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
The Timberwolves are really bad. Like … really, really bad. Karl-Anthony Towns has lost 30 of his past 34 games. That’s just not great.
Minnesota fired its coach a week ago and turned over the reins to Chris Finch. The results haven’t changed just yet four losses later, but the process is starting to look a lot different. Finch is clearly putting the ball in the hands of Minnesota’s two young stars more often and asking them to show more, regardless of the win-loss result.
Anthony Edwards had six assists a few nights ago. Karl-Anthony Towns has had at least five assists in three of the four Finch games, and he had 11 dimes in Finch’s debut. That makes sense with Finch’s history. He has had a ton of success with ball-handling big men, and Towns is getting the ball a lot.
The Wolves are missing both D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley, so that leaves them pretty shorthanded, and it would be natural to expect more production from a veteran guard like Ricky Rubio. That hasn’t been the case though. Rubio hasn’t seen any real uptick in minutes or role even with Minnesota missing bodies.
In four games with Finch, Rubio is playing 26.6 minutes per game, right at his season average, and he’s averaging just 5.8 assists. That puts him under this line in three of the four games, and he’s under in 23 of 33 on the season, hitting the under 70% of the time.
I gotta be honest. I just think this line is wrong, and it’s even more baffling that it’s moving in the other direction with plus juice and an 8.5-dime line at some books.
Normally I make the safer play with multiple options, but I’ll make the aggressive play here and grab the +114 down to even odds, or pivot to under 8.5 from there. I don’t think the books have adjusted for Finch yet.
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