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NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks: Sabonis Boards Among Wednesday’s Smart Plays (January 20)

NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks: Sabonis Boards Among Wednesday’s Smart Plays (January 20) article feature image

Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictures: Domantas Sabonis snags a rebound.

Editor’s note: Tonight’s game between the Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers has been postponed due to contract tracing.

Well folks, we went 3-0 again Tuesday. That brings us to a tidy 58-34-2 on the season, up 23 units and a sparkling 24.0% return on investment. Not bad for a free daily column, huh? Just imagine how well you could be doing if you were playing more than three props a day using all of our Insiders and Props tools.

On Wednesdays going forward, I’ll be on our Action Network Podcast previewing the night’s slate with Matt Moore and Raheem Palmer in our weekly buffet, so be sure to check that out for some of our favorite props, sides, and lines. Today it’s big-man day around these parts. We’re riding three centers in what is starting to become the year of the big man.

For those who are new to this article, we’ll be using the ActionLabs 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.

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NBA Player Props & Picks

DeAndre Jordan, Over 1.5 Assists (+160)

Nets at Cavaliers Nets -10.5
Best Line
Time 7 p.m. ET

Heaven help us, we’re betting on DeAndre Jordan as a passer.

Back in the day, I would never have bet on Jordan to record even one assist. He was practically Hassan Whiteside back then and never even hit 100 dimes in a season until 2018.

It’s not like Jordan is a passing savant now, but he’s up to 2.9 assists per 36 minutes over his three most recent seasons. That’s decent! Jordan is actually passing a bit now, and it’s going to be pretty easy to get assists on a team where all you have to do is grab an offensive rebound and pass it back out to one of Kevin Durant, James Harden or Kyrie Irving for an immediate jumper, or hand off to one of those guys on a pick-and-roll dive to the rim.

Jordan has multiple assists in eight of 14 games this season, but the key here is playing time. The Nets have no other option at center, so we know Jordan is going to play, especially against all of Cleveland’s big men. Jordan has played at least 18 minutes eight times this season, and he’s had multiple assists in all but one of those games, hitting this prop 87.5% of the time when he plays even low-end starter minutes.

And you’re giving me +160?! Yes, please. Get us two, DJ.

Xavier Tillman, Over 1.5 Assists (-118)

Grizzlies at Trail Blazers Grizzlies -1
Best Line
Time 10 p.m. ET

Editor’s note: Tonight’s game between the Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers has been postponed due to contract tracing.

Xavier Tillman is our second big-man dimer of the day, and unlike Jordan, Tillman is actually quite the passer.

Tillman is a rookie out of Michigan State, and he was one of my favorite sleeper rookies in the draft, so of course Memphis took him. The Grizz continue to rack up draft steals and are now playing Tillman and Brandon Clarke out there together and ransacking opponents with guys no one else wanted, even though every stat we had showed them to be among the very best players in college.

Tillman was a man among boys at MSU. He sets mean screens, plays outstanding team defense, and is an elite passer in the pick-and-roll. Tillman is immediately meshing with Ja Morant and with Clarke. He’s starting right now with Jonas Valanciunas out and has played 28 minutes a game over the last two outings.

I really like Tillman’s chemistry with Morant and Clarke. He makes quick reads and gets the ball to smart, positive scorers. I like Clarke over 14.5 points here too at -110 at DraftKings as a bonus play. Clarke is an efficient scorer who gets easy buckets, and he’s gone over that number in five of his last six.

The fact is that Portland isn’t very good, and the Blazers are sorely missing C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkić right now. That pushes Enes Kanter into the starting lineup and it makes the Blazers even more vulnerable defensively. That should leave easy buckets for Clarke and Morant, and I think Tillman will pick apart Kanter as a passer.

Tillman has 13 assists over his last six games, and he was playing fewer than 20 minutes off the bench in four of those. He had multiple assists in five of those six, and I like him to do so again here. I’ll play to -135.

Domantas Sabonis, Over 12.5 Rebounds (-125)

Mavericks at Pacers Mavericks -1.5
Best Line
Time 7 p.m. ET

We’ll close out with one more big man, but more of a traditional grab here in Domantas Sabonis.

Sabonis ranks fourth in the NBA in rebounding with 12.8 RPG on the season, and he’s had double-digit boards in every single game this year. He also leads the league in minutes played at 37.5. In short, Sabonis has been an absolute monster. He is filling up the box score at 21.7 points and 5.8 assists a game, posting career-highs on all three numbers.

Sabonis has had some monster rebounding nights and has nearly hit a few of his rebounding overs this season by halftime. He’s gone over 12.5 boards in six of 13 games this season and four of his last five. The Mavs don’t really push on the offensive glass, so Sabonis should clean up on that end.

There’s also a decent chance Myles Turner doesn’t play because of that hand injury. If he’s limited or out, that only pushes Sabonis into more minutes and more time at center, and that can only help. Our guys Justin Phan and Matt Moore are going over on this game, so that means extra possessions and scoring, and that means more rebounding opportunities too.

You know Sabonis is going to hit double-digits again, so he’ll be in range. I’ll play to -145 and hope he gets to 13.

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