NBA Player Prop Bets: 3 Picks for James Harden, Seth Curry & Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (February 2)
Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets.
- With nine games on Wednesday night's schedule, there's plenty of value to be had for bettors in the NBA.
- James Harden and Seth Curry are just two of the many the names showing value on tonight's slate.
- Using the Action Labs Player Props tool, Brandon Anderson details his favorite picks in the player props market.
The Philadelphia 76ers are balling. Since Christmas, the Sixers have won 15 of 18 games, and they’re making a push toward the top of the Easter Conference as Joel Embiid climbs to the top of the MVP leader board.
Tonight they look to keep it going against the sliding Washington Wizards — and we’re looking to play some props from that game. We’ve got three from that one, plus a James Harden prop in one of the late games. We’ll be using the Action Labs Player Prop tool to compare our NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks. Let’s get into tonight’s bets.
NBA Player Props & Picks
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Over 0.5 steals (-115)
|Wizards vs. 76ers||76ers -10.5|
|Time | TV||7 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Not every prop needs to be sexy or fun. Sometimes you just need to get wins, and sometimes wins are just about the math.
Our Props Tool loves Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s defensive props today, and it makes sense. KCP is playing plenty of minutes for Washington (he should get a few more with Bradley Beal out), and Caldwell-Pope has always been a feisty individual defender. Besides, the numbers speak for themselves.
KCP has recorded a steal in 34 of his 47 Wizards games, hitting this prop in 72% of his Washington appearances. That would imply true odds closer to -260. Instead, we’re getting odds at -115, an implied probability around 60%.
So what gives — is this just a fluke?
Last season, Caldwell-Pope had a steal in 42 of his 67 Lakers games, not quite the same rate as this season but still a 63% hit rate. Besides, he’s playing more consistently this season with a bigger role on the Wizards, routinely getting around 28 to 30 minutes a night lately. The Sixers do allow the fewest steals in the league, so that’s another reason for the lower line, but it’s still not enough.
If you want a safer win, you can play KCP over 0.5 steals + blocks at -200 instead. That prop has hit 83% of Caldwell-Pope’s games this year, which should be closer to -500 odds, and including blocks has meant five more hits this year. But we’re interested in ROI, not win percentage, and the math tells us just steals are a better play. I’ll play the steals over to -160.
Seth Curry, Over 1.5 3-Pointers (-170)
Let’s stick with Sixers-Wizards, and again, we’re less interested today in wild plays and more in wins that add to our bankroll.
If your name is Curry, you’re probably a good shooter. Stephen Curry is the league’s all-time 3-point marksman by volume, and he’s at 42.9% for his career. His father, Dell Curry, was elite behind the arc too at 40.2% for his career. But Seth is actually the best shooter of the trio by just the shooting percentages at 43.8%. That’s actually the fourth-highest mark in NBA history right now.
Seth started out the season on fire for the Sixers, hitting 47% of his 3s over Philadelphia’s first 15 games. That helped him average 2.4 made 3s per game. Since then he’s fallen off some, down to a still good 38%, and the volume has dropped to 2.2.
But what you don’t see in those numbers is that Curry’s shooting volume has actually increased during that time. He’s up to 5.8 attempts per game from 5.1, a 14% increase. Maybe those extra attempts are a little harder and that’s why the shooting percentage has dropped? For our purposes, it doesn’t really matter. We need volume, not efficiency, and the important number here is two since we only need two makes on those 5.8 attempts per game to hit this over.
Curry has multiple 3s in 32 of his 42 games this season. That’s a 76% hit rate on this prop, which should mean odds of around -325. We’re getting -170 instead, so it’s obviously worth drinking the juice.
While we’re piling up props from this Wizards-Sixers game, how about one more? We’ve played Matisse Thybulle’s defensive prop lately, and today looks like another good one, especially with Bradley Beal out. He’s gone over 2.5 steals + blocks in 20 of 36 games, a 56% hit rate, and we can play that at plus money at +110 on DraftKings.
Build a Same Game Parlay if you like. If you’re just playing Curry, I’ll skip the alternate overs today and play him to make multiple 3s up to -200.
James Harden, Under 45.5 PTS + REB + AST (-120)
|Nets vs. Kings||Nets -4|
|Time | TV||10 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
It’s hard to believe it, but Kyrie Irving has already played nine games with the Nets this season. Irving returned to action almost a month ago on Jan. 5 and continues to play in Nets road games.
The Nets continue their West Coast road trip tonight, and that means another game with Irving in the lineup. We now have five games of data this season with both Irving and James Harden playing but no Kevin Durant. And the data so far tells us Harden’s volume and counting numbers drop in that spot.
In one of those five games, Harden had a vintage monster game, a 37-point triple-double with 13 assists to boot. But in the other four games, the volume has dropped off dramatically. In those four, he’s averaging just 18.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 10.0 assists per game. Even including the triple-double against the Spurs, Harden is still at only 22.4 PPG, lower than his season average, and the shots are down too. Kyrie is a shooter, and Harden is facilitating a little more and scoring a little less with Irving back in the lineup.
This is a spot to fade overall Harden volume, and playing the points + rebounds + assists under is a way to do that with a little extra room on our line. Harden has gone under 45.5 PRA in all of his Kyrie-but-no-KD games other than that triple-double. In fact, he’s had 39 or fewer PRA in all four of those unders, so this line gives us some real room for error.
If Harden goes off and puts up another huge performance — always a possibility against a bad defense like the Kings — he could go way over this line and make us feel silly. But recent trends point under, so I’ll play to -140.