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Thursday NBA Player Prop Bets & Picks: Plenty Of Key Angles in Blazers vs. Pacers Showdown (Jan. 14)

Thursday NBA Player Prop Bets & Picks: Plenty Of Key Angles in Blazers vs. Pacers Showdown (Jan. 14) article feature image

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon, center, goes up for a shot as teammate Domantas Sabonis looks on.

  • The Pacers changed up their roster, trading Victor Oladipo for Caris LeVert.
  • However, they won't have either for tonight's game against the Blazers.
  • See how Brandon Anderson is playing Indiana's props for a shorthanded team in this matchup.

It’s been a weird week in the NBA. It feels like we get another game or two postponed every day, with the ongoing COVID-19 struggles hitting the league.

However, the games go on.

Some of them look mostly normal, while others feature rosters of guys we’ve barely heard of before. And if that wasn’t enough, a four-team James Harden blockbuster trade was announced Wednesday afternoon as well.

That said, we are left with an odd slate Thursday, with just five games on the small card.

Tonight, we’ll play one specific angle in three ways. The Indiana Pacers were one of those teams in the Harden deal, trading away Victor Oladipo for Caris LeVert and a draft pick. LeVert will not yet play tonight, and the Pacers are still missing T.J. Warren.

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That all leaves the Pacers somewhat shorthanded. Indiana came into this season with a strong starting five and a questionable bench. With two of those five missing in tonight’s game against Portland, we’ll look for the Pacers to lean heavily on the three remaining starters to play big minutes and increased production.

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.

NBA Player Props & Picks

Domantas Sabonis, Over 11.5 Rebounds (-121)

Pacers at Blazers Blazers -3
Bet Now
Time 10 p.m. ET

Sabonis has been a monster this year, filling up the box score on a nightly basis. Through 11 games, Sabonis is averaging 21.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists. Each of those is a career high thus far, with Sabonis playing nearly 38 minutes per game.

That high MPG total means Sabonis can’t really give more than he’s already been giving, but the good news for us is that he doesn’t really have to for this team. We’re focusing on his rebounding, which has been his most consistent statistic this season.

Sabonis has had a double-double in all games so far, going a perfect 11 for 11 this season. That means double-digit points and rebounds every time out, which is remarkable consistency from the pivot. Furthermore, he’s had at least 11 rebounds in all but two games.

The good news stops there, since Sabonis has only gone over 11.5 boards in five of 11 games (45%), because he’s come up half a board short four times.

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Here are Sabonis’ rebounding totals by game, from lowest to highest: 10, 10, 11, 11, 11, 11, 12, 13, 13, 14, 22. Consistent, huh? Other than the one outlier, we are flirting with this number every time out.

However, our projections have Sabonis at 15.2 rebounds. That would be his second highest of the season.  So why is that? Well, consider the opponent.

Portland plays at one of the league’s faster paces, and the Blazers also eschew offensive rebounds completely, opting to get back on defense.

We’ll trust the projections and hope Sabonis gets that extra rebound or two against Portland. I’ll play the prop to -135.

[Bet this prop at DraftKings and get an INSTANT $500 deposit match.]

Malcolm Brogdon, Over 4.5 Rebounds (-110)

Team at Team Blazers -3
Bet Now
Time 10 p.m. ET

But wait! There’s more! We’re not done with Indiana rebounding just yet.

Brogdon is a strong physical guard and has always been a solid rebounder. He’s at 4.1 boards a game thus far and 4.5 APG over his last three seasons.

What you don’t see in those numbers is that Brogdon’s rebounding is down this season despite his minutes being up, from the 28-to-30 range to more than 37 MPG so far this year.

So, like Sabonis, we’re probably not getting many extra minutes in this game. Is there any reason to expect his rebounding total to increase?

Well, yes. Again, Portland plays fast and doesn’t rebound well. The Blazers’ guards love to take long shots in isolation, which can leave them out of position and give players like Brogdon a chance to grab and go.

There’s also the fact that Brogdon’s rebounding percentage has been steady at 5.7% over the past two seasons before dropping to 4.0% this year, suggesting he should regress positively soon.

Oladipo’s absence is another reason to expect Brogdon’s rebounds to tick up, since he was tough on the board and Brogdon may need to do more now in his absence.

We’re projecting Brogdon at 5.8 rebounds tonight in a good spot. He should play plenty of minutes and have the opportunity to get past the number. Trust the projections for this rated-10 prop and play it to -125.

[Bet this prop at DraftKings and get an INSTANT $500 deposit match.]

Myles Turner, Over 1.5 Three-Pointers (+112)

Pacers at Blazers Blazers -3
Bet Now
Time 10 p.m. ET

Turner is the third Indiana starter remaining, but he’s not a guy that fills up the box score. His points and rebounding totals come and go, and most books won’t let us bet on his shot blocking.

Instead, we’ll roll the dice on a 3-pointers prop for the first time this season.

I’ve long thought Turner was an underrated player as a valuable archetype — an elite rim protector who can space the floor on offense by shooting the three. This year, Nate Bjorkgren has been using Turner in that role, and it’s starting to pay off.

Turner is jacking 4.4 threes per game and making 1.4 of them, both career bests. And after a few cold games to start the season, Turner has made 1.8 threes a game over his last eight outings, hitting a respectable 39% of his treys.

He’s taken at least four 3-point attempts in all but three games this season, which means we just need to get two makes out of four or more shots.

Now, consider the matchup. Jusuf Nurkic is slow and plays drop defense. He’s much more comfortable defending near the rim, so Turner is a difficult matchup out on the perimeter.

Portland might just need to dare Turner to beat them from behind the arc, which could mean a few extra attempts in more open spaces.

Low props are always tricky with variance, so we’ll try a half unit on this one. The juice is in our favor, and I’ll give Turner a shot as long as it stays that way.

[Bet this prop at FanDuel and get an INSTANT $500 deposit match.]

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