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NBA Player Prop Bets & Picks: Gilgeous-Alexander, Jokic Highlight Marquee Plays (Sunday, Jan. 17)

NBA Player Prop Bets & Picks: Gilgeous-Alexander, Jokic Highlight Marquee Plays (Sunday, Jan. 17) article feature image

Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Oklahoma City Thunder standout Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, center, goes up for a shot.

  • Things have been pretty crazy in the NBA this week, with postponements and a huge trade going down.
  • We close the week's schedule with Sunday's seven-game card that features some value prop plays.
  • Daniel Titus gives us his three best angles on the evening slate below.

Blockbuster trades and the postponement of games made the fourth week of the NBA season absolutely crazy. Today’s slate was originally set for eight games, but with the Wizards and Cavs being called off, we’re left with seven games to enjoy.

If you’re taking a break from football, there are a couple of primetime matchups that will be worth watching. The Indiana Pacers travel to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers, while the Denver Nuggets host the Utah Jazz in a rematch of the 2020 playoffs.

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.

For today’s props, I’ll be mixing in a guard playing against a team struggling in back-to-back sets, along with a couple of centers that should take advantage of underachieving frontcourts. Below, I have laid out the case for each bet, and the best books to find odds on those player props.

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NBA Player Props & Picks

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Over 20.5 points (-130)

76ers at Thunder 76ers -3
Bet Now
Time 7 p.m. ET

It’s no surprise Gilgeous-Alexander, a three-year pro, is averaging a career-high 21.6 points per game with the Oklahoma City Thunder this season.

With Chris Paul out of the way, he’s taken over the offense as the cornerstone piece of the young, emerging franchise. He’s turned it up as of late, coming off a season-high 33 points Friday against the Chicago Bulls. 

Gilgeous-Alexadner has a favorable matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers on the second game of a back-to-back set. With the Sixers falling to the Memphis Grizzlies in a disappointing two-point road loss on Saturday, I expect the already shorthanded opponent to have trouble sticking with him.

Philadelphia lost by 24 points in their first back-to-back set in late December, then by 13 points in their second earlier this month. All-Star Joel Embiid will not be in attendance, leaving a sizeable hole for the Sixers’ defense.

Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 21.7 points in games after one day of rest. He’s also eclipsed 21 points or more in four of his last six contests.

According to Hashtag basketball, the Sixers are allowing 22.0 points per game to opposing point guards this season. Our projections have Gilgeous-Alexander scoring 23.5 points, with a bet quality rating of 8 out of 10.

Fire him up in what should be a promising opportunity to get baskets against a team that’s been horrible in these scenarios this season.

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

Nikola Jokic, Over 9.5 rebounds (-145)

Jazz at Nuggets Jazz -1.5
Bet Now
Time 8 p.m. ET

Last week, Jokic failed me when I recommended in this same prop against the New York Knicks at 10.5 rebounds. If it weren’t for the Knicks getting blown out, Jokic would have easily finished with more than 10 rebounds due to the fact he had 10 with wth more than six minutes left in the game.

I’m not bitter. Rather, it was  just bad luck.

Jokic faces the Jazz in a rematch of a 2020 first-round playoff series, and I’m putting faith in him in what should be a physical game. I expect the Nuggets and Jazz to be much more competitive, with Jokic having his hands full in the post dealing with Rudy Gobert.

According to Hashtag Basketball, as intimidating as Utah might seem down low, it’s surrendering 14.5 rebounds per game to opposing centers. This is encouraging news for one of the early frontrunners for MVP this season.

Over his past five games, Jokic amassed at least 10 rebounds in eight of 12 games through Sunday. He’s coming off a 14-rebound effort against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, averaging 10.5 rebounds per game after receiving two days of rest this season. 

The player prop tool projects him have more than 11 rebounds against the Jazz, and with a bet quality of 9 out-of 10, Jokic has a relatively safe floor to clear at double digits in this playoff rematch from last season.

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

Richaun Holmes, Over 13.5 points (-120)

Pelicans at Kings Pelicans -2.5
Bet Now
Time 9 p.m. ET

Who? Just kidding.

Seriously, though, most casual NBA fans aren’t rushing to watch the Kings. The NBA didn’t even bother to give them any nationally televised games this season,  along with six other teams.

However, I love what I’ve seen from the Kings’ big man so far.

He’s playing well for Sacramento as of late, scoring at least 16 points in his last three contests. Holmes is quietly leading the NBA in field-goal percentage for players who average more than 20 minutes per game at a crazy 70% clip.

Hassan Whiteside is riding the pine, and it’s Holmes that’s getting most of the playing time for the Kings this season. He’s averaging 30.6 minutes per game over his last 10 games.

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In addition to securing a healthy dose of minutes, he’s averaging a career-high 13.8 points per game through 12 games. 

According to Hashtag basketball, the Pelicans are allowing opposing centers to shoot 58.9% from the field. They’re also allowing opposing centers to score 22 points per game as well.

Surprisingly, the Kings and Pelicans game carries the highest implied total for Sunday’s slate at 230 points, so this should offer plenty of shot attempts for the six-year pro.

His 13.5-point line is a bit understated, as our projections have him scoring more than 15 points against the Pelicans. With a bet quality of an 8 out of 10, Holmes is going to exceed market expectations.

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

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