Monday’s NBA Player Prop Bets: 3 Picks, Including Caris LeVert & Reggie Bullock (March 15)
Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Caris LeVert
- Caris LeVert returned from a health scare to debut with the Pacers over the weekend.
- The former Michigan star is among Brandon Anderson's favorite player prop bets for Monday's NBA action.
- Continue reading to find out how Anderson is playing LeVert and two others.
It's the Battle of New York tonight, and the stars are out. Even with Kevin Durant sidelined another couple weeks, tonight's Hudson River battle features James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and new All-Star Julius Randle, and it should be a fun one on ESPN.
Of course, playing star props may be more fun, but there's often more value in the role players. And tonight we're grabbing one role player from each side: Bruce Brown for the Nets and Reggie Bullock for the Knicks.
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
Reggie Bullock over 13.5 points + rebounds + assists (+104)
|Knicks at Nets||+8.5|
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET | ESPN|
The Knicks continue to be shorthanded at guard. Derrick Rose will miss his fifth straight game in health and safety protocols, and it looks like Elfrid Payton will miss another game with a strained hamstring. Immanuel Quickley is nursing a sore groin that could limit his minutes, and Austin Rivers is reportedly available but hasn't played in over a month so he could be limited too.
All of that should leave plenty of minutes and shots for Reggie Bullock on the wing. Bullock has started all 34 games this year when he's played, and he's had some big minutes spikes at times. He played 37 minutes on Saturday night and has 10 games with at least 30 minutes played, and that's where we project him tonight, at 32 minutes.
When we project a bigger minutes total than usual for a player, a combo prop is often the way to go since we hopefully get to go over on multiple props. Bullock has gone over 13.5 points + rebounds + assists in eight of his 10 games when he's played at least 30 minutes, and an over here gives us plenty of outs.
Bullock is most known for his shooting, so a few open threes against a porous Nets defense get us to the number quickly. He also has eight games with at least five rebounds and 14 with at least a couple assists, so those are other avenues that get us there, especially the Knicks lacking again at point guard.
We're projecting Bullock at 10.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists, putting him a full 3-pointer over this line and giving us some margin even if he doesn't quite get those peak minutes. I'll play the over at any plus money and as low as -115.
Bruce Brown, under 16.5 points + rebounds + assists (-120)
|Knicks at Nets||-8.5|
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET | ESPN|
Let's stay in the same game and grab a role player from the other side, but this time we're going under.
Well, we certainly had some fun with Bruce Brown, didn't we? In the two weeks leading into the All-Star Break, Brown turned into a box score filler overnight. In six games heading into the break, Brown averaged 18.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists on 30.0 minutes a game. That's an average of 27 points + rebounds + assists per game, and Brown would have hit this over line in all six of those games.
Brown was a wonder for the Nets. At only 6-foot-4, he was playing something of a hybrid small-ball center rover, rolling to the rim and turning into James Harden's newest misfit toy. It was weird, but it was working!
Well, that appears to be in the past. Brown has started both games since the break but played just 19 and 17 minutes. He's recorded seven points, four rebounds, and three assists in those games — and those are totals, not averages! The scoring total is a bit misleading; Brown has hit only 3-of-16 shots after shooting 68% in that previous six-game stretch. Even still, the production and minutes have all but disappeared.
So what happened? Well, Jeff Green happened. Green missed most of that big six-game stretch but he's back now and played nearly 31 minutes on Saturday night. Green was Harden's last misfit toy a year ago in Houston, playing point center down the stretch for the Rockets and reprising that role again at times for Brooklyn.
Green's return has reduced Brown's role and minutes. We project Brown at 17.4 minutes with just 6.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.2 assists. We'll play the combo prop here again, with a chance to fade minutes on all three lines, and our Props Tool rates this the top play of the day with a whopping 27% edge in our favor. I'll play to -150.
Caris LeVert, under 4.5 assists (+115)
|Pacers at Nuggets||+4.5|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
Boy, is it great to see Caris LeVert back on a basketball court. LeVert was traded from Brooklyn to Indiana way back in January in the James Harden deal, and that trade may have saved LeVert's life.
Doctors found a small mass on LeVert's kidney during his trade physical, and LeVert was sidelined indefinitely as he was treated. That's why it was so wonderful to see LeVert back on the court again Saturday night, and for the first time in a Pacers uniform. LeVert started for Indiana and played 27 minutes, and he recorded 13 points, seven rebounds, and two assists in a road win over the Suns. It was awesome.
Unfortunately, our Props Tool has no emotion, and it does not root for feel-good stories. And it is fading everything about LeVert heading into tonight's game. Our projections put LeVert at 13.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in 27.5 minutes tonight, but the reality is that we are doing a lot of guesswork here because we're still learning LeVert's role in Indiana — and so are the Pacers.
I'm not willing to fade LeVert entirely, even though our top rated prop for him is the points + rebounds + assists under. I still want to wait and see how LeVert's scoring shapes up, and the rebounds are tough to predict and were up on Saturday night.
But the assists make sense as a fade. Indiana doesn't need LeVert to be as much of a playmaker as he was for the Nets. Domantas Sabonis is the man everything flows through in Indiana, and Malcolm Brogdon is a pretty good creator himself. LeVert should play off the ball more in Indiana, at least while he's playing with the starters.
LeVert has averaged 4.0 assists per game as a starter in his career, not much different than 3.5 APG coming off the bench. His assists have been up when his teams are shorthanded, leaving him to run point off the bench or sometimes as a starter. But that shouldn't be the case in Indiana's more egalitarian system.
This line feels a touch high to me, and I like that we're getting plus juice on the under. Five assists is a big ask for a guy who should be third on the team in dimes going forward. I'll take the under here at any plus number and would play down to -120.