Saturday’s Best NBA Player Prop Bets & Picks: Will James Harden Drop at Least 43 Points?
Steven Erler-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Houston Rockets guard James Harden.
- Saturday's seven-game NBA slate features three player prop bets offering value.
- This piece will focus on Heat G Kendrick Nunn, Rockets G James Harden, and Clippers F Paul George
Betting on props can be one of the easiest ways to build your bankroll. Sportsbooks tend to offer lower limits and take less action on props than they do on games, so they don’t have as much incentive to post an accurate line.
That’s where our Player Prop tool comes in handy. We compare our industry-leading NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks to identify the best plays each day. Each bet is then graded on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade.
How about a little reminder on just how impressively these bets did last season? Props with a Bet Quality of 10 posted a win rate of 60.31%, and props with a Bet Quality of nine won at a 58.82% clip.
As is the case with most sports, betting on unders proved to be more profitable than betting on overs last season:
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 10: 341-172 (66.47%)
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 9: 457-273 (62.6%)
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 8: 898-589 (60.39%)
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 7: 1447-1086 (57.13%)
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 6: 1992-1663 (54.95%)
Overall, if you just blind bet every under with a Bet Quality of eight or higher, you would’ve won at a 62.1% clip on more than 2,700 bets.
Tonight’s props come from three of the slate’s eight games:
- New Orleans Pelicans at Miami Heat: 8 p.m. ET
- Houston Rockets at Minnesota Timberwolves: 8 p.m. ET
- Atlanta Hawks at Los Angeles Clippers: 10:30 p.m. ET
Let’s dive in.
Heat PG Kendrick Nunn
THE PICK: Over 4.5 assists (+120)
On the surface, this line feels a bit high for Nunn. He’s averaged just 3.3 assists per game this season, and he’s handed out four assists or fewer in seven of his first 11 games.
That said, this has the potential to be an awesome spot. For starters, he has an excellent matchup vs. the Pelicans, who rank first in pace and 28th in defensive efficiency this season. The Heat are currently implied for a slate-high 117.25 points, which represents an increase of nearly six points when compared to their season average (111.4).
The Heat could also be without both Goran Dragic and Jimmy Butler. Both players are currently questionable with illnesses, and Nunn has increased his assist rate to 19.6% with both players off the court this season.
Nunn has played at least 36.6 minutes and handed out at least five assists in his past two contests, so I like the idea of grabbing this prop at +120. It stops looking like a value around -110.
Rockets G James Harden
THE PICK: Over 42.5 points (-106)
Harden’s scoring prop is comically high, yet somehow it still feels too low. We currently have him projected for nearly 50 points, as the Rockets will be incredibly shorthanded. Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon, Clint Capela, and Danuel House have all been ruled out, so Harden should carry a massive workload in this contest. He’s posted a usage rate of 47.9% with Gordon and Westbrook out of the lineup this season.
This game vs. the Timberwolves should also feature plenty of scoring opportunities. Both of these teams currently rank in the top four in pace, and the total sits at 231.5 points.
It feels crazy to expect an NBA player to score more than 42.5 points, but I still think it’s reasonable with Harden in this spot. I’d play the over up to -120.
Clippers F Paul George
THE PICK: Under 24.5 points (-110)
George exploded for 33 points in his first game of the season, but his overall output was a bit deceiving. He ultimately played just 24.2 minutes, and he shot 58.8% from the field and 60.0% from 3-point range. He also posted a ridiculous 46.0% usage rate, which is not all that surprising considering that Kawhi Leonard was out of the lineup. Kawhi might not play again today — he’s currently questionable with a knee injury — but it still seems likely that George will see some regression.
Barring an increase in playing time, I think this prop offers some value. I like the under up to -125.