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Thursday’s NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks: Which Stars to Target In Lakers vs. Clippers (May 6)

Thursday’s NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks: Which Stars to Target In Lakers vs. Clippers (May 6) article feature image

Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Paul George.

  • The Lakers and Clipper will play one more time in the regular season for the Battle of Los Angeles.
  • With LeBron James out and Anthony Davis working his way back, Brandon Anderson found three prop bets on Kyle Kuzma, Alex Caruso, and Paul George.
  • Check out each pick complete with a full betting breakdown below.

We've got one last chance to watch a Battle of LA in the regular season tonight when the Clippers and Lakers conclude the season series, so let's make the most of it.

There's no LeBron James, but with the West teams all jostling for position, this game is very meaningful for both teams. The Lakers are on the first of a back-to-back with an even more important game tomorrow against the Blazers, while the Clippers have won 18-of-24.

What happens if the Clips are the much better team here and sweep the season series, and what's it mean for player props?

Tonight, we'll play three picks from the Battle of LA, and you might consider building a single game parlay, too, if you're feeling lucky.

I previewed this game here at Action Network and like the Clippers to take care of business with the Lakers perhaps saving their best — and maybe Anthony Davis? — for the bigger Blazers game.

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

Kyle Kuzma, Over 18.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists (-113)

Lakers vs. ClippersClippers -8
Time | TV10 p.m. ET | TNT
Best BookBetMGM

I'm not totally convinced the Lakers go all out in this one. They won't want to show their hand against a team they expect to face in the playoffs, and they have a more important game tomorrow against the Blazers and might not be healthy enough to go hard in both.

That could mean limited minutes for stars like Anthony Davis, and it might mean secondary players like Kyle Kuzma get their chance to shine and see if they can help spring the upset.

Kuzma has developed into a fine role player for the Lakers, a sharp change from his early role on the team as a younger player. He's not shooting as often these days, and he's learned how to cut well off the ball and play sticky defense.

Of course, that's his role on the best version of the Lakers, the one with LeBron and Davis at full strength. With no James tonight and with Davis still working his way back, this is a spot for more of that old Kuzma we used to know.

Kuzma's minutes and usage are up without LeBron, and his numbers have come back with them. When Kuzma plays at least 30 minutes this season, he's recorded more than 18.5 points + rebounds + assists (PRA) in 21-of-30 games, going over this line 70% of the time.

That's pretty good, and it gets even better if the minutes go up further. With 34-plus minutes this season, Kuzma has gone over 18.5 PRA in 15-of-17 games, an awesome 88% hit rate.

We project Kuzma at 33.6 minutes, and this looks like a spot where his minutes should be high in any scenario, whether it's close or not so much and whether Davis plays a big role or not.

With minutes that high, we can count on Kuzma to put up numbers. I'll play the combo over to -130.

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Alex Caruso, Over 1.5 Steals + Blocks (+120)

Lakers vs. ClippersClippers -8
Time | TV10 p.m. ET | TNT
Best BookBetMGM

Remember, LeBron isn't the only one missing from the Lakers' lineup.

Dennis Schroder is out while he's in health protocols and may not play again until the playoffs, and that's pushed Alex Caruso into the starting lineup the last two games for the first time all season.

Caruso is a fundamentals guy, and he's an absolute pest on defense. He's the point-of-attack defender for this elite Lakers defense, and he does well to disrupt the defense and force a ton of deflections and loose balls. He also blocks shots more than you'd think for a guy his size, with a block in 14 games already this season.

Caruso has gone over 1.5 steals plus blocks (stocks) in 25-of-53 games this season, hitting our over 47% of the time. That's not quite in our favor, but at +120 odds, that bet is in our favor.

But it gets better — much better.

The key here is the minutes. Caruso averages a steal or block every 15.0 minutes on the court, and his minutes are up. When Caruso plays at least 25 minutes this season, he's recorded multiple stocks in 10-of-13 games, hitting our over 77% of the time when he gets enough minutes to get there.

Put Caruso out there long enough, and he's going to find a way to wreak a little havoc. I'll play this one at any plus number with Caruso's minutes expected to be up again tonight.

Paul George, Over 2.5 3s (-130)

Lakers vs. ClippersClippers -8
Time | TV10 p.m. ET | TNT
Best BookBetMGM

Let's grab one line from the other side, shall we?

Paul George has been shooting the lights out all season, and his volume is up, too. PG is shooting a career-best 41.8% behind the arc, and he's averaging more than three made 3s per game for the fourth straight season.

Over the last 10 Clippers game, PG's shooting has cooled down a little bit. He's down to 34.2% during this stretch but still getting up 8.4 attempts per game, and those attempts have become quite consistent. He has at least seven attempts in all but one of those games and came up only one short in that one.

In other words, there's a very good chance we're getting at least seven or eight attempts behind the arc tonight for a player who's been shooting better than 40% for the season.

If you do the math on that, it's easy to see this one is in our favor. Sure enough, PG has gone over 2.5 made 3s in 67% of his games during this stretch. Even with the cooler shooting, that's actually an increase from his season-long 56% hit rate on 2.5 3s because of the increased overall number of attempts.

And he's had at least two treys in 80% of his games, so we should be at least in range to have a chance.

This is a volume play. If a shooter this good gets that many shots up, he has a pretty good chance of hitting at least three of them.

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Nick Sterling
Feb 24, 2024 UTC