NBA Player Props Odds, Picks: Our Bets for James Harden and Jamal Murray (Wednesday, Aug. 12)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Jamal Murray
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.
Here’s how those props did this season prior to the shut down:
|FantasyLabs Grade||Win-Loss (Win Pct)|
|Bet Quality of 10||775-572 (57%)|
|Bet Quality of 9||942-776 (54%)|
|Bet Quality of 8||1432-1263 (52%)|
Tonight’s props come from two of the slate’s four games:
- Houston Rockets vs. Indiana Pacers at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBA TV
- Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
NBA Player Prop Bets
Houston Rockets, James Harden
The Prop: Over 30.5 points (-114)
James Harden has played 11 games this season without Russell Westbrook. In those 11 games, he is averaging 38.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 8. 5 assists. Seems good.
Sure enough, when you take away one of the league leaders in usage and leave behind another of them, that remaining player typically has a monster game. What’s remarkable is the consistency in scoring. Harden scored at least 30 points in every single game without Westbrook but only went over 41 points twice, with a 44 and a 49. Heck, he scored at least 37 points in all but three of those games.
Harden rested yesterday while Westbrook played, so today we’ll get the inverse. It should be noted, though, that Westbrook played only 27.5 minutes Tuesday, almost exactly at three-fourths of his usual 36 MPG load. Houston doesn’t have much to play for.
Harden is a lock to put up big production while he’s out there, but what if he doesn’t get a full load? Three quarters of his Westbrook-less production would drop him down to 28.9 points, just short of this line. But we project Harden at 34 minutes and 35.7 points, so it’s really just a matter of getting enough time. At -114, it’s worth the risk. I’d play it up to -135.
Denver Nuggets, Jamal Murray
The Prop: Over 3.5 assists (-143), Over 15.5 points (-110)
Jamal Murray is finally back, playing the last two games in the bubble after sitting out the first four due to injury. Despite a supposed minutes limit in his bubble debut, Murray had a monster game.
He played over 39 minutes and put up 23 points, 12 rebounds, and 8 assists. His next game was a bit closer to expectations, with just over 24 minutes played. The numbers were lower: 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists.
We’re projecting Murray at 31.5 minutes today, which would be a fuller effort, and that might make sense with Denver wanting to stretch Murray out now that we’re less than a week from the playoffs. We project him at 18.7 points and 4.8 assists.
Again, the key question here is motivation. Denver can still get to the 2-seed if they beat the Clippers, win their final game, and see the Clippers lose theirs. That’s probably not a huge motivating factor, especially with the Dallas Mavericks locked in as the 7-seed. The real motivation is just getting playing time for their key players together, and it makes more sense to do that today than wait until Friday.
Murray averaged 18.8 points and 4.9 assists this season in 32.8 minutes per game, with those numbers almost exactly in line with our projections today. Houston is missing Patrick Beverley too, so that means less defensive pressure on Murray.
I like Denver to push Murray a bit to get him ready for the playoffs, and you’ve got margin for error here. I’m playing both props together, because these lines are artificially low, anticipating a minutes limit. If Murray plays enough to hit one line, he’ll likely hit the other over too.
Our Props tool rates Murray’s assists as a 10 out of 10 and his points as a 9. I’ll play the assists over 3.5 up to -165 and over 15.5 points to -130. Let’s have some fun.