NBA Player Props & Odds: 3 Picks for Nikola Vucevic, Bobby Portis & Jeff Green (Wednesday, December 8)
Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jeff Green.
- With a full 13-game slate on Wednesday night, there's value galore in the NBA for bettors.
- Brandon Anderson used the Action Labs Player Props tool and found three that he especially likes.
- Check out his picks and breakdowns below -- as well as three extra plays.
It’s a whopper of an NBA slate tonight, with 13 games on the schedule and a veritable smorgasbord of great props to play.
Lately, we’ve been trying something new with our escalator props, looking for ways to hit the same player multiple times at increased value. Today, we’re introducing another new feature too: bonus bets. When there are 13 games on the slate and so many juicy angles, three bets just aren’t enough sometimes. So on nights like tonight, we’ll also throw a few bonus plays at the bottom, and you can see even more angles by following me on the app as always.
We’ll be using the Action Labs Player Prop tool to compare our NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks.
Below, I have laid out three main 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
Nikola Vucevic, over 1.5 3s (+104), over 2.5 3s (+360)
|Bulls vs. Cavaliers||Bulls +3|
|Time | TV||7 p.m. ET | League Pass|
As NBA franchises have formed superteams in recent years, we’ve seen time and time again why it helps to have three stars on a team. When one star goes out, it means the other two guys are there to pick up the slack.
That often means the third overlooked star finally has a chance to get his, and that’s what I’m expecting tonight from Nikola Vucevic with DeMar DeRozan out.
Vucevic had a slow start to the season numbers-wise, even as the Bulls got off to their torrid start. DeRozan and Zach LaVine have put up blistering numbers all season, but Vooch was struggling to find his usual touches and get into the flow of the offense.
It looks like that is starting to change. Vucevic averaged just 13.4 PPG over the first 14 games and never cleared 22 points, but he broke out with 30 points against Charlotte last week, hitting 6-of-6 shots from beyond the arc. In these last four games, Vucevic is averaging 22.0 PPG, and his shot attempts are way up. He’s taking 18.5 field goal attempts per game, and that includes 3.8 made 3s on 6.5 attempts per game. Vooch probably won’t keep shooting 58% forever, but the attempts are notable.
Last game without DeRozan, Vucevic took a season-high 24 shots. He finished with “only” 20 points and 10 rebounds, but the volume showed what’s to come with DeRozan out. Expect a lot of shots and with Cleveland’s stout defense patrolled by Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, expect a bunch of those shots to come from behind the 3-point line too.
The question is how to play it, and we’ve got some options. I like the 3-point angle best since he’s taken six, nine, three, and eight attempts the last four games and we only need two makes to hit this over at plus juice. I’m also going to play him to hit a trio of treys, which he’s done three of the last four games, at +360 in one of our escalator prop plays.
If you’d like some additional angles, you can take it a step further and play 4+ makes at +1140. He did that in two of the last four games. You can also play Vucevic to go over 18.5 points (-110) or get more aggressive and play him to score at least 25 (+360) or 30 (+1240), all at FanDuel.
If you prefer only one, I think I’d pick the three 3s at +360 first, then the pair of 3s, followed by 25-plus points, and I don’t mind playing them all since a few 3s obviously increases his chances at a big point total too.
Bobby Portis, over 22.5 points + rebounds (-115)
|Bucks vs. Heat||Bucks -6.5|
|Time | TV||7:30 p.m. ET | ESPN|
With Brook Lopez sidelined indefinitely, Bobby Portis continues to put up excellent numbers as a new Milwaukee starter. It makes sense. The defense has to keep attention on Giannis Antetokounmpo at all times, and now that both Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton are back in the lineup, Portis is mostly a forgotten man by opposing defenses.
That’s where Portis’s energy and hustle are deadly. He attacks the glass all game and gets so many easy buckets too because the defense just can’t account for everyone. In 16 starts this season, Portis is averaging 16.3 points and 10.0 rebounds and playing 30.1 minutes per game. That means he’s averaging 26.3 points + rebounds, well over this line of 22.5, and he’s cleared the line in 10 of 16 games and been one point or rebound away twice more.
Remember, Bam Adebayo is out, as is Jimmy Butler, and the Bucks have mostly owned the Heat of late. That should leave plenty of room for Portis in the paint, and even if this is a blowout win, he’s more likely to get his minutes while the bigger stars get the extra rest.
If you’d like to be more aggressive or play an escalator prop, you can also play Portis to record a double-double at +175 at PointsBet. Portis has had double-digit points in every start this season, so you’re really just betting on him getting the rebounds. He’s had double-digit boards in nine of 16 starts, which means he’s also had a double-double in nine of 16 starts, a 56% hit rate for a prop with an implied 36% rate. That one’s in our favor too.
If your book only allows straight lines, I prefer the points. But for our purposes, I’ll play the PR combo over to -135.
Jeff Green, over 14.5 points + rebounds + assists (-130)
|Nuggets vs. Pelicans||Nuggets -2|
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET | League Pass|
The poor Nuggets continue to play extremely shorthanded. Nikola Jokic is an absolute stud and the defending MVP, but he’s not getting a ton of help with Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. both out indefinitely.
One guy that has been helping him is veteran Jeff Green, now playing for his 11th NBA franchise (hope you took that over!). Green tends to run very hot and cold, but he’s running hot lately.
Over the last eight games, Green is averaging 14.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists. He’s always been a nice passer and is getting some secondary creation opportunities, and you can tell he’s starting to learn how to play well next to Jokic too.
Over those eight games, Green is averaging 20.2 points + rebounds + assists, which means this line is priced way too low. He’s gone over 14.5 PRA in seven of those eight games, three times on points alone. The line is just mispriced.
It’s possible Will Barton (questionable tonight) could return, but our projections actually give Barton a full minute load and still put Green at 19.4 PRA. The Nuggets don’t have many bodies left, so there should be plenty of touches to go around. I’ll play this over confidently to -150 even if Barton plays.
Bonus Prop Bets
- Luka Doncic, over 2.5 3-pointers (-110 DraftKings): After a slow start, Doncic is averaging 3.2 makes per 8.8 attempts over his last 13 games, with at least two makes in all but two games and over this line in 8 of 13 (62%).
- Jaren Jackson Jr., over 1.5 blocks (-110 DraftKings): Over in 17 of 24 (71%) on the season and up to 2.0 BPG over last eight games during a mini breakout. Line is deflated since he had no blocks against Dallas last week but that was only one of two such games all season.
- Steph Curry to break the all-time 3-point record tonight (+20000 PointsBet): Last home chance to break Ray Allen’s record before a five-game road trip, and his career scoring average is highest against Portland. Check out my full write-up in our best bets for the night, and let’s have a little fun.