NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks: Cade Cunningham, Damian Lillard Worth Targeting (December 19)
Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Cade Cunningham
After going 3-0 in our props on Saturday, we try and build on that weekend record with another crazy NBA slate on our hands. There are games getting postponed left and right due to COVID. Keep an eye out for all of the news coming in. I am going to keep today to only two props that caught my eye.
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 two 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
Damian Lillard, Over 3.5 3-Pointers Made (+100)
|Grizzlies vs. Trail Blazers||Grizzlies -5.5|
|Time | TV||6 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
The Trail Blazers have been absolutely brutal lately, losing 10 of their last 12 games. They are on the road tonight against the Grizzlies as 5.5-point road underdogs. The Trail Blazers have a record of 1-11 on the road this season.
One major positive for the Trail Blazers has been Damian Lillard coming back into action from his injury. Lillard had missed five straight games. However, he came back at a great time as CJ McCollum has missed some time recently due to injury.
Since returning from injury and having McCollum out of the lineup, Lillard has averaged 29.8 points per game while making 4.8 3-pointers per game. He has made 19 3-pointers in four games while making less than four just once. In his last three games Lillard has made five, five and six 3-pointers. Insane.
The Grizzlies are playing the exact opposite of the Trail Blazers right now. They have won 10 of their last 11 games. The Grizzlies rank 16th in Defensive Rating, which is middle-of-the-road in the league. However, where they struggle is defending the 3-point line. The Grizzlies have allowed their opponents to shoot 37.4% from behind the arc this season, which is tied for the second-highest in the league. They give up 13.1 3-pointers made per game. Fire away Dame!
I love getting this prop at even money. Lillard has a 33.2% usage rate without McCollum this season. He has to do nearly everything just to keep this Trail Blazers team afloat. Lillard has attempted 52 3-pointers per game in his last four games, which is averaging a ridiculous 13 per game. Our model has Lillard projected for 4.2 made 3-pointers tonight. There is amazing value on this prop.
Cade Cunningham, Over 18.5 Points (-114)
|Pistons vs. Heat||Heat -7.5|
|Time | TV||6 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Despite the struggles for the Detroit Pistons this season, it looks as though they have hit a home run with Cade Cunningham. The No. 1 overall pick is starting to find his groove and take over games. The 4-24 Pistons need more of that.
A major problem for the Pistons is the loss of Jerami Grant, who was having a fantastic year. He was leading the Pistons in points at 20.1 per game. With Grant out for the foreseeable future, Cunningham has taken the entire team under his wing.
In the last three games without Grant in the lineup, Cunningham has averaged 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists per game. He has a 27.1% usage rate during that time. Cunningham has scored 19 or more points in each of the last three games.
The Miami Heat are a completely different defensive team without Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler in the lineup. However, the Heat are still favored by 7.5 points. The Pistons have an implied total of a ridiculously low 100.5 points, which is by far the lowest on the slate. The low total is a bit worrisome, but Cunningham should have his hands all over the Pistons’ scoring tonight.
Cunningham has attempts 17.7 field goals per game with Grant out of the lineup this season, which is 2.6 more than with Grant in the lineup. I think we are seeing a new Cunningham right now and I would take this prop up to 19.5.
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