NBA Player Props & Picks: Jaylen Brown and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Highlight Top Plays (December 22)
Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
For tonight’s short slate, we’re looking at two young stars to hit the over on their respective props. We’ll be using the Action Labs Player Prop tool to compare our NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks.
Take a look at the top prop bets for Wednesday night below.
NBA Player Props & Picks
Jaylen Brown, Over 2.5 3-Pointers (-105)
|Cavaliers vs. Celtics||Celtics -5.5|
|Time | TV||7:30 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Jaylen Brown started the season shooting well from behind the arc and despite being in and out of the lineup for the Celtics due to injuries, Brown has continued to hit good volume from deep since returning to the floor. Brown has hit at least three 3-pointers in his past four games with a single-game high of five 3s over that stretch.
This game against the Cavaliers presents a challenge for Brown — the Cavs allow the second-fewest made 3s in the NBA — but absences to their main rotation players should have an impact here. Isaac Okoro and Evan Mobley are two of the Cavs’ most versatile defenders who have the length to contest out on the wing. Both players will be out tonight due to health and safety protocols. Trying to stop a dynamic duo like Brown and Jayson Tatum will be tough without two of their best defenders.
As noted, Brown has been hitting 3s at a good volume all season — he has gone over 2.5 3-pointers in 11 of his 17 games this season and our projections have him at 3.3 tonight. I think he’ll make that 12 and I’d play this up to -115.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Over 22.5 Points (-102)
|Nuggets vs. Thunder||Nuggets -5.5|
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Since the start of December, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has played like he’s on a mission with three 30-point games so far this month. The efficiency, or lack thereof, has been ugly, but the jump in numbers is undeniable. He’s scoring 4.8 more points per game in December and it has been driven by a key factor: free throws.
In his first 18 games, SGA averaged 5.1 free throw attempts and shot just 76.9% at the line. Since then, he’s getting to the line 8.4 times per game, including three games with 10-plus attempts — he’s also shooting 88.1% on his free throws over that stretch.
SGA looks like a much more assertive player as his Usage Rate over the last eight games has shot up. The Denver Nuggets rank in the bottom 10 in Defensive Rating for the season and have been worse since losing Michael Porter Jr. in November. This sets up as a favorable defense to face especially with Aaron Gordon and JaMychal Green questionable for an already thin Denver team.
SGA is the engine that makes this young Thunder team go. I think there’s value on the over 22.5 points — our projections have him at 24.3 — as well as the 26.5 points and assist line if you can stand the heavy juice.