NBA Player Props & Picks: Kevin Durant & Jalen Brunson Lead Sunday’s Top Bets (Dec. 12)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin Durant
The props that caught my eye tonight are in situations where an All-Star is missing from each player’s team. Kevin Durant and Jalen Brunson should benefit greatly with the extra usage that they will see tonight. Let’s dive in!
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
Kevin Durant, Over 28.5 Points (-116)
|Pistons vs. Nets||Nets -7|
|Time | TV||6 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
The best team in the Eastern Conference takes on the worst team in the Eastern Conference tonight as the 18-8 Brooklyn Nets go on the road to take on the 4-21 Detroit Pistons.
The Nets are resting James Harden tonight in what will be his first missed game of the year. Two games ago, Kevin Durant rested and Harden nearly had a triple-double. Now it is Durant’s turn to see what he can do leading the Nets.
Durant is leading the league in points this season, scoring 28.5 per game. He is shooting a ridiculous 53% from the field, and his 19.7 field goal attempts per game are the highest he has averaged since the 2013-14 season. Using our FantasyLabs On/Off tool, Durant has a +4.6% usage rate with Harden off of the floor this season. He should see a lot of extra work in this game.
The matchup for Durant and the Nets is fantastic. The Pistons rank 22nd in Defensive Rating this season and have allowed 109.2 points per game. Opponents have been extremely efficient against them shooting a league-high 47.8% from the field.
They are also playing without their top wing defender Jerami Grant who is out due to injury, so Durant should be able to get whatever shot that he wants tonight. He has shot 22 or more field goals in three consecutive games. Without Harden, he should be in line for four-straight.
The best value on Durant’s points prop right now is on FanDuel, but make sure to shop around to see if you can find something better. I would take this prop up to 29.5 points tonight. Durant is averaging 29.8 points per game in his last six games. Look for Durant to take control of this game scoring the ball.
Jalen Brunson, Over 6.5 Assists (-145)
|Thunder vs. Mavericks||Mavericks -4|
|Time | TV||7 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
The Dallas Mavericks have lost nine of their last 12 games but are still four-point favorites tonight on the road against the 8-17 Oklahoma City Thunder. That is even without their All-Star point guard Luka Doncic, who is out due to injury.
This will be Doncic’s fifth game missed this season due to injury, so we have a little bit of a sample size of games without him. The main beneficiary of Doncic’s missed time has been back-up point guard Jalen Brunson. Brunson has played 35.8 minutes per game in four games that Doncic has missed and has been productive during that time by averaging 17.8 points and 8.8 assists per game.
Brunson only averages 4.0 assists per game with Doncic playing so that increase of 4.8 assists per game without Doncic is massive. Brunson will be the main ball handler tonight, and I think he can easily get over this 6.5 assist prop.
Brunson has a favorable matchup as the main ball handler as the Thunder rank 20th in Defensive Rating and are allowing 108.4 points per game. They are also allowing 24.8 assists per game this season, which is the eighth-worst mark in the league. This game has the lowest total on the slate at 207.5 points, but Brunson should be heavily involved.
If we can get better value for Brunson at 7.5 assists tonight I would take it. The value we have on his 6.5 assists isn’t all that great, but I still think he flies over this mark tonight.
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