NBA Player Prop Bets & Picks: Bet on Chris Paul to Crash the Boards (Sunday, Jan. 3)
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns.
- Sunday's top NBA player props feature three guards out West each playing with extra motivation: Malik Beasley vs. the Nuggets, Chris Paul vs. the Clippers and Stephen Curry vs. the Trail Blazers.
- Daniel Titus previews the slate and looks at the most valuable bets using our ActionLabs player prop tool.
Sunday is loaded with an eight-game NBA slate that boasts a couple of entertaining narratives that should make for quality TV watching.
Sundays are typically reserved for watching the NFL, but I am tuning out Week 17 to watch another day of hoops. Even if you decide to flip back and forth, here are some incentives to keep you drawn into the NBA action today.
We went 1-4 yesterday to bring our output to a robust 21-15-1 on the season. To the surprise of many, Eric Bledsoe finally became a point guard last night. And Darius Garland fell back to earth, putting up his worst performance in five games this season.
For those who are new to this article, we’ll be using the ActionLabs Player Prop tool to compare our NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks. Each bet is then graded on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade.
Below, I have laid out three 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
Malik Beasley, Over 3.5 Rebounds (-145)
|Nuggets at Timberwolves||Nuggets -8.5|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
Beasley is thriving in Minnesota as the starting shooting guard. He came over from the Nuggets via trade last season and inked a new deal with the Timberwolves in the offseason. He got into some off-the-court trouble, but it has yet to affect his play on the court.
He comes into Sunday averaging 17.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest. There is a significant void in the frontcourt with Karl-Anthony Towns on the shelf for the foreseeable future with a wrist injury. The Timberwolves are shuffling through big men, which is great news for Beasley since he earns a shade under 29 minutes per night.
He’s pulled down at least four rebounds in four of five contests this season. Despite Minnesota attempting to give minutes to their younger players, Beasley has been a staple of the rotation.
He’s going up against his former team as 8.5 point dogs, which means there should be some garbage time minutes available for Beasley to feast. Beasley can get four rebounds, and with the added motivation of playing against the team that shipped him out about a year ago, I think he’ll be able to hit this line with ease.
Our player prop tool scores this bet a 10 and projects him to grab five boards in tonight’s game. I like Beasley to exceed four rebounds and would play him up to as high as five on Sunday.
Chris Paul, Over 4.5 Rebounds (-115)
|Clippers at Suns||Clippers -3.5|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
The point god is making his presence felt in Phoenix, leading the Suns to a 5-1 record in the Western Conference through six games this season. He’s been dishing out 8.7 assists per game along with netting a career-low 13.2 points through Sunday.
The Suns get their most challenging test of the young season, going up against the Clippers in what should one of the best games of tonight’s slate. It’s been a while since Paul was in a Clippers uniform, but that won’t make him any less motivated to show out.
In 26 career games versus the Clips, he’s averaged 15.7 points, 9.2 assists, and 4.7 rebounds. He’s only amassed five or more rebounds in two of his first six games, but I am banking on Paul to come out aggressive and hit the glass against his former team.
The Clippers have been stingy against opposing points guards. According to hashtag basketball, the Clippers allow just 4.3 rebounds per game to the point guard position, fourth-best in the NBA thus far.
Paul is still getting acclimated into the Suns’ offense. And while his numbers aren’t jumping off the page, this a meaningful regular-season game that will likely be a dogfight. Paul won’t take lightly to being a 3.5 point dog at home, and our player prop tool scores this bet as 9.
Stephen Curry, Over 5.5 Assists (-139)
|Trail Blazers at Warriors||Trail Blazers -5.5|
|Time||8:30 p.m. ET|
The Warriors are noticeably struggling against contending teams this season.
They rank last in average scoring margin (-15.8) and are coming off another 123-98 beatdown, courtesy of the Trail Blazers.
The Warriors’ shooting woes are no secret. However, tonight’s rematch against the Blazers will yield better results for the team and, specifically, Stephen Curry. Curry has distributed at least six dimes in four of five games this season.
He put up a season-low five assists against the Trail Blazers on New Year’s Day, but is averaging an encouraging 6.6 assists against them in 31 career regular-season games.
While the Warriors are still 5.5-point dogs, the markets believe this game will be closer than the previous outing. This matchup has the second-highest implied total for Sunday at 235.5. I expect Damian Lillard and C.J.McCollum to come out firing, leaving Curry to shoulder the load on offense once again.
Our player props tool rates this a 10, and I would bet this as high as seven assists. Curry is a great bet to go over 5.5 assists tonight as long as the game remains competitive.