NBA Player Prop Bets for Saturday: 3 Picks, Including CJ McCollum & Tyler Herro (December 4)
Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: CJ McCollum.
- With a seven-game NBA slate on Saturday, the Action Labs Player Props tool was busy.
- Tyler Schmidt broke down each game and found his three favorite picks for the day.
- Check out his detailed breakdowns below.
It is time for some weekend basketball. I hope everyone had a great week and is ready to make some money this weekend.
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 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 31.5 Points, Rebounds, and Assists (-105)
|Bulls vs. Nets||Nets -3|
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
The top-two teams in the Eastern Conference headline Saturday night’s slate of games. The Nets pace the East at 16-6, while Chicago isn’t far behind at 15-8. This should be a great game.
Nikola Vucevic has really stepped up his production lately. Vucevic is averaging 28.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game over his last two, making double-digit field goals in each game while also pouring in an average of 5.5 3-pointers per game, going 11-of-15 from downtown in that span. The big man is dialed in, to say the least.
This is a great matchup for Vucevic as the Nets are playing on a back-to-back. They rank 25th in Rebounding Percentage this season as Vucevic should have no problem going up against LaMarcus Aldridge and company. The Nets have allowed the third-most offensive rebounds at 11.2 per game. Vucevic leads the Bulls averaging 1.8 offensive rebounds per game. He should clean up the glass in this matchup against an undersized and aging Nets frontcourt.
The total for this game is the highest on the slate at 222 points. The Nets rank sixth in Pace this season, while the Bulls rank 13th. We know the points and rebounds for Vucevic will always be there, but he is also averaging a career-high 4.1 assists per game. He has had three or more assists in every game this season, except for three and two of those three were very early in the season.
I am very interested in many Vucevic props tonight, but this one stood out the most to me. I also really like taking the over 1.5 3-pointers made prop that is coming in at even-money on DraftKings. Vucevic is clicking on all cylinders right now and this should be a fantastic game environment where the Bulls can lean on their center. I would bet this prop up to 33.5 tonight.
Tyler Herro, Over 22.5 Points (Odds)
|Heat vs. Bucks||Bucks -6.5|
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
This matchup between the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat looks incredible, until you dive into the injury situation. The Bucks will likely be without Giannis Antetokounmpo who is doubtful to play. The Heat will be without Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Markieff Morris. The role players will need to shine tonight.
Even when the Miami Heat are fully healthy, Tyler Herro still leads the team in usage rate with 29.4%. He normally comes off of the bench, but still plays well over 30 minutes per game. However, with the injury to Butler specifically, Herro has entered the starting lineup. In the six games where he has started, Herro is averaging 22.3 points per game on 20.3 field goal attempts per game. He is also playing an average of 36.8 minutes per game and has only played fewer than 37 minutes in a game once in those six games.
The Bucks defense takes a major hit without Giannis on the floor. The sample size is small, but in two games without Giannis on the floor the Bucks have a Defensive Rating of 116.2. That is a drastic difference compared to the Bucks playing with Giannis where they have a Defensive Rating of 106.9. I do expect Jrue Holiday to play some defense on Herro tonight, but I am not worried.
If you are into a little homecoming narrative, Herro was a stand out basketball player at Whitnall high school, which is a suburb of Milwaukee. He has two brothers still in high school playing for Whitnall right now. I would imagine Herro will be trying to put on a show tonight for his friends and family.
There may be a better number and more value on Herro’s points prop tonight, so be sure to shop around. Right now the only available spot I see is on FanDuel. I do think the 22.5 points is a little steep given his recent production, but he should have so many opportunities tonight to get that over. I would rather get in on that number now, before it potentially moves up.
CJ McCollum, Under 9.5 Rebounds and Assists (-145)
|Celtics vs. Trail Blazers||Celtics -1.5|
|Time | TV||10 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
The Portland Trail Blazers are decimated with injuries to their backcourt right now. Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons are both out for the game tonight, leaving the starting backcourt to likely be CJ McCollum and Dennis Smith Jr.
Lillard has missed three games this season as the Trail Blazers have gone 1-2 during those games. They lost to the Nuggets by 29 points and the Spurs by 31 points. Their lone win was against the 4-18 Pistons. I’m a little surprised the Celtics are only favored by a bucket tonight, especially if Jaylen Brown is back.
In the three games Lillard has missed this season, McCollum has had to take on a larger scoring role. He is averaging 21.7 points per game and has a 32% usage rate without Lillard in the lineup, compared to 20.3 points per game and a 25.8% usage rate with Lillard in the lineup. He has also seen a decrease in minutes played due to the blowouts against the Spurs and Nuggets.
The biggest hit McCollum has taken is with his peripherals. He is averaging over one less assist per game and one less rebound per game without Lillard. In those three games McCollum is averaging only 3.3 assists per game and 3.3 rebounds per game. The Celtics rank eighth in Defensive Rating this season while playing at the ninth-slowest Pace. This certainly is a difficult matchup.
There is definitely more value if you take the under 4.5 assists or under 4.5 rebounds props instead of linking them together. I like both of those as well tonight. Regardless, McCollum can score as much as he wants to. I think they will struggle if his shot is off and a blowout is still on the table despite playing at home where they are 10-2 this season. I would also bet this down to 8.5.