NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks: 3 Plays for the Wizards vs. Pacers Play-In Game (Thursday, May 20)

NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks: 3 Plays for the Wizards vs. Pacers Play-In Game (Thursday, May 20) article feature image
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Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Doug McDermott #20 of the Indiana Pacers plays defense on Raul Neto #19 of the Washington Wizards.

  • One playoff spot is up for grabs in the Eastern Conference, and we have found betting value on it in the player-props market.
  • Brandon Anderson breaks down his best plays for Thursday night's matchup between the Wizards and Pacers.

Well, last night was fun. The Western Conference gave us a pair of memorable, hard fought games after a rough start to the play-in tournament on Tuesday night. Tonight, we’re back in the East for what should be a more open and high-scoring affair between the Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers.

For those who are new to this article, we’ll be using the Action Labs 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.

Pacers Promos: $200 if they score, more!

Bet $20, Win $200 if IND scores 1+ point

Bet $30, Win $300 if they beat CHA

Bet $20, Win $100 if they hit a 3

NBA Player Props & Picks

Doug McDermott, Over 1.5 Assists (+164)

Pacers vs. Wizards Wizards -3.5
Time | TV 8 p.m. ET | TNT
Best Book FanDuel

On Tuesday night, we played Doug McDermott to go under 14.5 points as part of our single-game parlay, and that bet was DOA about three minutes into the game. Dougie McFresh had already made a layup and a pair of 3s at that point, and he hit two more treys in the next three minutes to get to 14.

In my defense, the whole premise of that SGP was that Malcolm Brogdon’s return would drastically change the usage equation and send McDermott back into a bench role, but then Caris LeVert was put into health protocols, leaving just as big a gaping hole in Indiana’s minutes and usage.

Today, we’re going the other way and taking a McDermott over.

McDermott started every regular season game with Brogdon out and saw his numbers rise significantly. He averaged 16.6 points per game and, more importantly, played 26.5 minutes per outing. That’s almost exactly the number of minutes McDermott got in the first play-in game, and it would’ve been higher too if the Pacers hadn’t won by 300.

McDermott is a knockdown shooter, but he’s also a smart, intuitive player who makes the right play on offense. That means shooting when open and moving the ball along when he’s not, making the smart pass. And when you play that way, you’re bound to get assists soon enough.

McDermott has played at least 25 minutes in 32 games this season. He averaged 1.75 APG in those games and had multiple assists in 17 of them, hitting this over 53% of the time. That’s about a coin flip, but we are getting +164 odds, which should imply a 38% hit rate, so that gives us a significant edge in our favor.

That edge gets even better if the minutes threshold increases in a do-or-die must-win game. In 21 games with at least 28.1 minutes played, McDermott recorded at least one dime in every one of them — and we only need two! In McDermott’s nine games with 32 or more minutes, he averaged 2.67 APG and recorded multiple assists in every one of them, a perfect 100% hit rate to this over.

Indiana just doesn’t have many options, so I expect a lot of Dougie McFresh tonight, and if he’s out there a lot, we should get a couple assists. I love this one at any plus number, and I’m considering multiple units anywhere near +164.


Raul Neto, Over 7.5 Points (-110)

Pacers vs. Wizards Wizards -3.5
Time | TV 8 p.m. ET | TNT
Best Book FanDuel

McDermott may have enjoyed his first play-in experience, but Raul Neto did not have a good time.

Neto played just 17 minutes for the Wizards in their loss. He went 0-for-2 from the field and was one assist and one rebound away from recording a 17 trillion, copyright Mark Titus. He was an ugly minus-14 in those minutes.

Neto was completely ineffective and just couldn’t stay on the court as the Wizards shuffled through options trying desperately to find anything that worked. Washington couldn’t find much offense outside of Ish Smith off the bench, so he got 26 minutes unexpectedly. The Wizards also couldn’t figure out how to defend Jayson Tatum. Neto was lost out there, so we got 12 minutes of Garrison Mathews and even 10 from Chandler Hutchison.

Tonight is a fresh start, and I expect Neto to be out there again. Neto has started his last 15 games for the Wizards, and remember, Washington has been playing great basketball down the stretch at both ends of the court.

Before the play-in disaster, he had averaged 11.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 3.1 assists in 28.1 minutes per game, hitting nearly half of his 3s and scoring some easy buckets at the rim when defenses focused their attention on stopping Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal.

The Pacers are not the Celtics. And with all due respect to McDermott, he’s not Jayson Tatum. This game should be far more open, free flowing, and high scoring, and if Neto gets his usual minutes again, it shouldn’t be too hard for him to find eight points along the way.

Neto went over 7.5 points in eight of his final 13 regular season games, hitting this over 62% of the time, and he was one shot away in all but one under. I trust the minutes to return. I’ll play the over to -135.


Malcolm Brogdon, Under 32.5 PTS + REB + AST (+100)

Pacers vs. Wizards Wizards -3.5
Time | TV 8 p.m. ET | TNT
Best Book 888sport

Look, I take no great job in betting against an injured player, but it is what it is. Brogdon is playing through a sore hamstring, and if I have a chance to fade him, I have to take it.

He was terrific for Indiana in the first play-in game, playing in his first Pacers action in the entire month of May. He hit some big shots and scored 16 points to go along with eight assists, finishing plus-18 in 21 minutes, and he would’ve surely played more if the game wasn’t such a blowout.

Brogdon didn’t record a single rebound though, and he grabbed at that hamstring a time or two. He’s also still listed as questionable tonight, and though he’s expected to play, hamstrings can go sideways at any moment of any game.

Brogdon could tweak that thing a minute into the game and give us a free under, or it could look great for a half and then tighten up at halftime, or maybe it just bothers him all game long and hampers production.

A less mobile player is less likely to get rebounds, especially when Russell Westbrook is the guy he’s rebounding against. A sore hammy can also mess with your shot. A full-strength Brogdon would crush this line of 32.5 points + rebounds + assists. Heck, he could get there on points alone if the shots are falling. But I don’t trust Brogdon’s health or minutes, and the numbers go along with it.

With the President ailing, I have to fade him, and the combo prop with the highest line possible is our best way to do it. I’ll play the under to -120.

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