NBA Player Prop Bets & Picks for Saturday: 3 Plays for 3 Games, Including Richaun Holmes, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, JaVale McGee (January 22)
Cole Burston/Getty Images. Pictured: JaVale McGee
- With only three NBA games on the docket, why not target a player in each one?
- Tyler Schmidt is backing two players to go over their prop, while one will fall short.
- See which player props Schmidt is betting below, including JaVale McGee for the Suns.
There are only three games on the board tonight and all three have a spread of double digits. I provided three props below that caught my eye. One prop for each game for your viewing pleasure. Let’s start the weekend off right!
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
Richaun Holmes, Over 9.5 Points (-110)
|Bucks vs. Kings||Bucks -10|
|Time | TV||7 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
The Sacramento Kings have lost seven of their last nine games, but have finally gotten Richaun Holmes back into action. Holmes had a test run in his first game back and then played 28 minutes in the Kings’ most recent game, scoring 10 points.
He was still on a minutes restriction, so if that is lifted today — which I imagine it will be with two days off — Holmes may be looking at minutes in the 30s tonight. Our model absolutely loves all of his props today. There are many different ways to go, but his over 9.5 points seemed like the best approach to take.
The Milwaukee Bucks are favored by 10 points at home, but this game has the highest total on the slate at 234 points. This game environment should be very up-tempo as the Kings and Bucks both rank in the top eight in Pace this season. The Kings are implied to score 112 points.
This matchup against the Bucks presents some challenges as they are sixth in Defensive Rating and are a pretty solid rebounding team. However, without Giannis Antetokounmpo in the lineup, who is doubtful to play tonight, their defense takes a big hit. Their Defensive Rating drops from 108.3 to 110.8 without the Greek Freak in the lineup this season.
Holmes is averaging 12.4 points per game this season and our model has him projected to score 14.6 points tonight. You can certainly pair this with his rebounding prop as well, but I would take this up to 10.5 points.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Under 23.5 Points (-115)
|Cavaliers vs. Thunder||Cavaliers -12|
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET | NBA TV|
The Oklahoma City Thunder are another struggling team, having lost nine of their last 10 games. They come into this game against the Cleveland Cavaliers as 12-point road underdogs with an implied scoring output of just 98.25 points.
This matchup is awful for the Thunder as the Cavaliers rank third in points allowed with an average of only 102.8 per game and are third in Defensive Rating. The Thunder have averaged 99.5 points per game in their last four games, one of which was against the Cavaliers where they lost 107-102.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leads the Thunder in scoring at 22.6 points per game. He has played really well recently and has gone over this 23.5 points prop in four of his last six games. However, most of those were great matchups against very up-tempo teams. He only had 21 points on 7-for-19 shooting from the floor when these two teams met just a week ago.
This game could get out of hand as the Thunder are just 6-17 this season. Another detriment to Gilgeous-Alexander is playing alongside Josh Giddey. With Giddey in the lineup, Gilgeous-Alexander has only averaged 21.9 points while shooting 17.9 field goals per game. His ceiling takes a big hit playing alongside Giddey.
Our model has this one pretty close as Gilgeous-Alexander is projected to score 22.6 points tonight. He has been playing well recently, but this matchup against the Cavaliers as heavy underdogs and an incredible defense will be tough. I would feel comfortable taking this points prop down to 22.5 points.
JaVale McGee, Over 18.5 Points + Rebounds (-120)
|Suns vs. Pacers||Suns -12|
|Time | TV||9 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
The Suns have the best record in the league at 35-9 and welcome in the Pacers, who could be without most of their starting lineup tonight. The Suns are 12-point home favorites in what should be a cake-walk.
JaVale McGee is popping in our model for most of his over props. Deandre Ayton is still out for the Suns which will likely keep McGee in the starting lineup. Over the last two games as a starter, McGee has really struggled, averaging only seven points and six rebounds per game.
He has been outplayed by backup Bismack Biyombo recently, but this is a perfect get-right spot for McGee. The Pacers will be without their starting frontcourt in Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis. They will start Goga Bitadze, which is a massive downgrade for the Pacers. McGee should feast in the paint.
The Pacers somehow beat the Warriors without both Turner and Sabonis, but in doing so allowed 62 points in the paint and 53 total rebounds. Tonight is a matchup where we could finally get back to seeing peak McGee. A double-double is firmly on the table, but he will be very active regardless.
Our model has McGee projected to get 20.9 combined points and rebounds tonight. I would take this prop at 19.5.