Sunday NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks: Which Player to Target in Suns vs. Lakers (May 9)
Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Mikal Bridges.
- The NBA saved its best game for last on Sunday's eight-game slate, pitting the Phoenix Suns vs. the Los Angeles Lakers.
- The Lakers will be without several key players tonight, perhaps opening things up for the Suns.
- See which player Daniel Titus likes to have a big night on the boards, below.
Happy Mother’s Day! This Sunday features eight games that started at 1 p.m. ET with the Heat beating the Celtics to keep their spot as the six seed in the Eastern Conference.
Following that game, the Knicks continue their road trip in a matchup versus the Clippers. These contests are the most compelling of the slate, as the evening matchups are less desirable — eight of the 12 teams playing at 7 p.m. ET or later have losing records below .500.
We’re kicking off this Sunday’s props with a couple of rebounding plays including Karl-Anthony Towns and Mikal Bridges exceeding their rebounding totals, and we're fading Lonzo Ball’s assist prop versus his younger brother and the Hornets.
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.
NBA Player Props & Picks
Karl-Anthony Towns over 10.5 rebounds (+112)
|Timberwolves vs. Magic||Magic +7.5|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
Minnesota's big man has a juicy matchup against the hapless Orlando Magic. The Wolves have lost three straight games, but it’s not because of the play of Karl-Anthony Towns. In his last five games, he’s averaging 26.0 points per game, along with 8.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists.
Coming into Sunday, Towns is averaging 10.6 rebounds, so his rebounding market is right on par with his seasonal averages. However, Towns’ ability to snare rebounds should be effortless, with center Wendell Carter Jr. missing his third straight game with an eye ailment.
The Magic have been notoriously bad at rebounding the basketball. Over their last five games, Orlando allows opposing teams to pull down 12.8 offensive rebounds and 37.2 defensive rebounds per contest. According to NBA Advanced Stats, the Magic are last in the NBA in total rebounds allowed over that span. Towns ranks 21st in the NBA in offensive rebounds per game with 2.5, so he’s in a great position to rack up boards against a depleted Magic frontcourt.
And while KAT’s numbers in the rebounding department haven’t jumped off the page (10 total rebounds in his last two games), he's never gone three consecutive games this season without bringing in double-digit rebounds. He also has a strong history of performance against the Magic. Per Fansure, he’s exceeded 10.5 rebounds in four straight games against Orlando, with an average of 12.8 rebounds over that four-game span. With a bet quality rating of 7, I’m taking the over on KAT reeling in 10.5 rebounds.
Lonzo Ball under 7.5 assists (-107)
|Pelicans vs. Hornets||Hornets -3.5|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
The news of Zion Williamson (finger) being out for the season along with Brandon Ingram (ankle) being out indefinitely thrust Lonzo Ball into a scoring role he hadn’t anticipated. Ball and Eric Bledsoe are now the primary scoring threats for the Pelicans, which is kind of scary when you think about it.
While it’s a sign of how bad things have become for New Orleans, it’s also an excellent opportunity for Lonzo to continue to showcase his offensive skillset before he heads for free agency this summer. He’s going to be relied upon heavily in the scoring department for the foreseeable future, with the Pelicans only two games out of the 10th spot in the Western Conference. Though it’s unlikely the Pelicans are gunning for a shot at the play-in tournament, Ball’s assist line of 7.5 is too rich for Sunday’s contest.
Ball is averaging 5.8 assists this season. According to PBP Stats, Willamson and Ingram were recipients 173 of Ball’s 307 assists this season, meaning 56% of Ball’s assists went to two people on his team, both of whom aren't playing against the Charlotte Hornets. It’s no surprise that Ball’s scoring average is at his highest of the season in May (22.8 PPG). The lack of scoring options around him makes it even harder to get others involved on offense.
According to Fansure, he’s failed to exceed 7.5 assists in nine of his last 13 games, and over that span, he’s averaging a mere 5.8 assists. Our projections have Ball racking up 6.4 assists against the Hornets. And with a bet quality rating of 10, I’m taking the under on Lonzo’s assist prop.
Mikal Bridges over 3.5 rebounds (-105)
|Suns vs. Lakers||Lakers +7.5|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
The Suns are a 0.5 game back from the Utah Jazz for the top-seed in the Western Conference. Fortunately, the Suns face a Lakers team that is trending towards the play-in tournament. I like Bridges in tonight’s matchup due to his recent play and the absences of LeBron James and Kyle Kuzma.
Bridges has quietly become one of the most efficient small forwards in the league. Coming into Sunday, his shooting splits are 54/42/83. He’s also averaging 13.5 points per game along with 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists. Given his rebound line is at 3.5, this offers good value relative to his production.
It’s troubling that Bridges’ rebounding has dipped each month since December. He’s now averaging 3.3 in four games in May, but the Lakers are riddled with injuries, greatly decreasing their ability to score. In fact, over the past five games, the Lakers have the eighth lowest field-goal percentage in the NBA at 44.1% per NBA Advanced Stats. In the previous two matchups this season against the Lakers, Bridges pulled down seven and six rebounds, respectively.
He’s been doing it all over his last three games, averaging 18.7 points, with 4.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.7 blocks. And while the Lakers are still amongst the league's best in preventing rebounds from opposing small-forwards, our projections have the Villanova alumni grabbing four rebounds. According to Fansure, Bridges has exceeded 3.5 rebounds in four straight against Los Angeles. I’m taking the over here, as he’s poised to continue his fine play in a crucial conference matchup.