NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks for Sunday: 3 Picks for Nets vs. Bucks & Suns vs. Nuggets, Including Devin Booker & Michael Porter Jr. (June 13)
Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Michael Porter Jr.
- The NBA Playoffs roll on with Brooklyn taking on Milwaukee and Phoenix looking to close things out with Denver.
- Daniel Titus has his three favorite player props, including fading one of the most important Nuggets player outside of Nikola Jokic.
- See which other player he's fading, below, and which one he is buying.
The NBA is back with a two-game slate on Sunday. Last night, the Jazz let the Clippers back in the series after suffering a 132-106 blowout loss in Los Angeles. With that series now 2-1 in favor of Utah, the only series that could end on Sunday is between the Suns and Nuggets. The Suns are cruising along with a 3-0 lead looking to bring out the brooms tonight in Denver.
The Nets–Bucks tip off at 3:00 p.m. ET in what’s shaping up to be an important game that could swing the momentum of the series. The Bucks have a chance to even it up at 2-2, but it’s going to take more than Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton to make it happen.
Today’s props include fading Brook Lopez and Michael Porter Jr.’s points lines and trusting Devin Booker to pick up his scoring in Game 4 to close out the Nuggets.
Let’s get into the action!
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
Brook Lopez under 13.5 points (-122 )
|Nets vs. Bucks||Bucks +2|
|Time | TV||3 p.m. ET|
The Bucks finally got their offense back on track — well, sort of. Bucks All-Stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton accounted for 68 of Milwaukee’s 86 points. The duo scored 79% of the Bucks’ points in Game 3, setting a new NBA Playoff record. The good news is, the Bucks are right back in the series. That bad news is, who else is going to step up for the Bucks? Spoiler alert: Brook Lopez is not the one.
Lopez came out confident in Game 1, scoring 19 points on an efficient 8-for-11 from the field. But, it’s been downhill ever since. Over the next two games, he’s scored a grand total of 13 points.
His volume has decreased over that time as well. After putting up 11 shot attempts in Game 1, he shot 10 in Game 2 and only seven in Game 3. The former Brooklyn Net is now known as Splash Mountain, but he’s not making anything remotely close to a splash lately.
Lopez averaged 12.3 points per game for the regular season. He found success in the opening series against Miami, contributing 15.8 points per contest. However, the Nets have rendered him useless.
He shot 1-for-7 in Game 3 despite playing 35 minutes. Five of his seven shot attempts came from beyond the arc. While the Nets haven’t garnered much respect defensively, they’ve been great defending the 3-point line in their last three games.
Per NBA Advanced Stats, Brooklyn is allowing the second-fewest 3-point shots per game (29.3) and the fewest makes (6.7). The Nets are more than happy with the Bucks center shooting from an average distance of 18 feet. And with Lopez struggling, you would think he’d revert back to shots near the rim, but no. The big man has eclipsed 13.5 points in just two of his previous six games, with an average of 12.8 points over that span.
The truth is, Lopez will see minutes into the 30s because of his ability to defend the pick and roll and switch out on defenders. It’s not because of his offensive repertoire. Given his shooting woes and lack of usage (8.9 % in Game 3), I think his points market is too high, so I’m fading his 13.5 points today. Our Action Lab projections tool has Lopez scoring 12.1 points.
Michael Porter Jr. under 18.5 points (-124)
|Suns vs. Nuggets||Nuggets +3|
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET|
The Nuggets face elimination tonight, and they’re going to need a big outing out of anyone other than Nikola Jokic. The 2020-2021 MVP is doing just about everything to give Denver a shot, putting up a monster 32 points with 20 rebounds and 10 assists in Game 3.
But this prop is about Michael Porter Jr. — guy that entered the record books by having the second-highest eFG% for a player that averaged at least 19 points per game in NBA history. He continued his extraordinary play into the opening round series against the Blazers. He averaged 18.8 points per game on an efficient 51% from the field and 44% from 3-point range.
He also played an average of 34.7 minutes per game. However, those stats haven’t carried over into the Western Conference semifinals. His points market remains at 18.5, but his recent play gives me no confidence he’ll hit this number.
After injuring his back in Game 1, Porter Jr. hasn’t been the same. He’s shot 8-for-26 (30.7%) from the field in his last two games while averaging 29 minutes. For the series, Porter Jr. is averaging 13.7 points while shooting 36% from the field and 39% from beyond the arc.
He’s put up at least 13 shots per game in three straight versus Phoenix, but they’re doing a good job limiting his scoring, outside of hitting 3-pointers. Nuggets head coach Michael Malone stated that MPJ only tweaked his back, but he’s been sporting a hefty heating pad in pregame warmups since Game 1, and it doesn’t look like it’s improved.
Guard/forward Will Barton also made his return to the rotation and has seen his minutes and opportunity grow over the past two games. He ramped up his minutes from 16 to 28 from Game 2 to Game 3, and his usage jumped to 25% as well. From Game 2 to Game 3, Porter Jr.’s usage dipped slightly from 24.2 to 22.1%.
The bottom line is, the Suns are very good at defending MPJ. According to Fansure, Porter Jr. is averaging a mere 10.8 points per game in his last six games (including the regular season) versus Phoenix. Therefore, he hasn’t come close to eclipsing 18.5 points in the last six meetings against his second-round foe.
The Action Labs Projection tool has Porter Jr. scoring 17.8 points. With his lingering injury and lack of success against the Suns this season, I’m fading his 18.5 points line in Game 4.
Devin Booker over 26.5 points (-113)
|Suns vs. Nuggets||Nuggets +3|
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET|
Booker is an ascending talent that keeps getting better as the season rolls on. The backcourt duo with him and Chris Paul is making the Suns’ path to the Western Conference finals look easy. With a closeout game on the road to complete the sweep, I’m backing Booker to surpass his 26.5 points prop.
D-Book’s only hit the over on his points prop once this series. That came in Game 3 where he dropped 28 points. His points line has hovered between 27.5 and 29.5 through three games, mainly because he averaged 29.7 in his opening series against the Lakers.
The issue hasn’t been Booker’s efficiency (he’s shooting 52% in the series) but opportunity. The Nuggets are losing by an average margin of 18.6 points per game in the second round. Game 3 was the first time Booker played 40 minutes. And what was the result? 28 points on 11-of-23 shooting.
This was also the first time he attempted more than 20 shots in the series. His volume is down against the Nuggets, shooting an average of 16 shot attempts per game. In his opening-round series against the Lakers, Booker came out firing, averaging 20.2 shots per contest.
The Suns have shown no signs of letting up, and with the chance to get some much-needed rest for their veteran players (looking at you, Chris Paul), expect Booker to be aggressive offensively and complete the sweep on the road. The Nuggets will try their best to keep up with the Suns, which offers Booker a lot of playing time and opportunity to get buckets.
The Suns are 3-point favorites on the road, and Booker’s exceeded 26.5 points in six of his last seven games as a favorite, per Fansure. He’s also gone over 26.5 points in nine of his last 12 road games, with an average of 29.6 points per game over that span.
Our Action Labs Projections Tool has Booker producing 30.5 points in Game 4 and with a bet quality rating of 10, I’m banking on Booker to hit the over.