Best NBA Player Props & Betting Picks (Thursday, Dec. 12): Finding Value Fading Role-Player Scorers
Photo credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kent Bazemore
Betting on props can be one of the easiest ways to build your bankroll. Sportsbooks tend to offer lower limits and take less action on props than they do on games, so they don’t have as much incentive to post an accurate line.
That’s where our Player Prop tool comes in handy. We compare our industry-leading NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks to identify the best plays each day. Each bet is then graded on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade.
Odds as of Thursday afternoon. Check out FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
How about a little reminder on just how impressively these bets did last season? Props with a Bet Quality of 10 posted a win rate of 60.31%, and props with a Bet Quality of nine won at a 58.82% clip.
As is the case with most sports, betting on unders proved to be more profitable than betting on overs last season:
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 10: 341-172 (66.47%)
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 9: 457-273 (62.6%)
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 8: 898-589 (60.39%)
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 7: 1447-1086 (57.13%)
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 6: 1992-1663 (54.95%)
Overall, if you just blind bet every under with a Bet Quality of eight or higher, you would’ve won at a 62.1% clip on more than 2,700 bets.
Tonight’s props come from two of the slate’s four games:
- Cleveland Cavaliers at San Antonio Spurs: 8:30 p.m. ET
- Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets: 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT
Let’s dive in.
Blazers SG Kent Bazemore
THE PICK: Under 10.5 points (-114)
We faded Kent Bazemore’s scoring on Tuesday night with success, so we’re going back to the well for seconds. Bazemore is averaging only 7.7 points a game as a Blazer. You might think that number isn’t representative now that Bazemore is starting in Rodney Hood’s place with Hood out injured, but Baze is averaging only 9.5 points in his four Portland starts anyway.
Bazemore is under 10.5 points in nine of the last 10 games. He’s averaging only 6.3 field goal attempts a game during that stretch and barely hitting 30% of them. Bazemore is out there to play defense, soak up minutes and let Portland’s other high-usage players take all the shots. Play this line confidently as high as -150.
Spurs G Derrick White
THE PICK: Under 10 points (-125)
Derrick White was supposed to be a breakout candidate after spending time with Gregg Popovich with Team USA, but he’s had an uneven fall campaign at best. White is averaging 9.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists, more or less matching his numbers from a year ago before his playoff breakout.
White has a nice matchup against the Cavs, but that could mean easy buckets for Spurs veterans DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. White has cleared 10 points only seven times in 21 games this year, and three of those came in the first six games when he averaged 13.7 points a game. He’s down to 8.1 since then, and our models have him at 7.4 points tonight. This line looks playable up to -150.
Spurs G Bryn Forbes
THE PICK: Under 12.5 points (-114)
Two Spurs guards for the price of one! Forbes is more of a natural scorer than White — that’s really what he’s out there for. Forbes is averaging a career-best 12.9 points per game and is one of the only true floor-spacers in San Antonio, hitting 2.4 threes a game.
The Spurs may not need to worry too much about spacing against the porous Cavs defense, which has little chance of stopping San Antonio’s go-to veteran options. Forbes scored double digits in 14 of the season’s first 15 games, but he’s slowed down since then. In the last eight games, Forbes has gone under 12.5 points six times, going cold from the field and averaging 9.8 points a game. Ride the winter cold wave and fade Forbes up to -140.