3 NBA Props To Bet Thursday: Donte DiVincenzo, Dejounte Murray & Nikola Vučević
Alex Menendez/Getty Images. Pictured: San Antonio Spurs standout Dejounte Murray.
- We have a six-game card on Thursday's NBA docket, but that doesn't mean we're lacking angles on our prop plays.
- NBA betting analyst Brandon Anderson delivers his three best bets for Donte DiVincenzo, Dejounte Murray and Nikola Vučević.
It’s important to remember in the world of NBA props and sports betting that the big picture is much more important than individual day-to-day wins. As Joel Embiid would say, we need to learn to trust the process.
Sometimes that means making riskier picks that are more likely to lose, because they also have favorable odds. Even if we lose some of those bets Thursday or other days, the numbers will work out in our favor over time if we are steadfast in our positions.
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
Donte DiVincenzo — Over 2.5 Assists (+105)
|Sixers vs. Bucks||Bucks -8|
|Time | TV||7 p.m. ET | TNT|
Donte DiVincenzo has quietly become a pretty reliable fifth starter for the Milwaukee Bucks. He’s averaging double-digit points for the first time in his career, and he’s making almost exactly two 3-pointers per game at better than 38 percent. Add in the sticky team defense on the other end, and DiVincenzo is doing exactly what the Bucks want him to do as a role player.
He’s also moving the ball better lately. DiVincenzo’s assist rate is a career high, as well as his 3.1 assists per game. He has five or more assists in 10 games already this season, including games with eight, nine and nine assists that show off a real ceiling as a passer.
We only need three assists here, and DiVincenzo has had at least that many in 30 of 53 games this season, hitting the over 57% of the time. In his past 15 games, he’s up to 3.5 APG with multiple assists in all but one game, going over in 10 of them and hitting the over 67 percent.
This line is too low for DiVincenzo. It should probably be at least 3.0 assists, and at the very least, we shouldn’t be getting plus juice at 2.5 assists. I’d play the over as high as -115 odds.
Dejounte Murray — Over 6.5 Rebounds (-105)
|Pistons vs. Spurs||Spurs -9|
|Time | TV||8:30 p.m. ET | League Pass|
Did you know Dejounte Murray’s nickname is apparently “Baby Boy?” These are the things you learn when you spend hours every day on Basketball Reference.
You also learn just how good Murray has been this season. he is finally all the way back from the knee injury that cost him the entire 2018-19 season. Murray isn’t your typical point guard, rather much more of a 3-and-D wing playing guard. Murray is long and nasty defensively, using his size and athleticism to be an elite positional rebounder.
Murray has a rebounding percentage over 20% three consecutive seasons — trust me, that’s good, even for most forwards, plus he’s averaging more than 10 rebounds per 100 possessions in all three of them. And now that he’s playing more than 30 minutes a game for the first time in his career, Murray is putting up a career high 6.9 RPG as well.
Murray has 11 games with double-digit rebounds, which is incredibly anomalous for a guard. We only need seven rebounds, and he has at least that many in 27 of 41 games, hitting this over 66% of the time and about twice every three games. He’s also had at least five rebounds in all but three games, so we know the floor is high enough to give us a shot, even on an off night.
Our Props Tool has been basically recommending this over all season, and it’s almost always a quality play. On a night like this contest, when there aren’t many other great plays, I’ll ride with what’s worked and play to -125 odds.
Nikola Vučević — Under 3.5 Assists (+110)
|Hornets vs. Bulls||Bulls -1.5|
|Time | TV||9 p.m. ET | League Pass|
Suffice to say, it has been a rocky transition for Nikola Vučević and the Chicago Bulls. The franchise is an ugly 5-10 since trading Wendell Carter Jr. and multiple first-round picks for Vučević, plus they’re on the precipice of dropping out of the playoff race, especially with Zach LaVine in health protocol.
Vučević is averaging 22.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. Those certainly aren’t bad numbers by any stretch, but they’re all a tick down from the excellent season he was having in Orlando, where I thought he was a serious All-NBA contender.
Vučević has been a bit more efficient, as would be expected, but he’s not getting enough touches from a team that isn’t used to playing its offense through a big man yet.
Vučević’s 3.4 APG are lower than any of his last three seasons in Orlando. He’s gone under 3.5 assists in eight of his 15 Bulls games, hitting the under more often than the over. That includes unders in three of five games without LaVine, even when you’d think Vučević would get more touches and playmaking opportunities. Instead, those seem to have gone to Coby White.
This prop feels near a coin flip, perhaps weighted ever so slightly in our favor. We project Vučević at 3.2 assists, and since this coin is weighted toward us, but giving significant plus odds, that makes it worth the play. Scared money don’t make money. I’ll play at any positive number.