NBA Playoffs Player Prop Bets, Picks: 3 Picks for Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 6 (Friday, June 4)

NBA Playoffs Player Prop Bets, Picks: 3 Picks for Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 6 (Friday, June 4) article feature image
Credit:

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: Nicolas Batum.

  • There's only one game on the docket on Friday night in the NBA, but boy is it a big one.
  • The Mavericks can send the Clippers home for the summer with a win in Game 6 in Dallas, which means the big names will be out in full force.
  • Brandon Anderson breaks down three player prop picks using the Action Labs Player Props tool.

We have just one game on the slate on Friday night, but it’s a big one.

Could we see both Los Angeles franchises eliminated on back-to-back nights? The Clippers are once again playing their “Biggest Game in Franchise History,” staring into the abyss of another first-round elimination. They’ve got to win this one in Dallas, then go home to Staples Center and win again to keep the season alive.

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

Tim Hardaway Jr., over 2.5 threes (-148)

Clippers vs. Mavericks Clippers -3
Time | TV 9 p.m. ET | ESPN
Best Book DraftKings

You know the old saying: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

We keep playing Tim Hardaway Jr.’s 3-point shooting, he keeps hitting our over, and the books keep not adjusting enough.

So here we are again, and it’s the same case once again.

Hardaway has been smoking hot on 3-pointers all year. He made 39% of his attempts from beyond the arc during the regular season, and that was actually a slight drop from 40% last season. This year, he averaged 3.0 made 3-balls per game, a career high, and took 7.6 attempts behind the arc per game, another career best.

Hardaway has somehow been even hotter in the playoffs. His attempts have stayed right there at 7.4 per game, but he’s making 48.6% of his attempts now, making 3.6 treys per game. And that average is actually a bit low, considering Hardaway didn’t make a single 3-pointer in Game 4. He’s hit at least three 3s in all four other games, going over this line in all of them, and he’s now 18-of-37 for the series. He’s averaging 4.5 makes per game outside of that one clunker.

The attempts are going to be there — that much we know. Hardaway took at least six 3s in 57 of 70 (81%) of his regular-season games and all but one of these playoff games. We are projecting THJ at 4.0 makes, and I still think this line should be 3.5, not 2.5, but the books refuse to adjust it upward.

It ain’t broke, so we dare not fix it. Keep riding the hot hand and play Hardaway’s 3-point over to -170.


Jalen Brunson, under 8.5 points (-130)

Clippers vs. Mavericks Clippers -3
Time | TV 9 p.m. ET | ESPN
Best Book BetMGM

Hardaway may be lighting up the court for the Mavericks, but Jalen Brunson is having a hard time just staying on the court.

Poor Brunson has played 89 minutes so far this series, and the Mavericks are an ugly minus-54 in those minutes. Brunson has finished minus-seven or worse in all five games this series.

Now, that’s not entirely fair. Brunson is the de facto backup point guard for the Mavericks, and you might have heard of the lead point guard. His name is Luka Doncic, and he’s making a case for himself as the best basketball player in the world so far this series.

Doncic is a basketball savant, and he’s doing everything for the Mavericks. In the Game 5 win, he scored or assisted on 83.8% of all Mavericks field goals, the highest such percentage in NBA history, per Justin Kubatko. And when Doncic is that hot, that good, it only stands to reason that the Mavs will want him out there as much as humanly possible. That means maximizing Luka minutes, and unfortunately for Brunson, it means minimizing his minutes.

Brunson averaged 19.6 minutes per game over the first four games but was reduced to just 10.1 in Game 5. The Mavs were still minus-10 in those minutes — that’s a full point lost per minute! — and Brunson made a single shot and scored two points.

Honestly, I really like Brunson. He’s a nice shooter and a good floor general, and he fights hard every game, every night. But he’s small and not Doncic, and this just isn’t the spot for him. He can create some assists for teammates and run the clock to get Luka some rest, but I’m not sure he’ll be out there enough to hit this points over. If he does score nine points, the Mavs will have an excellent chance of winning because it probably means some unexpected points in those rare non-Luka minutes.

We project Brunson at 6.9 points in 17.1 minutes, but I won’t be surprised if he ends up playing fewer than that. He’s gone under in two straight, so let’s make it three. I’ll play the under to -145.


Nicolas Batum, over 7.5 rebounds + assists (-111)

Clippers vs. Mavericks Clippers -3
Time | TV 9 p.m. ET | ESPN
Best Book FanDuel

For the first half of the season, it sure felt like Nicolas Batum was the third best Clippers player behind Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. He was starting then but moved to the bench after the All-Star break, and things seemed to be going just fine.

Then the playoffs started and the Clippers went down 0-2 at home, and it was time for a chance. Doncic was absolutely shredding poor Ivica Zubac and the Clippers’ defense, so head coach Ty Lue turned to Batum as a partial solution. With Batum out there along with Leonard, George and Marcus Morris, the Clippers can switch early and often and keep movable length on Doncic as much as possible.

After playing under 19 minutes in Game 2, Batum jumped to over 26 minutes in Game 3 and then started Games 4 and 5. He’s played nearly 70 minutes the last two games as a starter.

This, then, is a volume play as much as anything. Batum is a smart player who passes the ball along well, and he’s had multiple assists in three of the five games this series. He’s also got enough size to be a nice rebounder in this series, especially in the “big man” type role he’s playing for LA, and Batum has responded with at least five rebounds in every game but that low-minute Game 2.

Add the rebounds and assists together, and Batum is averaging 7.75 rebounds and assists per game outside of that Game 2 outlier, going over this line in three of the four other games. In the regular season, he averaged 6.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per 36 minutes, and that’s about the number of minutes he’s playing now — and that number could go up in an elimination game, too.

We project Batum at 33.5 minutes and have him putting up 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists. That would be enough to clear the 7.5 total, and it’s probably going to be close, but the odds are in our favor. I’ll play the combo over to -125.


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