NBA Player Prop Bets: 2 Picks for Sunday’s Games, Including Julius Randle & Bojan Bogdanovic (May 23)
Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Bojan Bogdanovic.
- Plenty of big names are in action on Sunday in the NBA playoffs.
- Dan Titus has identified two players with value using the Action Labs Player Props tool.
- He breaks down his picks for Sunday night below.
Editor’s note: Donovan Mitchell has now been ruled out for Game 1 on Sunday as he continues to deal with a sprained ankle, according to The Athletic’s Tony Jones.
The opening NBA playoff games on Saturday’s card did not disappoint. In the early games, the Bucks beat the Heat in an overtime thriller, thanks to Khris Middleton, and the Nets pulled away late to defeat the Celtics. Luka Dončić is back, as he put on a clinic to help the Mavericks defeat the fourth-seeded Clippers, while Portland was too much for Denver.
Sunday’s NBA slate tipped off at 1 p.m. ET, with the No. 8-seeded Wizards taking on the top-seeded Sixers. The history between Joel Embiid and Russell Westbrook should fuel a competitive series, but my latest props feature at least one player from the remaining two games.
A must play on the card is New York star Julius Randle. He beasted the Hawks all season, leading me I like his rebounding line at plus odds. And for the nightcap, Bojan Bogdanovic’s points line at 19.5 looks too rich, so I’ll break down why I’m going under there in Utah’s game.
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 two prop bets that I’m playing, the case for each bet and the best books to find odds on those player props.
Julius Randle — Over 9.5 Rebounds (+115)
|Hawks vs. Knicks||Knicks +1|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
Randle is in contention for the Most Improved Player Award and he’d probably get a vote for MVP if he played against the Hawks every night.
In three games this season, Randle averaged 37.3 points, 12.3 rebounds and 6.7 assists against this Eastern Conference foe. The Hawks have no answer for him, with him averaging a hefty 32.7 usage rate in those contests.
While I was initially drawn to his points + rebounds + assists market, it moved from 40.5 to 42.5 since Saturday. Thus, I’m pivoting to his rebound line where there is still a ton of value.
He averaged 10.2 rebounds this season, so 9.5 is an appealing number. Randle’s rebounding numbers dipped to 8.9 in May, but six of the nine games played were on the road. Randle rebounds well on his home turf, averaging 10.0 rebounds at Madison Square Garden.
With Knicks fans in a playoff setting for the first time in eight years, expect a lot of energy from Randle and die-hard Knicks enthusiasts.
It’s worth noting that Atlanta allowed the third-fewest rebounds to opposing PF’s this season (9.3). However, Randle was able to grab 11, nine and 17 rebounds versus the Hawks this year.
However, recency matters, as Atlanta slipped to eighth-best in the league in its last five games, allowing 10.4 rebounds to opposing PF’s in that span. This is a prime opportunity to continue his dominance on the glass, as he’s exceeded 9.5 rebounds in five of his last six games versus Atlanta.
The Knicks’ big man led the NBA in minutes played this season (37.6), and it’s going to continue heading into Game 1. He’s averaging a whopping 42.0 minutes per game over his last five games with 9.6 rebounds. Randle is always on the floor, so don’t expect that to change now.
We project Randle to grab 10.7 rebounds, and with a bet quality rating of 10, trust in Tom Thibodeau and Randle to bring home the over in this spot.
Bojan Bogdanovic — Under 19.5 Points (-122)
|Grizzlies vs. Jazz||Jazz -9|
|Time | TV||9:30 p.m. ET|
Bojan Bogdanovic was one of the biggest beneficiaries of Donovan Mitchell’s absence. In 19 games without Mitchell in the lineup, Bogdanovic averaged 22.4 points while attempting 15.6 shots per game. You can’t knock the hustle or production, as Bogdanovic did a great job stepping up for the injured shooting guard. He hit 47.8% from the field with 3.1 3-pointers made over that span.
This is exactly why I am fading his current points line of 19.5. Utah had one of the easiest schedules to close out the season and earn the top spot in the West. Bogdanovic had a few big games against winning teams (GSW, PHX, DEN), but much of his damage was done to losing teams (SAC, OKC, HOU, SA).
Donovan Mitchell makes his return to action here and in 53 games this season, Bogdanovic averaged 15.1 points alongside the All-Star shooting guard.
To pile on, Bogdanovic struggled against Memphis. In three games this season, he averaged 14.3 points while shooting 38.5% from the field. His current points market seems to be a price discrepancy, considering Bogdanovic averaged 16.1 points against teams with a winning record.
According to Fansure, Bogdanovic has failed to exceed 19.5 points in 13 of his last 14 games at home against opponents with a winning record. If Mitchell is a full-go, there should be a considerable regression for Bogdanovic’s scoring potential in the opener.
We’re projecting Bogdanovic to score 15.8 points, and with a bet quality rating of nine, I’m fading his points line of 19.5 points.