Wednesday NBA Player Prop Bets: 3 Best Picks Including Ja Morant, Seth Curry & Tim Hardaway Jr. (June 2)
Alex Goodlett/Getty Images. Pictured: Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant
- Eight teams play in a Game 5 tonight with three on the brink of elimination.
- Our staff has identified three players who could be in for big nights on the NBA's loaded Wednesday slate.
- See which players to focus on as the NBA's first round of playoff action rolls on.
One last time this NBA season, we’ve got a night with four games in action, so let’s find some prop winners.
It’s Game 5 tonight for eight teams. In two games, our 1-seeds are looking to close things out, and the Hawks look to close out the Knicks, as well. And then there’s the Clippers and the Mavericks in our final series tied up at two in the ever tricky West.
It’s a full slate ahead.
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
Seth Curry, over 16.5 points + assists (-113)
|Wizards at 76ers||-6.5|
|Time | TV||7 p.m. ET | NBATV|
This series was supposed to be a wrap, but here we are for Game 5 and the Wizards are still fighting. Washington pushed Philly all the way to keep the Wizards’ season alive, thanks of course to some help from an early Joel Embiid injury.
Well, it looks like Embiid is likely to miss this one, so don’t call this series over just yet. Anything can happen, and the Sixers need their healthy players to show up and close this thing out so Embiid can get some rest before the second round. And with Embiid missing, that leaves a whole lot of touches and shots for the other regulars on this team.
Enter Seth Curry, the one Curry still playing in these playoffs. Curry got off to a blistering start to the season before getting injured and missing a chunk of time in the middle of the year, and he slowed down after that. He finished the year averaging a modest 12.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. Of course, he also played only 28.7 minutes per game as Philly tried to keep his minutes down and leave him healthy and rested for moments like this.
Curry’s playoff minutes are only at 27.8 per game, but that’s largely because Philadelphia has boat raced Washington a couple times and left the starters watching the finish from the sidelines. That’s far less likely to be the case without Embiid.
Curry is averaging 12.3 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in the playoffs, about at his season numbers. But I expect more time on the ball for Curry, and he should get more shots up too. He may also need to play more minutes in a closer game. Add it all up, and this shapes up nicely for a good Curry game.
We project Curry at 17.2 points and 2.9 assists in 31.8 minutes. Curry has had multiple assists in three of the four playoff games, so I’m happy to add the assists in here since it only raises the points line by two. Curry might well go over the 16.5 on scoring alone, but it never hurts to have a few assists just in case.
Our projections have Curry at 20.1 points + assists, so that gives this one a 16% edge in our favor at FanDuel. I’ll play the over to -135.
Ja Morant, over 7.5 assists (+118)
|Grizzlies at Jazz||+9.5|
|Time | TV||9:30 p.m. ET | NBATV|
Ja Morant has been absolutely electric over the past couple weeks.
First, Morant had an efficient 20 points, six rebounds, and six assists in an elimination game against the Spurs to start the postseason. Then he exploded for 35 points against the Warriors in a second elimination game, knocking out the red-hot Steph Curry. Up next were the 1-seed Jazz, and Morant had 26/4/4 in a Game 1 win. The Grizzlies lost Game 2, but it sure wasn’t Morant’s fault. He racked up 47 points in the loss, then tallied 51 more the last two games.
But Morant is probably still a better passer than a scorer. He has outstanding vision and incredible live-ball passing ability with both hands, and as Utah continues to try to take Morant’s scoring away, that only makes him even more of a passer. As Morant’s scoring has dropped during the course of this series, his assists have risen. He started with just four in Game 1, had seven each in Games 2 and 3, and then racked up 12 in the most recent outing.
We need at least eight dimes for our over, and Morant has only done that once so far in six postseason games. That’s not great, but Ja should continue to get as many minutes as he can handle and the Jazz should continue to push Morant to make basically anyone else beat them. Utah can smell the second round now, and they’re not going to let Morant beat them on his own.
Besides, Morant averaged an assist every 4.4 minutes in the regular season. At that rate, he’d only need about 33 minutes to hit our over, and he’s playing over 42 MPG the last three games.
Those huge minutes are key. When Morant played at least 36 minutes this season, he went over 7.5 assists in nine of 14 regular season games, hitting the over 64% of the time and averaging 8.5 APG in those games. In three such playoff games with 36 minutes, he’s at 8.7 APG. And in yet another elimination game, Morant should get all the minutes he can take.
This won’t be easy, but that’s why we’re getting plus money. We project Morant at 8.7 assists in 39.6 minutes, so this is a must-play at plus money and our Props Tool even likes it as far as -120 if need be.
Tim Hardaway Jr., over 2.5 3-pointers (-130)
|Mavs at Clippers||+7|
|Time | TV||10 p.m. ET | TNT|
Tim Hardaway Jr. is a pending free agent, and he sure picked a great time to have a career shooting season.
Hardaway hit 39% of his 3s this season, and that wasn’t even as strong as his 40% last year. He did make a career best 3.0 treys per game this season, and he did that on a career-high 7.6 attempts per game from beyond the arc.
Somehow, Hardaway has gotten even hotter in the playoffs.
He is absolutely shooting the lights out for Dallas. Hardaway has made 15 of his 27 3-point attempts so far in the playoffs, a blistering 55.6% thus far. And actually, that’s dropped a good deal after Hardaway put up a donut on 3s in Game 4. Before that, he was at 15 of 23 in Games 1 through 3, good for a tidy 65.2%. Good grief.
That sort of shooting was never going to keep up, but the attempts are going to be there because that’s literally what Hardaway is on the court to do. If he’s out there, he’s firing. Hardaway took at least six 3-point attempts in 57 of 70 games this season, and he tried at least eight of them in more than half his games. The attempts have been there in the playoffs too, outside of the one bad Game 4.
Hardaway made at least a trio of 3s in 39 of 70 regular season games, hitting this over 56% of the time. He’s gone over in three of the four playoff games too, and he sure seems to love shooting at Staples Center.
We project Hardaway at 3.9 3-pointers made in Game 5, and that’s actually still a dropoff from his pace those first three games. Let’s assume Game 4 was just a swing and a miss and get THJ back on track with an over here. I’ll play the over to -150.