NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks: 2 Picks for Thursday, Headlined by Wendell Carter Jr. (December 30)
Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images. Pictured: Wendell Carter Jr.
Editor’s note: This game has been postponed because of a COVID outbreak among the Nuggets roster and coaching staff.
With only four games on the NBA slate tonight, I provided props on three of the four games with two of those games being played on NBA TV. It is always nice to watch your props win rather than sweat the game spread. There are a couple unique props listed below with more options if you like better value.
We’ll be using the Action Labs Player Prop tool to compare our NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks. 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
Matisse Thybulle, Over 2.5 Steals and Blocks (-140)
|76ers vs. Nets||Nets -5|
|Time | TV||7 p.m. ET | NBA TV|
This Atlantic Division clash between the Nets and 76ers features the highest game total on the slate at 221 points. The 76ers have won three of their last four games, while the Nets have won six of their last seven games.
The Nets get Kevin Durant back from the COVID protocols, which is good for the outlook of Matisse Thybulle. Having Durant and James Harden on the floor will result in more playing time for one of the best defenders in the league. Thybulle has averaged 32 minutes per game in his last four games.
Thybulle leads the 76ers in steals with 1.7 per game and is tied for second in blocks with 1.1 per game. He has recorded three or more steals and blocks in three of his last four games and in 15 of his 27 games played this season. He ranks sixth in the league in deflections with 3.4 per game. Thybulle is active around the ball and always seems to be in the right place at the right time.
Not only will Thybulle get more action against Durant and Harden, but the latter leads the league in turnovers with 4.9 per game. Durant isn’t too far behind, ranking 17th with 3.2 turnovers per game. The Nets rank eighth in Pace this season, while the 76ers rank dead last. I love getting to these steals and blocks props when the game environment is fast-paced filled with opportunities.
There is more value if you take the steals or blocks prop individually, but I would rather take both for safety. The value isn’t the greatest, but the next two props provide enough value that we can get safety with this Thybulle pick.
Wendell Carter Jr, Over 1.5 Made 3-Pointers (+100)
|Bucks vs. Magic||Bucks -14|
|Time | TV||7 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
After losing 127-110 against the Bucks on Tuesday night, the Magic face Milwaukee at home again tonight. The spread is still extremely high as the Bucks are 14-point road favorites. This game could certainly get out of hand early, but I think there is still plenty of value to be had with this prop.
The Magic will be without Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs once again tonight. Using our On/Off tool at FantasyLabs, Wendell Carter Jr. has a +4.9% usage rate increase with Anthony and Suggs off the floor this season.
We are focusing on the 3-point shot here, which is something the Bucks have a very difficult time defending. They allow the most 3-point field goal attempts per game in the NBA at 41.9, which is almost two more than any other team. The Bucks also allow their opponents to make 14.1 per game, which is tied for the second-highest in the league.
Carter certainly isn’t known for being a lethal 3-point shooter, but he is averaging a career-high in 3-point attempts (3.8) and makes (1.3) per game. In the Magic’s three games against the Bucks this season, Carter is averaging 4.3 attempts from beyond the arc, and he has gone over this total twice.
I love this prop at even money. There is a similar prop on Franz Wagner, but there is more value with Carter tonight. This prop likely won’t move down to 0.5 3-pointers made, but jump on it if it does. Carter has made at least one 3-pointer in 27 of his 33 games this season.
Stephen Curry, Over 27.5 Points (-105)
|Warriors vs. Nuggets||Warriors -4|
|Time | TV||9:30 p.m. ET | NBA TV|
The Warriors and Nuggets will also run it back tonight after playing on Tuesday night in San Francisco. The Nuggets won in a ridiculously low scoring game 89-86. The Warriors’ 86 points was a season low and just the third time they have scored under 100.
If this game is played (the Nuggets might not have enough healthy players due to COVID protocols, and they’re without head coach Michael Malone), our model has this Stephen Curry prop as the best line value on the board tonight. We have Curry projected to score 35 points, which far exceeds this 27.5 points prop total. He has scored 30 or more points in four out of his last five games. His only miss was against the Nuggets on Tuesday, when he only scored 23.
The Warriors will likely be playing without Draymond Green tonight due to the COVID protocols, which is a bit concerning on both sides of the floor. In the three games that Green has missed this season, the Warriors Offensive Rating falls from 113.7 to 104.6, while their Defensive Rating goes from 102.0 to 111.4. Last game was the first time Curry played without Green this season.
Curry played 39 minutes last game, but only had 16 field goal attempts, which tied for his third lowest this season. In his three previous games, he was averaging 25.3 shots. Curry continues to shoot an absurd amount of 3-pointers, averaging a career-high 13.5 3-point field goal attempts per game. I am banking on Curry taking more shots tonight.
After scoring only 175 points in their last meeting and going way under the projected total of 218 points, the total for tonight’s game was lowered to 214.5 points. The Warriors are 4-point road favorites. I would take this Curry prop up to 29.5 points. I think he’s more aggressive and he has another 30-bomb.