NBA Player Prop Pick | Fade Paolo Banchero in Timberwolves vs Magic (Jan. 9)

NBA Player Prop Pick | Fade Paolo Banchero in Timberwolves vs Magic (Jan. 9) article feature image

James Gilbert/Getty Images. Pictured: Paolo Banchero

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NBA Player Prop Pick

Tuesday, Jan 9
7 p.m. ET
NBA League Pass
Paolo Banchero Under 28.5 Points (-120)

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With the Orlando Magic hit by a wave of injuries to start the year, Paolo Banchero has emerged as the team’s go-to guy, shouldering the load of the offense. The reigning Rookie of the Year has put together a solid six-game stretch, averaging 32.3 points per game.

Even with elevated production operating as the alpha, and despite his recent success, I’m looking to fade Banchero in a tough matchup.

Banchero is coming off two 30-point games in the absence of Franz Wagner, but I won’t put too much weight on it. Against the Nuggets, he scored 19 of his 32 points from the line while generating just eight field goals from the field. Against the Hawks, a more favorable matchup, he still needed OT to get him over this line, scoring eight of his 35 points after Jalen Suggs fouled out in the extra period.

Tonight’s matchup versus the Timberwolves makes for a tougher challenge for Banchero. Their defense is responsible for holding teams to the lowest effective field goal percentage while permitting the fifth-fewest points per game (112.0) over the last 10 games.

On isolations, he’ll likely see time being defended by Jaden McDaniels and Kyle Anderson — the pair rank 94th and 87th, respectively, on defensive plus-minus, per Dunks and Threes.

And on drives, he’ll have difficulty finding success, having to meet Defensive Player of the Year candidate Rudy Gobert at the rim. Banchero scored 59% of his field goals made in this area, yet the Timberwolves prevented the seventh-fewest points in the paint to opposing teams.

Despite his added volume and usage, I have a hard time seeing Banchero collecting enough points to surpass his 28.5 points prop in what already seems to be an inflated line.

Pick: Paolo Banchero Under 28.5 Points (-120 at ESPN BET)

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Doug Ziefel
May 22, 2024 UTC