NBA Player Prop & Pick: Fade Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in Thunder vs. Grizzlies (December 7)

NBA Player Prop & Pick: Fade Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in Thunder vs. Grizzlies (December 7) article feature image

Justin Ford/Getty Images. Pictured: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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NBA Player Prop & Pick

PropShai Gilgeous-Alexander Under 29.5 PTS (-111)
MatchupThunder vs. Grizzlies
Time8 p.m. ET
Best BookCaesars

You must think I’m crazy right? The Kentucky product is having a career year for the Oklahoma City Thunder, averaging 31.2 points per game, and scoring 30-plus points in 10 of his last 11 games. So, what is making me want to fade him tonight? The one game he did not hit that milestone was against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Since the return of Jaren Jackson Jr., the Grizzlies have the eighth-best Defensive Rating per NBA Advanced Stats and are permitting the eighth-fewest field goals made less than 8 feet. The potential DPOY candidate provides extra rim pressure with block upside alongside Steven Adams in the paint.

Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks has been one of the league’s best on-ball defenders ranking in the 96th percentile in estimated plus/minus amongst all players. In the last two head-to-head meetings vs. Gilgeous-Alexander, he combined to hold him to just 5-of-18 (27% shooting) from the field.

On Nov. 18, SGA scored 15 points on 6-of-18 shooting against the Grizzlies. It was a difficult spot for him. He saw a mix of Dillon Brooks coverage, blitzing on top from pick-and-roll switching, doubling, and high drops from Adams. That prevented him from having much success driving in the lane, forcing him to pass out the ball to other teammates. SGA made just two of the six shots in the paint — he scores 5.9 field goals off drives.

SGA attempted at least nine free throws in the games where he scored 30-plus points. Tonight’s game has the Grizzlies as 7.5-point favorites playing at home. If the spread holds, this could prevent potential late-game free-throw visits with the Thunder not in the lead.

Oddsmakers set his line at 29.5 despite him consistently going over it in seven straight games, knowing this is a below-average matchup. The Grizzlies just rested their starters, so they’ll be energized and ready on the defensive end.

This prop will be unpopular, but If there is any team designed to guard SGA, it’s the Grizzlies, and because of that, I like his chances of going under 30 points tonight.

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