NBA Player Prop Picks (Saturday, Nov. 2): The Damian Lillard Bet That Has Value
Photo credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Damian Lillard
- Saturday's seven-game NBA slate features three player prop bets offering value
- This piece will focus on Magic PF Aaron Gordon, Wizards PG Ish Smith, and Blazers PG Damian Lillard
Betting on props can be one of the easiest ways to build your bankroll. Sportsbooks tend to offer lower limits and take less action on props than they do on games, so they don’t have as much incentive to post an accurate line.
That’s where our Player Prop tool comes in handy. We compare our industry-leading NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks to identify the best plays each day. Each bet is then graded on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade.
Odds as of Friday afternoon. Check out PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
How about a little reminder on just how impressively these bets did last season? Props with a Bet Quality of 10 posted a win rate of 60.31%, and props with a Bet Quality of nine won at a 58.82% clip.
As is the case with most sports, betting on unders proved to be more profitable than betting on overs last season:
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 10: 341-172 (66.47%)
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 9: 457-273 (62.6%)
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 8: 898-589 (60.39%)
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 7: 1447-1086 (57.13%)
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 6: 1992-1663 (54.95%)
Overall, if you just blind bet every under with a Bet Quality of eight or higher, you would’ve won at a 62.1% clip on more than 2,700 bets.
Tonight’s props come from three of the slate’s seven games:
- Denver Nuggets at Orlando Magic: 7 p.m. ET on NBATV
- Minnesota Timberwolves at Washington Wizards: 8 p.m. ET
- Philadelphia 76ers at Portland Trail Blazers: 10 p.m. ET on NBATV
Let’s dive in.
Magic PF Aaron Gordon
THE PICK: Under 13 points (-114) [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Gordon has had a rough start to his season. He’s currently averaging just 9.4 points per game, and he’s scored 11 points or fewer in four of his first five contests. His playing time is also way down. He’s played 30.4 minutes or fewer in each contest, resulting in an average of just 29.0 minutes per game.
Gordon does seem like a candidate for some positive regression moving forward — he’s shot just 34.0% from the field — but that might not start vs. the Nuggets. This matchup figures to be played at a snail’s pace: The Magic rank tied for 28th in pace and the Nuggets rank dead last. The total on this game sits at just 200.5, which is the lowest mark on the slate by 20 points. The Magic are also underdogs despite playing at home, giving them the lowest implied team total of the day.
As long as Gordon doesn’t seen an increase in playing time, he’s going to struggle to score more than 13 points in this contest. I would play the under up to -140.
Wizards PG Ish Smith
THE PICK: Under 4.5 assists (+110)
Smith is technically the starting point guard for the Washington Wizards, but he doesn’t really operate as a point guard very often. He’s averaged just 4.0 assists per game this season, and he’s been at four assists or fewer in three of his past four games. That includes the Wizards’ last game, where they exploded for 158 points. The Wizards made 55 shots in that contest, and Smith could still muster just three assists.
Smith’s playing time also decreased to just 23.3 minutes in his last game, and he’s projected for a similar workload today.
Bradley Beal spends the majority of the time with the ball in his hands for the Wizards, so I have no problem betting against Smith in this spot. I love this bet at better than even money, but I’d play it up to -125.
Blazers PG Damian Lillard
THE PICK: Over 6.5 assists (-121) [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Most of the league is opting to get more rest for their star players this season, but don’t tell that to the Blazers. Lillard has averaged 37.1 minutes per game through his first five contests, and no one on today’s slate is projected for more minutes in the FantasyLabs NBA Models. He’s played at least 38.2 minutes in each of his past three games, and he’s handed out at least seven assists in each of his past two.
Lillard isn’t a true facilitator at the point guard position — he’s definitely looking to score more than set up teammates — but he’s averaged at least 6.5 assists per 36 minutes in four of the past five seasons. He’s currently on pace to average 7.3 assists per 36 minutes, which would be the top mark of his career.
Lillard should be able to hit the over on this prop through sheer volume, so I’d play it up to -140.