NBA Player Props Betting Forecast: Embiid On The Cusp of Returning, Navigating Monk’s Injury

NBA Player Props Betting Forecast: Embiid On The Cusp of Returning, Navigating Monk’s Injury article feature image

Pictured: Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers and Malik Monk of the Sacramento Kings for Action Network’s NBA Player Props Forecast.

NBA Player Props Betting Forecast

The NBA Regular Season is coming to a close as we enter April but there still are some roster changes and modifications that we need to be prepared for in the week ahead including the anticipated return of the reigning MVP.

Joel Embiid's Anticipated Return

Schedule: April 2 vs. Thunder | April 4 at Heat | April 6 at Grizzlies

Last week, Joel Embiid returned to practice with the Philadelphia 76ers after undergoing a procedure to clean up the meniscus tear that could have sidelined him for the season. He not only returned to practice but even traveled with the team on their road trip this weekend. Given that, the question has shifted from not if but when Embiid is going to return as the Sixers jockey for positioning in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

This week, the Sixers play at home on Tuesday against the Thunder before heading on the road to play the Heat, the Grizzlies, and the Spurs, then return home next Tuesday against the Pistons. Given the reporting, it's possible Embiid returns during any of these games.

Prior to injury, Embiid was the MVP favorite while averaging 35.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 5.7 assists in 34 minutes per game. He was a truly dominant force and still leads the league in EPM (+10.6). When he returns, he certainly will be on a minutes limit so we should temper our expectations for some of those monster games; however, we have seen him fill it up in short periods of time.

His return will have a dramatic impact on the 76ers' rotations and the associated player props. While Maxey continues to score ~25.5 points with and without Embiid, he sees his assists increase from 5.6 per game to 6.8. Tobias Harris sees his scoring dip from 17.6 per game to 16.8 ppg and his rebounds drop from 6.8 to 6.0. Kelly Oubre also sees a noticeable decrease in his scoring from 17.1 ppg to 12.2 with a ton of his usage drying up.

One player I am curious to see play alongside of Embiid is Buddy Hield. Hield has not seen the amount of usage I would have expected coming out of the trade. When he was first acquired he was playing at least 28 minutes per night, now, in his last 10 games he is averaging just 21.4 minutes per game with 10.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and just 1.9 3s. This is partially due to his defensive deficiencies but they've needed some more shot creation without Embiid. With Embiid's return, I think Hield should see an uptick in not only minutes but in usage as well. He is the exact type of floor spacer that would benefit from playing alongside of Embiid. He does not need to create his own shot, rather, his value would be in deterring opposing teams from sending as many doubles at Embiid. In Embiid's first game back, I'd look at Hield's points or 3s prop.

Malik Monk's Injury

Schedule: April 2 vs. Clippers | April 4 at Knicks | April 5 at Celtics

The Kings received the bad news that Malik Monk was diagnosed with a sprained right MCL and is expected to miss four-to-six weeks which would sideline him for a significant portion of the Playoffs.

Monk was the Sixth Man of the Year front runner and his impact will be missed for the Kings as they fight for a Playoff spot. Monk has barely missed time this season but the Kings will definitely miss the 15.4 points and 5.1 assists he was providing in 26 minutes off the bench.

In the last two games, one of which Monk left after playing just 2 minutes, the Kings have leaned on a relatively balanced scoring approach. De'Aaron Fox (23.5), Harrison Barnes (22.0), Keegan Murray (18.5), and Domantas Sabonis (15.0) lead the team and Fox has seen his assists per game spike to 8.5 over these two games against the Mavericks and the Jazz. In both games, Davion Mitchell played the most minutes off the bench at about 19 per game.

Without Monk, the margins get smaller for the Kings. Monk could get his own shot and facilitate for others. That spike in assists for Fox does not seem like a fluke either. He averages 6.7 assists per game without Monk compared to 5.9 in games alongside him over the last two seasons. This season, Fox has tallied, 12 and 6 assists in the games without Monk completely and had another 5 against Dallas when Monk suffered his injury. This will be a look going forward even in some tough matchups against the Clippers, Knicks, and Celtics this week.

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