NBA Player Props Betting Forecast: Kevin Durant’s Sustained Greatness, Knicks Role Players Getting Usage Boost,
Quinn Harris/Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin Durant #35 of the Phoenix Suns.
It’s been an amazing season and as we enter the last week of the regular season I’ll try to find value in the remaining games as teams jockey for playoff positioning, try to rest for the playoffs, or commit to the tank.
While the regular season may be ending, stay tuned for the playoff version of this article in the near future. For now, let’s dive into the final player props forecast of the regular season (with all odds via BetMGM).
NBA Player Props Betting Forecast
The Kings of New York
Schedule: Wed. at Pacers | Fri. at Pelicans | Sun. vs. Pacers
Julius Randle will miss the rest of the regular season after spraining his ankle and head coach Tom Thibodeau has inserted Obi Toppin into the starting lineup in his absence. Despite that, Thibs has played Josh Hart, Quentin Grimes, and Immanuel Quickley the most in terms of additional minutes.
The biggest beneficiary from a usage standpoint is obviously Jalen Brunson. He has held massive Usage Rates of 45.1% and 31.7% in their past two victories without Randle. He’s averaged 37.5 points and 8.5 assists in these two games and has further demonstrated his ability to lead this team to victory without a true second option on offense.
The real wrinkle here is that the Knicks have cemented themselves as the No. 5 seed. Brunson is out Wednesday and it will be interesting to see if Thibs will rest other primary rotation players down the stretch.
Quentin Grimes has been scorching hot with a 27-point performance in his last game against the Wizards, albeit without RJ Barrett. His 3-point shooting is what has impressed the most. He’s made three and six 3s without Randle, and the volume is significantly increased.
That perimeter sharp shooting will be valuable in the postseason and I’d expect that to continue — his 3s prop was just at over 2.5 (-140) without Barrett, and over 2.5 (+100) in the game prior with Barrett. I’d play his 2.5 line up to (-120) against the Pacers on Wednesday.
If Thibs decides to rest his regulars, I’d expect to see Miles McBride play meaningful minutes down the stretch. McBride is on the edge of the rotation and has played just 10 and nine minutes in these last two games. His defense has been incredible and if he can get a few reps leading the offense it could improve his contributions in the postseason. When he has played at least 20 minutes this season, McBride has averaged 9.6 points and has made at least one three in all nine games.
The most notable difference without Randle though has been the change of pace. There is less isolation and the offense is at times more fluid in terms of the ball movement. I’d expect a few more possessions and more fast break opportunities during these final three games against the Pacers and Pelicans, both teams in the top of half the league in Pace.
This is not a knock on Randle, as he’s critical to the Knicks’ long-term success due to his rebounding and as a pick-and-roll threat with Jalen Brunson.
The Suns and Kevin Durant
Schedule: Thurs. vs. Nuggets | Fri. at Lakers | Sun. vs. Clippers
The Suns are 7-0 when Kevin Durant has played this season and it begs the question: Will the Suns ever lose with KD? I say this in jest; however, there’s some truth to how impactful he’s been for the Suns.
In all lineups with Durant, the Suns are +11.8 in point differential, and he’s actually dramatically improved the defense as the team allows just 104.8 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor, per Cleaning the Glass.
Additionally, their intended starting lineup of Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Josh Okogie, Durant, and Deandre Ayton is an absurd +21.3 across 192 possessions and they are holding opponents to just 96.9 points per 100. The combination of length and versatility from Okogie, Durant, and Ayton has been invaluable.
As for props, Devin Booker has recorded six or more in five of those seven games. I prefer his first assists props if he plays Thursday against Denver. Booker generally plays the entire first quarter and he has exceeded his 1.5 assists line in six of his seven games with Durant.
Durant should be slowly ramped up in his minutes and is coming off of 30 and 35-point performances against the Nuggets and the Thunder. His points prop is set at 26.5, a number he has cleared in 67% of games this season and 75% of games where he has played at least 30 minutes. In an effort to get his conditioning ready for the playoffs, even in a potential blowout, I think Durant should touch 30 minutes tonight against the Spurs.
What will be interesting as the week goes on is whether or not the Suns play Durant in both ends of a back-to-back set against the Nuggets and Lakers on Thursday and Friday. If Durant does not play in one of those games, I would actively target Booker’s points prop and if his assists are listed at 5.5, I’d play that under as well — a number he has exceeded in just one of his last 10 games without Durant.
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