NBA Player Props Betting Forecast: Stephen Curry’s Return, Replacing Kevin Durant, More
Getty Images/Matt Roembke, Action Network. Pictured (L-R): Naji Marshall #8 of the Pelicans, Stephen Curry #30 of the Warriors, T.J. Warren #1
We are right about at the midway point of the regular season yet there still seems to be an unbelievable amount of parity in the league.
With some players moving in and out of the lineups due to injury it becomes even more important for teams to showcase their depth in order to contend.
Let’s talk about some of the biggest injury situations and what it means for the players in this week’s NBA player props betting forecast.
NBA Player Props Betting Forecast
Welcome Back, Stephen Curry
The Golden State Warriors indicated that Stephen Curry is likely to return on Friday, Jan. 13 against the San Antonio Spurs after missing the team’s past 11 games with a shoulder injury.
The Warriors did not plummet in the standings with Curry out. In fact, they sit in sixth in the Western Conference entering Monday’s games and with Curry’s anticipated return, they should be poised to make a run in the West. One of the benefits of Curry’s absence was the team seemed to gel a bit as other players needed to step up and improve their game this season.
One of the players whose role is likely to change upon Curry’s return is Jordan Poole. He saw his usage skyrocket over the past 11 games and he has been excellent in the 14 games he has played without Curry. Here are Poole’s splits:
- With Curry: 26 games, 27.7 minutes, 16.8 Points, 2.3 Rebounds, 4.4 Assists, 2.3/7.1 3PM/3PA, 3.8 Turnovers
- Without Curry: 14 Games, 34.5 Minutes, 27.8 Points, 2.6 Rebounds, 4.4 Assists, 2.8/10.1 3PM/3PA, 4.9 Turnovers
The increase in scoring is significant and it will be interesting to see where his points line is set since it was around 20.5 prior to Curry’s injury. In his 26 games with Curry, he has scored 20 or more points in 10 games.
The prop that I have been targeting and will continue to target until Curry’s return has been Jordan Poole’s turnovers. The books have continued to set his turnover prop at 3.5 and he has exceeded that in 12 of his 14 games without Curry this season. This is natural due to the increased usage and he was already turnover prone. If the books move this down to 2.5 in Curry’s return, I would still target this because he has three or more turnovers in 18 of 26 games with Curry.
The Warriors have multiple back-to-back sets in the near future: Jan. 15-16 and Jan. 19-20. If Curry rests, it is an opportunity to jump on Poole’s props. So far, Curry played in three of the team’s five back-to-backs prior to the shoulder injury.
What can we expect from Curry upon his return? Well, his points props were recently settling around the 28.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 4.5 3-Pointers. Curry has exceeded each of those totals in 16 games for his points, 17 games for his rebounds, 17 games for his assists and 14 games for his 3s this season while averaging the following: 34.4 minutes, 30 points, 6.6 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 5.0 3s on 11.6 attempts.
The Warriors will obviously welcome Curry back and his +15.3 point differential. Look for the Warriors to improve their place in the Western Conference once he returns.
Zion Williamson is Out. Brandon Ingram’s Return Looms.
Zion Williamson is once again on the injury report and is expected to miss the next two weeks before he gets reevaluated. He joins Brandon Ingram (toe) on the injury list, but Ingram indicated on Jan. 6, that he anticipates returning during the New Orleans Pelicans‘ current five-game road trip.
The four games remaining are against the Wizards), Celtics, Pistons, and Cavaliers. His return will be a welcome boost for a Pelicans team that has rarely been whole this season.
Naji Marshall has stepped up without both Williamson and Ingram on the floor. In Marshall’s last five games without Williamson, he has averaged 33.4 minutes, 20.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 3.2 assists.
In the team’s most recent game against the Mavericks, his PRA line was set at 24.5, a number he cleared with ease. He has commanded a 22.7% Usage Rate in those five games with a healthy 127.5 points per 100 shot attempts. His prop for Monday’s game against the Wizards is at 23.5 on FanDuel and I love the over.
When Ingram returns what can we expect? Ingram has played 15 games this season and averaged 32.1 minutes, 20.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.7 assists. He will be a welcome boost to an already strong offense.
Marshall essentially sees his minutes cut in half when Ingram plays, but McCollum sees a downturn in both his points and his assists per game, and Zion (when healthy) sees a roughly 25% downturn in his counting stats playing alongside Ingram.
Ingram has been a clear positive for the Pelicans this season with a +8.2 point differential, entirely on offense. With his return, the Pelicans should improve offensively, but their fourth-best Adjusted Defensive Rating may take a slight hit.
Who Steps Up to Replace Kevin Durant?
Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant has been diagnosed with an MCL sprain in right knee and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 9, 2023
Last season, Durant missed 21 games after spraining the MCL on his left knee. According to Jeff Stotts (@InStreetClothes on Twitter), NBA players have missed an average of 18 days (roughly six games) with a Grade 1 MCL sprain since the since the 2005-06 NBA season. Durant has been extremely durable this season, having missed just one game out of the team’s 40.
If Durant misses time, Kyrie Irving would see a clear uptick in usage and scoring responsibility, but T.J. Warren may benefit the most from a prop and fantasy perspective. Warren is a bucket when healthy — he has the second-best point differential on the Nets (+10.2, second to Durant) and has played well with the Nets since his Dec. 2 debut.
Warren is averaging 9.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 19.9 minutes per game this season and has missed extended time due to injuries, but in his last full season with the Indiana Pacers, he averaged 19.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 32.9 minutes per game. His numbers this season, on a per-possession basis are comparable to his numbers with Indiana. If he sees an increase in minutes to even 25 we should expect greater scoring output, especially without Durant.
His points prop was set at 10.5 on Sunday against Miami, but I do not think this will properly adjust on Thursday considering he may continue to come off the bench rather than slide into the starting lineup. I’d look for a points line around 12.5 on Thursday.