Friday’s Best NBA Player Prop Bets: Can Harden Feast on the Nets?
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) reacts after the Rockets at Madison Square Garden.
- Friday's eight-game NBA slate features four player prop bets offering value.
- This piece will focus on Rockets G James Harden, Cavaliers G Darius Garland, Celtics F Jayson Tatum, and Bulls G Coby White.
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 four of the slate’s eight games:
- Houston Rockets at Brooklyn Nets: 7 p.m. ET on ESPN
- Cleveland Cavaliers at Indiana Pacers: 7 p.m. ET
- New York Knicks at Boston Celtics: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Detroit Pistons at Chicago Bulls: 8 p.m. ET
Let’s dive in.
Rockets G James Harden
THE PICK: Over 32.0 points (-125) [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Harden got off to a rough start this season. He shot just 28.6% from the field and 13.3% from 3-point range, which is about as bad as he can possibly shoot. That said, he still managed to average 29.3 points per game in those contests despite his abysmal percentages.
He continues to dominate the basketball despite the addition of Russell Westbrook, and his usage rate of 38.7% represents only a slight decrease compared to his mark of 40.5% last season. There is no reason not to expect him to improve moving forward, evidenced by the 59 points he dropped on the Wizards in his last game.
He’s in a fantastic spot for scoring today vs. the Brooklyn Nets. The total on this contest currently sits at 244 points, which is the top mark on the slate by more than 20 points. The Nets currently rank just 22nd in defensive efficiency, and they’ve also played at the ninth-fastest pace.
Barring another disastrous shooting night, Harden should have no problem scoring more than 32 points in this matchup. I’d play the over up to -175.
Cavaliers G Darius Garland
THE PICK: Under 4.5 assists (-167) [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Garland has started all four games for the Cavs this season, but that hasn’t necessarily resulted in a ton of playing time. He’s played 25.3 minutes or less in each of his past two games, and he’s handed out four assists or fewer in each of his past three. Garland and Colin Sexton have both struggled as playmakers this season, and the Cavs rank in the bottom five for assist rate as a result.
Indiana has struggled defensively to start the season, ranking just 21st in defensive efficiency, but it figures to improve as the season progresses. It finished third in that department last season, and the Cavs are currently implied for just 103.75 points. That’s the second-lowest mark on the slate.
This prop is already juiced-up pretty heavily, but it still offers plenty of value. I’d play the under up to -200.
Celtics F Jayson Tatum
THE PICK: Over 7.5 rebounds (+100) [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Tatum is coming off just four rebounds in his last game, which makes this a nice time to buy low on him. He recorded at least nine rebounds in each of his first three games, and he’s increased his rebound rate to a career-high 10.8% this season.
Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams are also expected to sit out tonight’s contest, and he’s increased his rebound rate to 12.8% with both players off the court this season.
He’s in a decent spot for rebounding vs. the New York Knicks. They rank just 26th in offensive efficiency this season, which should give Tatum plenty of opportunities to hit the boards on the defensive end.
I like this line quite a bit at even money, and I’d be willing to play it up to -120.
Bulls G Coby White
THE PICK: Under 11.5 points (-121) [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
White got out of the gates strong this season, which has caused his scoring prop to become a little inflated. His playing time has dwindled recently — he’s logged 22.2 minutes or less in each of his past three games — and he’s scored eight points or fewer in each of those contests.
The Bulls still have a crowded backcourt, so it seems unlikely that his playing time will increase much on today’s slate.
I’m going to continue playing the under on White’s scoring prop until the market catches up to his current role. This bet has value up to -150.