Raybon’s Favorite NBA Props for Friday: Will Al-Farouq Aminu Drop 11 Points?
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Portland Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu (8)
- Chris Raybon breaks down his favorite NBA player props for Friday night.
- Props include point totals for Celtics SG Jaylen Brown and Blazers PF Al-Farouq Aminu.
After the never-ending saga of Joel Embiid’s availability ended up with him missing his first game of this postseason and left us with only the under on Paul Millsap’s points prop, Millsap went out and knocked in his first five field goals and finished with 14 points — 0.5 (or one basket, depending on what you got the line at) too high for the under to hit.
Those always hurt, but from a process perspective, I’ll live with a player I’m betting under 13.5 points on taking only seven shots in a road loss any day, as the law of averages says he’ll miss more than two more often than not.
Hopefully you’re following me in the Action Network App and were able to jump on the under on Millsap’s rebound prop as well, which I got on after noticing his rebound chances in Games 1-2 were well below his season average despite playing more minutes.
The two props highlighted below are from the following two games Friday night:
- Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers: 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC
- Portland Trail Blazers at Oklahoma City Thunder: 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
As a reminder, our FantasyLabs NBA Player Props Tool leverages our projections against odds offered at various sportsbooks and grades each prop on a scale of 1 to 10. All odds as of 6:15 p.m. ET. View live odds here.
Celtics SG Jaylen Brown
THE PICK: Under 12.5 Points (-114)
Taking Marcus Smart’s spot in the starting lineup has essentially forced Brown to also adapt Smart’s low-usage role in the offense. Especially in the slowed-down, more iso-centric NBA postseason, the first unit goes through Kyrie Irving first and Jayson Tatum second, while Al Horford’s playmaking ability from the block affords him plenty of touches as well. That leaves Brown to generate most of his offense from transition opportunities and defensive breakdowns — not ideal in a low-scoring series like this.
Will all of Boston’s top scoring options now healthy, Brown usage rate has dipped from 22.2% in the regular season to 12.5% in this series as he’s attempted 11 field goals and no free throws through two games.
Given that the Celtics have a half-dozen capable scorers besides Brown (even if that hasn’t exactly shown through in this grind of a series) but his defense on Bojan Bogdanovic is invaluable, I’m betting that Brown’s low-scoring output continues.
Even at his normal usage rate, Brown failed to top 12 point in over half of his games, and Under 12 (-115) is prop is rated a 9 in Bet Quality by our NBA Player Props tool (61% win rate this season), so there should be a small cushion to bet this down to Under 11.5, but I wouldn’t go any lower than that.
Blazers PF Al-Farouq Aminu
THE PICK: Under 10.5 Points (-115)
Like Brown, Aminu’s best contributions don’t always show up in the box score, and Portland features two ball-dominant guards in Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum that also reduce Aminu to more of a spectator in the postseason. His usage rate was already a paltry 13.7% during the regular season, but it’s dropped a point further to 12.7% this series.
Maurice Harkless has been having more success at defending Paul George (6-of-16 shooting, 0.31 points per team possession) than Aminu (6-of-9, 0.34), which could potentially cut into Aminu’s minutes depending on how much foul trouble he gets into. (Harkless has picked up five fouls in both games, but played 28 minutes to Aminu’s 23 in Game 2 after Aminu had a 35-21 edge in Game 1.)
Aminu has failed to crack double figures in just over 55% of his games this season, so the under should have value down to 9.5 (-125). At 10.5 (-130), it’s rated a perfect 10 by our props tool (61% win rate).
I usually throw a few more prop picks in the app throughout the night as I do more research and lineup news trickles in, so be sure to follow me on there if you aren’t already.