Raybon’s Favorite NBA Props for Thursday: Russell Westbrook Over/Under 24.5 Points?

Raybon’s Favorite NBA Props for Thursday: Russell Westbrook Over/Under 24.5 Points? article feature image
Credit:

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook (0)

  • Chris Raybon breaks down his favorite NBA player props for Thursday.
  • Props include Oklahoma City Thunder PG Russell Westbrook, F Jerami Grant, and C Steven Adams.

All of Thursday’s NBA player props come from the primetime national TV game:

  • Philadelphia 76ers at Oklahoma City Thunder: 8 p.m. ET on TNT

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 4:45 p.m. ET. View live odds here.

Thunder PG Russell Westbrook

The Pick: Over 24.5 Points (-114)

Paul George (shoulder) is sitting out tonight, which gives Westbrook a chance to remind everyone that the Thunder still have more than one MVP candidate.

Our own Matt Moore published an excellent deep dive into Westbrook’s season, and one of the key points was that Westbrook has become a better teammate by not using as many possessions; his usage rate of “just” 31.2%, which would be his lowest finish since the 2009-10 season.

However, according to our NBA On/Off tool, Westbrook’s usage rate jumps to 35.0% with George off the floor, which would be the third-highest mark of Westbrook’s career. Even though Westbrook is having his worst shooting season in five years, he’s averaging 26.2 points per 36 minutes with George off the floor — 3.5 more points than with George on.

Our NBA Player Models have Westbrook projected to play 38.4 minutes tonight. On top of that, the Thunder are implied to score 121 points tonight, roughly five more than their season average, and the sharp money is on the over in this game.

Add it all up, and we could be looking at Westbrook not just going over his prop, but also turning in his fourth 40-point effort in his past five games. George hasn’t missed much time, so there’s not as much precedent for super-saiyan scoring Westbrook this year, but given his recent scoring surge and our projection of over 28 points for him tonight, this line should have value as high as 28.5 at standard -110 juice.

Thunder C Steven Adams

The Pick: Over 9 Rebounds (-114)

Adams is averaging 9.4 rebounds per game on the season, but that figure has dipped to a positively un-center-like 6.5 in 10 games in February — it’s hard to post consistent rebounding numbers when your superstar point guard insists on maintaining his triple-double average and grabs 11.4 per game while your power forward snatches another 8.1 per game for himself.

No player on the Thunder benefits on the glass more from George’s absence than Adams, though: Adams grabs 2.4 rebounds more per 36 minutes with George off the court, equating to a per-36 mark of 12.3. The 76ers will be without two 7-footers in Joel Embiid and Boban Marjanovic, both of whom unsurprisingly are top-two on the team in rebounding rate (Embiid, 21.4%; Marjanovic, 19.8%).

Adams has pulled down at least nine rebounds in 53% of his games (31-of-58), and double-digit rebounds in 43.1% (25-of-58). After adjusting for his 23% increase in rebounding rate with George off the floor, we should expect those rates to be closer to 65% and 53%, respectively. Thus, over nine should have value up to -185, while over 9.5 should have value up to -115.

Thunder F Jerami Grant

The Pick: Over 14 Points (-130)

After an offense-averse start to his career in Philadelphia that saw him post abysmal percentages from the floor (39.4%) and from three (27.6%), the Cuse alum has come into his own since joining the Thunder, averaging shooting 51.4% from the floor and 35.8% from three. In 22 games in the 2019 calendar year, Grant is averaging 14.5 points per game.

That number should be expected to rise with George off the floor, as Grant is dropping in an extra 1.7 points per 36 minutes without PG-13 on the court this season.

Grant has posted 14 or more points in 59% of his games since Jan. 1 (13-of-22), including 15-plus points in 50% of them (and over his last 10 games he’s been even more proficient, failing to reach 15 points only three times).

Adjusting for George being off the floor, we should expect the aforementioned rates to be closer to 65% and 55%, respectively, so over 14 should have value up to -185, while over 14.5 should have value up to -125.