Thursday’s Best NBA Player Prop Bets: Frank Ntilikina Is Figuring It Out
Photo credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Frank Ntilikina
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 Thursday 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 three of the slate’s six games:
- Miami Heat at Cleveland Cavaliers: 6:00 p.m. ET
- Dallas Mavericks at New York Knicks: 8:00 p.m. ET on TNT
- Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks: 8:00 p.m. ET
Let’s dive in.
Knicks G Frank Ntilikina
THE PICK: Over 7.5 points (-110)
With Elfrid Payton sidelined, the Knicks have been starting Frank Ntilikina next to RJ Barrett, effectively letting the rookie run point and control the offense while Ntilikina plays off ball and focuses on defense.
Ntilikina’s raw numbers look pretty weak on the surface: 5.1 points and 2.9 assists a game. But dig a little deeper. When Ntilikina gets at least 29 minutes a game, as he has six times now, his numbers jump to 8.2 points and 4.4 dimes each time out. It’s not exactly a breakout campaign, but he’s starting to look like a real NBA player.
The Knicks need Ntilikina’s defense on the floor, and that’s what leads to his minutes, and minutes lead to volume. He’ll get plenty of playing time helping to check Luka Doncic, so this is a volume play. Ntilikina is also starting to shoot a bit, and he’s hit at least one 3-pointer in four of those six big-minute games. This line is so low that a 3 is almost halfway there.
Our Player Prop tool rates this a 10 out of 10, and it also loves Ntilikina over3.5 assists (-152). All the same logic applies there, so you might want to package the two. The points are worth playing on their own up to -135.
Bucks PG Eric Bledsoe
THE PICK: Over 5.5 rebounds (+100)
There are a lot of reasons to like this prop, another one rated at 10 on our Player Prop tool. One reason, again, is volume. Bledsoe is playing only 26.6 minutes a game so far this season, a career-low as a starter. But now that Khris Middleton is out for a few weeks, the Bucks will need more from everyone, and Bledsoe is an obvious place to start.
Bledsoe is already averaging a career-best 5.7 rebounds per game, despite the low minutes. He’s doing most of that damage on the defensive glass, where his rebounding percentage is up from 12.2% in his career to 16.9% this season. Bledsoe has gone over this rebounding number in five of his last six games, and his overall play has picked up after a slow start.
All the better that this is currently coming at even odds, while we project Bledsoe at 6.9 rebounds. This is today’s top play, worth betting as high as -140.
Heat G Kendrick Nunn
THE PICK: Under 16.5 points (+108)
We just tried this one Tuesday and came up short, but let’s try again. Nunn averaged 22.4 points a game in October over the first five games of his career, but he has cooled down in a major way in November. Nunn is averaging just 11.4 points over his past five games, and he’s seen his minutes fall with the return of Jimmy Butler and other Heat players.
That’s where we were hurt Tuesday, with a ton of Heat players sidelined and over 36 minutes for Nunn, leading to to 20 points. That’s the only time this month he’s even scored over 11 points. Keep an eye on the inactives. Justise Winslow and Dion Waiters are out, but Goran Dragic and Tyler Herro are questionable. If at least one of them plays, this is a good bet. If they both play, it’s a terrific bet at +108 and worth playing as high as -150.