Raybon’s Favorite NBA Props for Thursday: Will Paul Millsap Drop 14 Points?
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Denver Nuggets power forward Paul Millsap (4)
- Chris Raybon breaks down his favorite NBA player props for Thursday night.
- Props include point totals for 76ers C Joel Embiid and Nuggets PF Paul Millsap.
The two NBA player props highlighted below are from the following two playoff games Thursday night:
- Philadelphia 76ers at Brooklyn Nets: 8 p.m. ET on TNT
- Denver Nuggets at San Antonio Spurs: 9 p.m. ET on NBA TV
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 p.m. ET. View live odds here.
76ers C Joel Embiid
THE PICK: Under 27.5 Points (-125)
Embiid’s per-minute scoring production during this series has been astounding: 22 points in 24 minutes in Game 1, and 23 points in 21 minutes in Game 2. If you’ve gotten a chance to watch him at all this series, then you know he’s obviously not in peak condition, and even if he’s out there for more minutes in Game 3, this is still a player who averaged 26.2 points in 34.2 minutes per game on the road during the regular season.
Our NBA Player Models have Embiid projected for 20.8 points in 27.1 minutes tonight, so there should still be value on the under down to a line of 25.5.
This prop is rated a 9 in Bet Quality in our NBA Player Props tool, and points props rated as such have crushed to the tune of a 61%/38%/1% win/loss/push rate this season.
Nuggets PF Paul Millsap
THE PICK: Under 13.5 Points (-125)
This was a play I knew I was going to make since early in Game 2. Here’s what I posted in the company Slack:
Millsap kept the Nuggets within striking distance early, scoring 11 first-quarter points on 4-of-6 shooting. He finished with 20 for the game on 7-of-10 from the field and 5-of-7 from the stripe — a huge deviation from the norm for a player who shot 48.4% and averaged 3.6 free throw attempts a game during the regular season.
Even if his aggressiveness continues in Game 3, the efficiency isn’t likely to repeat: He’s shooting 53.2% from the field and 40.4% from 3 at home this season, but those figures drop to 43.0% and 31.0%, respectively, on the road.
As my colleagues discussed in our Game 3 preview, the Nuggets have looked like a whole different team on the road this season, and Gregg Popovich-coached teams have historically dominated at home in the playoffs.
Especially after his the rest of the starting five got off to a slow start, with no other starter making more than one field goal in the opening quarter, Millsap is a good bet to be more deferential in Game 3 in the interest of getting his teammates going. That’s been his usual tendency on the road, where his usage rate was 18.4% during the regular season compared to 21.0% at home this season.
Not surprisingly, his points-per-game average in road games (10.3) suffered a 4.3-point drop-off compared to home games (14.7). Sharp money is on the under and the line has moved against Denver, which also brings Millsap’s 4.4-point drop in points per game from wins (13.9) to losses (9.7) into focus.
This prop is rated a perfect 10 in our props tool, and like those rated a 9, 10-rated points props have posted a 61% win rate this season. Our models have Millsap projected for 9.5 points, so I’d bet the under on this down to a line of 11.5 at standard juice.
I usually throw a few more prop picks in the Action Network App throughout the night as I do more research and lineup news trickles in, so be sure to follow me on there.