Wednesday’s Best NBA Player Props: Betting Luka Doncic Rebounds, More
Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) smiles on the bench during the game against the Beijing Ducks at American Airlines Center.
- The 2018-19 NBA season kicks in to full gear Wednesday night with 11 games.
- This piece will focus on props offering value for Myles Turner, Nikola Vucevic, Brook Lopez, Jrue Holiday, Luka Doncic and Devin Booker.
Prop bets can be a great way to get action on a game. Bookmakers don’t have to worry about taking a lot of action on them, so there isn’t as great an incentive to post a competitive line.
As a result, props can be some of the most exploitable bets on the board.
These props can become downright unfair when you combine them with the FantasyLabs Player Prop tool.
We leverage props from five of the most popular sportsbooks against our projections and award each prop a grade. The most exploitable props earn a Bet Quality of 10 out of 10, and those props have historically crushed during NBA season:
Working on adding backtesting to our player props tool. Over the past three seasons, @jphanned and the @FantasyLabsNBA team have gone 1007-510-48 (66.4%) vs. the closing line on bets with a "10" grade. pic.twitter.com/cLHA8nQPR1
— Jonathan Bales (@BalesFootball) June 26, 2018
Wednesday’s props focus five contests:
- Charlotte Hornets vs. Milwaukee Bucks — 7 p.m. ET
- Indiana Pacers vs. Memphis Grizzlies — 7 p.m. ET
- Orlando Magic vs. Miami Heat — 7 p.m. ET
- Houston Rockets vs. New Orleans Pelicans — 8 p.m. ET
- Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks — 10:30 p.m. ET
Let’s dive into six props that I feel are offering significant value on Day 2 of the 2018-19 season.
All odds via BetOnline
Pacers PF/C Myles Turner
- The pick: Over 11.5 points (-114)
Last season was a disappointing one for Turner, who saw a decrease in statistical production virtually across the board. That said, he remains an important part of the Pacers’ future after signing a four-year extension earlier this week.
The Pacers’ frontcourt remains deep — he’ll have to share minutes with both Thaddeus Young and Domantas Sabonis — but he should still be able to improve upon his 2017-18 average of 28.2 minutes per game.
He managed to average 12.7 points per game in limited playing time last season, so he has the potential to go way above this mark if he plays 30-plus.
The guys at FantasyLabs are confident in this prop, but there definitely are scenarios in which he fails to get there. I wouldn’t feel comfortable playing it above -130.
Magic C Nikola Vucevic
- The pick: Over 8.5 rebounds (-130)
This feels like a transitional season for the Magic at center after drafting Mo Bamba with the sixth pick in June. Vucevic will still draw the start Wednesday vs. the Miami Heat, a team he has historically loved facing.
He ripped down 12 rebounds against Miami in his only game against the Heat last season. Vucevic averaged 9.2 rebounds per game in 29.5 minutes per game last season, so he can theoretically cede a few minutes to Bamba and still have the potential to hit the over.
I liked this bet a lot more when it opened at eight, but I still think there’s some value at 8.5. I wouldn’t take it for much higher than -130, though.
Bucks C Brook Lopez
- The pick: Over 4 rebounds (-114)
Lopez is far from a rebounding savant, but this line seems a little low. He managed to average 4.0 rebounds per game last season with the Lakers despite playing just 23.4 minutes per game.
He’s currently projected for 27 minutes in the FantasyLabs NBA Models, so he should see an increased role with the Bucks this season.
Charlotte was the best rebounding team in the league last season, but the Hornets figure to take a major step back in that department given the departure of Dwight Howard.
Both teams have also spent the majority of the offseason preaching a desire to play at a faster pace, so there should be plenty of shot opportunities available in this contest.
Four rebounds should be doable for any center playing close to 30 minutes, so I’d play this prop up to -130
Pelicans PG Jrue Holiday
- The pick: Over 6 assists (-114)
- TV channel: ESPN
Holiday saw a nice bump in production last season after the injury to DeMarcus Cousins, resulting in an average of 7.2 assists per game. Rajon Rondo has since left the team, as well, so Holiday could be asked to handle even more playmaking responsibilities this season.
This game against the Rockets could be a particularly high-scoring affair: It owns the highest over/under on the slate, and both of these teams played at an above-average pace last season.
Holiday seems to be really undervalued in the prop market at the moment, so I would play this bet up to -150.
Mavericks SF/PF Luka Doncic
- The pick: Over 4.5 rebounds (-114)
This line seems low based on what we saw from Doncic in the preseason. He managed to pull down an average of 5.0 rebounds in only 29.3 minutes per game, and he’s currently projected for 32 in the NBA Models.
This matchup with the Suns will also be one of the best of the season for Doncic in terms of rebound potential: They ranked dead last in offensive efficiency and played at the second-fastest pace last season.
This is one of the best props on the board on Wednesday, so I’d play it up to -160.
Suns SG Devin Booker
- The pick: Over 4.5 assists (-167)
You have to pay a decent bit of juice on this prop, but there are good reasons to believe that Booker can hit the over. He averaged 5.23 assists per game after Jan. 1, and will likely spend more time at the point guard position this season. That would undoubtedly be a good thing for his assist numbers: He averaged more assists per 48 minutes when playing at PG than at SG or SF.
The juice on this prop is already pretty steep, so I don’t think I’d be willing to play it if it goes any higher. I’d still be interesting in taking the over at 5 assists if I could get it at -115 or less.