NBA Player Props Today | 3 Picks for DeMar DeRozan, CJ McCollum, Jose Alvarado & More (Friday, April 19)

NBA Player Props Today | 3 Picks for DeMar DeRozan, CJ McCollum, Jose Alvarado & More (Friday, April 19) article feature image
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(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Pictured: CJ McCollum

I liken playing in the 7-8 matchup to carrying a 3-2 lead into a game six. Both the Heat and Pelicans lost on Tuesday night and tonight are facing elimination. The Heat are in a similar situation to last year, losing the 7-8 game to Atlanta and then hosting the Bulls in Miami.

This time, they will have to beat Chicago without Jimmy Butler, who is also one of the team's best defenders. However, head coach Erik Spoelstra always has a plan for defending the opponent's best player, who tonight is DeMar DeRozan.

The Pelicans also lost their best player, Zion Williamson, on Tuesday night, when he was in the middle of a career game. With Williamson being out, the Pelicans are short underdogs to the Kings tonight, who they have already beaten as an underdog five times this season. It remains to be seen whether they will get their sixth upset victory tonight, but a pair of Pelicans I am expecting to step up include CJ McCollum and Jose Alvarado.

Let's dive into my top NBA player props and picks for Friday, April 19.


NBA Player Prop Picks

In the table below, you'll find each of our NBA staff's top player prop picks from today's slate of games. Click on any pick or team logo to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.

Time (ET)Player Prop
7 p.m.
9:30 p.m.
9:30 p.m.
Specific betting recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NBA Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.

Bulls vs. Heat

Friday, Apr 19
7:00 p.m. ET
ESPN

DeMar DeRozan

Under 26.5 Points

DeMar DeRozan typically scores 20 points. He has scored 20 points in each of his last 10 games, surpassing this projection in eight of them. DeRozan has also scored 20 points in seven of his last eight games against Miami. However, he is averaging 24.9 points per game in that span. He has failed to reach this projection in five of those games.

While DeRozan is coming into this game on a hot streak, he only scored 22 points on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Heat held Joel Embiid to 23 points in their play-in game and he needed a big quarter to even reach that. While different positions, Miami typically focuses on taking a team's best player away. That is part of the reason I pivoted to Tyrese Maxey for Wednesday night, but he went under against Miami as well. Including Embiid, a few top scoring options to go under their scoring projections against Miami in the last month include: Luka Doncic, Pascal Siakam, Jalen Green and Jalen Brunson.

In Tuesday's game, Spoelstra broke out a zone defense that confused the Sixers for large portions of the game. Embiid operates in the midrange area like DeRozan frequently does. While you would think he would attack the seams in the zone, Miami trapped Embiid and kept him from getting the ball. Knowing Spoelstra, he may use a different tactic entirely tonight.

Whatever he has come up with has typically worked on the defensive end, as Miami ranked fifth in defensive rating in the regular season. They also ranked 29th in pace this season. In a low possession game, DeRozan will have to make his chances count. He has only averaged 21.8 points per game in his postseason career and I do not expect him to reach 27 tonight.

Pick: DeMar DeRozan Under 26.5 Points (-120)

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Kings vs. Pelicans

Friday, Apr 19
9:30 p.m. ET
TNT

CJ McCollum

Over 3.5 Threes Made

In Tuesday night's game, Zion Williamson scored 40 points and tied the game with three minutes left to go. However, he suffered a hamstring strain on the landing after he scored his last bucket. Had the Pelicans gotten better performances from Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum, they may not have been in that situation to begin with. At the time, McCollum had five points and he finished with nine on 1-for-9 shooting from deep.

However, McCollum had come into Tuesday's game on a heater. Over his final 10 regular season games, he averaged 27.5 points, including 31 points against Sacramento last Thursday. McCollum may have something against the Kings, as he has scored 30-plus points in their last two meetings. In those games, he has made 16-of-22 (72.7%) 3-point attempts. Dating back to last season, he has made three or more 3s in four of the last six meetings.

The Kings do set up a great matchup for him, as they are 19th in 3s allowed per game and 29th in 3-point percentage defense. It is a matchup that McCollum could look to heavily exploit tonight. Williamson had a 38% usage rate in Tuesday's night game, which means there are a lot of possessions that have to go elsewhere tonight. Additionally, all but one game of McCollum's strong finish to the regular season came when Ingram was sidelined.

It is that clear when one of Williamson or Ingram are out, McCollum has to step up. He will likely to do so behind the arc considering that he has made four 3s in eight of his last 10 games. Should he repeat his big performances against the Kings tonight, you can also back him for five 3s at +175 and six threes at +410 on FanDuel.

Pick: CJ McCollum Over 3.5 Threes Made (-130)


Jose Alvarado

Over 7.5 Points

Another Pelican who may benefit from the Kings' shoddy 3-point defense is Jose Alvarado. If he makes two 3s tonight, he would just need a layup or two free throws to hit this line. Alvarado has made two 3s in six of his last nine games. Alvarado has also scored eight points in six of those games, averaging 9.4 in that span.

Alvarado nearly doubled this line last week against the Kings with 14 points, 12 of which came on four triples. His made 3s line is 1.5 at plus money tonight. I lean towards the over there as well, but Alvarado does not score exclusively on 3s like some players. When I watch the Pelicans, he is typically being a pest on defense, forcing turnovers that lead to easy buckets at the other end for himself and his teammates.

Alvarado has a steal in six of his last 10 games and he is averaging 23.2 minutes per game in that stretch. With Williamson out and De'Aaron Fox on the other side, he may receive a few more minutes tonight. Head coach Willie Green prefers playing small anyway, and he could go use four of McCollum, Alvarado, Herb Jones, Ingram, and Trey Murphy together with one of Larry Nance Jr. or Jonas Valanciunas tonight.

Alvarado scored 10 points and played 25 minutes on Tuesday as he helped New Orleans spark their comeback. If he gets 20-to-25 minutes again tonight, I like his chances of scoring eight off the bench.

Pick: Jose Alvarado Over 7.5 Points (-118)

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Nick Sterling
May 21, 2024 UTC