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NBA Player Props, Picks: Marcus Smart Leads Best Bets for New Year’s Day (January 1)

NBA Player Props, Picks: Marcus Smart Leads Best Bets for New Year’s Day (January 1) article feature image
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Photo by Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images. Pictured: Marcus Smart.

This NBA New Year’s Sunday features only three games, all starting at 8 p.m. ET.  There are two props featuring guards that stand out in our ActionLabs Prop Tool, and both so happen to have some juice attached  to their props side with the most value.

Here are our best NBA player prop picks for Sunday, January 1 — New Year’s Day.

NBA Player Props & Picks

Marcus Smart, Over 1.5 Steals (+145)

Spread Celtics -2
Time | TV 8 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass
Best Line DraftKings

Playing alongside two elite scorers in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, Celtics point guard Marcus Smart has been able to rack up a career-high 7.4 assists per game. Not only is Smart a great facilitator in this point guard role, but he is a great defensive player as he leads the Celtics in steals with 1.4 per game.

This game against the Nuggets is going to be phenomenal to watch as the Celtics are two-point road favorites against a Nuggets team who is 13-3 at home this season. In a good vs. good matchup, getting exposure to Smart is a great spot to be in. He is going to play heavy minutes relying on his defense.

The Nuggets rank 23rd in turnovers and 22nd in steals allowed with 8.7 per game. Jamal Murray is questionable as this is the first leg of a back-to-back. In four games without Murray, the Nuggets are turning the ball over 16 times per game, compared to 14.4 per game with Murray playing.

Our model has Smart projected to get exactly two steals tonight against the Nuggets. He was a thief in the month of December, averaging 1.9 steals per game over his last 12 games. During that time, Smart has two or more steals in eight of those 12 games (75%). Lock in this juiced prop on DraftKings tonight.


Kevin Huerter, Under 2.5 Assists (+104)

Spread Grizzlies -4.5
Time | TV 8 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass
Best Line FanDuel

The best game environment on this small three-game slate is this matchup with the Grizzlies and Kings. This total is hovering around 240 points as the Grizzlies are only 4.5-point home favorites. It is surprising this spread isn’t higher as the Grizzlies are 14-3 at home while the Kings are 8-8 on the road.

Kings starting shooting guard Kevin Huerter has been awesome in his first year with the team. He has started all 33 games while averaging a career-high 15.7 points per game. Huerter is shooting 49.4% from the field and a very impressive 42.2% from behind the arc. He is proving to be a pure scorer.

Being a sharp-shooter, Huerter doesn’t get the opportunity for many assists. Both Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox rack up assists with ease as Huerter is on the wing spotting up, while leaving the playmaking up to the Kings studs. He is only averaging 2.8 assists per game this season.

Our model has Huerter projected for only 1.6 assists, which is providing juice on the under at this 2.5 assists prop line. Over the last six games, Huerter has six total assists and has yet to reach three or more assists in each game. The Grizzlies also rank fourth in Defensive Rating (109.2), entering tonight’s games.

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