Today’s NBA Player Props: Lauri Markkanen, Myles Turner Among Best Picks (Saturday, Feb. 25)
Alex Goodlett/Getty Images. Pictured: Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz.
Saturday features a six-game NBA slate with a few very intriguing games.
The theme will be props that have juiced odds, due to what is popping in our NBA model. There are three player props below featuring Myles Turner, Lauri Markkanen and Keldon Johnson, so let’s get the weekend started off right.
NBA Player Props & Picks
Myles Turner, Over 2.5 Blocks (+115)
|Time | TV||7 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Leading us off tonight is Myles Turner over 2.5 blocks at +115 at DraftKings.
Turner ranks fourth in the league with 2.3 blocks per game and has averaged over two blocks in each of the past five seasons. He’s been one of the league’s best shot-blockers for a while, making this a strong bet.
Our NBA model has Turner projected for 3.3 blocks against the Magic, who are fighting with the Pacers to get into the play-in tournament in the Eastern Conference. Both the Pacers and Magic rank just outside the top 10 in the standings as they try and make one last push at a playoff berth this season.
The Magic have been very susceptible to opposing teams’ shot-blockers. They have allowed 5.1 blocks per game, which is tied for the seventh-highest in the league.
The Magic are also averaging 23.5 field goal attempts when driving to the hoop, which ranks seventh-highest in the league. That’s going to provide a lot of opportunity for Turner to block three or more shots in this game.
Turner’s steals and blocks prop was also intriguing and rated very well in our model, but his inconsistency when it comes to steals was a major drawback. Turner has recorded only one steal in each of his last five games.
Blocking shots is what he’s known for, and reaching three or more tonight feels achievable.
Lauri Markkanen, Over 3.5 3-Pointers Made (+135)
|Time | TV||9 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
By far the best game environment on this six-game slate is the late-game hammer between the Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs. This matchup features the highest total on the slate at 240.5 points, with the Jazz favored by nearly double digits.
There’s so much opportunity for ceiling games with a high total like this.
First-time NBA All-Star Lauri Markkanen is the best player in this game, as he’s averaging a career- and team-high 25.2 points per game. In the last game since returning from the All-Star break, he poured in 43 points while shooting 15-of-28 from the field, 3-of-12 from behind the arc and 10-of-10 from the free-throw line.
The Spurs are the best matchup for any opponent in the league. They rank last in Defensive Rating (120.2) entering tonight’s game while allowing a league-high 122.9 points per game. Opponents are shooting a blistering 51% from the field and 39.7% from downtown against San Antonio, both by far the worst the league has to offer.
Markkanen is projected to make four 3-pointers in this spot. He has done that in only five of his last 13 games, but these juiced odds are providing so much value on Markkanen hitting this over.
With shooting a career-high 40.8% from the perimeter, he will have many chances to knock down four 3-pointers.
Keldon Johnson, Over 4.5 Rebounds (+104)
|Time | TV||9 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Staying with the game of the night, Keldon Johnson over 4.5 rebounds is another juiced prop that looks amazing in our tools.
It’s a little surprising the Spurs aren’t bigger underdogs, as they have lost 15 consecutive games and are 5-25 on the road this season. With that said, their implied total sits at 115.5 points.
The Spurs have a plethora of injuries, which is why Johnson has been so active all over the floor. Devin Vassell remains out, while Tre Jones is questionable and Jeremy Sochan is probable.
Johnson is averaging a career-high 21.8 points per game but is shooting 44.7% from the field. His efficiency has taken a hit with the extra usage, but he’s playing a ton of minutes even in blowouts.
Trading away Jakob Poeltl has been big for Johnson’s rebounding upside. In the 12 games Johnson has played without Poeltl this season, he’s averaging 5.6 rebounds per game. He has also recorded eight rebounds in each of his last two contests, and our NBA model has Johnson projected for 5.5 rebounds tonight.
The Jazz have allowed 43.7 rebounds per game, which ranks 17th in the league, and they also rank third in offensive rebounds allowed.
Despite how awful they’ve been this year, the Spurs rank seventh in pace, while the Jazz rank just outside the top 10. Opportunities will be plentiful for Johnson to reach this over.
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