NBA Player Prop Bets & Picks: Bet PJ Tucker, Robert Covington to Rebound in Game 4 (Thursday, Sept. 10)
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Robert Covington #33 of the Houston Rockets and Jeff Green #32 of the Houston Rockets.
Betting on props can be one of the easiest ways to build your bankroll, especially in the NBA postseason. Sportsbooks tend to offer lower limits and take less action on props than they do on games, so they don’t have as much incentive to post an accurate line.
That’s where our Player Prop tool comes in handy. We compare our industry-leading NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks to identify the best plays each day. Each bet is then graded on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade.
|Win-Loss (Win Pct)|
|Bet Quality of 10||775-572 (57%)|
|Bet Quality of 9||942-776 (54%)|
|Bet Quality of 8||1432-1263 (52%)|
Thursday’s player props come from tonight’s only game:
- Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets at 7 p.m. ET on TNT
NBA Player Prop Bets
Los Angeles Lakers, Rajon Rondo
The Prop: Over 3.5 rebounds (+125)
Playoff Rondo? Playoff Rondo.
Rondo has, inexplicably, become the story of Round 2 for the Lakers. He had 10 points, nine assists, and five key steals in the Lakers’ Game 2 win. In Game 3 he was even better, scoring 21 points on a barrage of 3s and recording nine more assists.
The Lakers made a big change in Game 2, effectively pulling Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee from the rotation and moving Anthony Davis to center. That left a hole in the rotation, and Rondo has taken that role and run with it. His minutes have increased each game this series, and he is pretty clearly the Lakers’ third-best player right now.
Playoff Rondo is a real, proven thing — he’s the only player in NBA history to improve his points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and turnovers from regular season to the playoffs — and the Lakers are running with it, quite literally. His rebounding numbers haven’t come yet, but he’s always been a good rebounder and the Rockets should afford long rebounding chances when they start chucking more threes again.
Rondo has totaled three, three, and two rebounds through three games in this series and is getting enough minutes and opportunities to like the over here. We’re projecting him at 29 minutes and 4.9 rebounds, making this prop a 10 out of 10 at +EV odds. I’ll play to -105.
Houston Rockets, P.J. Tucker
The Prop: Over 6.5 rebounds (-134)
With the Lakers going smaller in Games 2 and 3, you’d think the Rockets should be benefiting on the boards, but you’d be wrong. The Rockets tied the Lakers 41-41 in rebounding in Game 1. The Lakers had a 41-35 advantage in Game 2 and won the battle 43-30 in Game 3. Rebounding, as expected, is becoming a big problem for Houston.
Tucker is the Rockets’ best antidote. He is a pit bull who fights for everything, but he was taken off the glass entirely in Game 3 with just four rebounds. But Tucker had nine and 11 boards the first two games of the series, and he had nine-plus rebounds in three of the final four games against the Oklahoma City Thunder, too.
Tucker has been a monster on the boards for the Rockets the past two postseasons, averaging 7.6 RPG. He’s playing a huge minutes load as the Rockets’ best shot at defending both LeBron James and Davis. Count on him to bounce back with another big game on the glass. Play this one to -155, and don’t be afraid to play if the number jumps to 7.0 at better odds too.
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Houston Rockets, Robert Covington
The Prop: Over 6.5 rebounds (+100)
Houston needs Tucker to beast on the boards. That much is clear. But they’re going to need a huge all-around effort from Covington too, now that Danuel House is sidelined indefinitely. That makes the Rockets even more reliant on Covington, who has now played 36 or more minutes in five straight games.
Covington is not a great natural rebounder. His rebounding totals in those five games are all over the map (as many as 10 and as few as three) and he’s acting as a big man, which means he’s effectively fighting James and Davis for rebounds. Covington is averaging 5.5 rebound per game for the playoffs and six during his higher minute stretch, so this line appears high.
One thing that could be in our favor? Houston attempted only 30 3-pointers in Game 3. Three-pointers mean longer rebounds and less chance for size to dominate the glass, giving Covington more of an opportunity.
We’re projecting Covington at a monster 38.5 minutes load, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes over 40 in a must-win game. We project Covington at 7.8 rebounds in all that action. I’ll play the over up to -120 and hope for lots of long rebounds.