NBA Prop Bets & Picks: Bet on Fred VanVleet and Fade Nikola Jokic (Thursday, Sept. 3)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE For Getty Images. Pictured: Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet.
- Used our FantasyLabs NBA Player Props Tool, Brandon Anderson is finding value on a trio of bets for Thursday's slate of NBA playoff games.
- Check out his analysis below and find out why he think Fred VanVleet will be key as a rebounder plus more props for tonight.
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 both of the slate’s games:
- Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics at 6:30 p.m. ET on TNT
- Los Angeles Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets at 9:00 p.m. ET on TNT
NBA Player Prop Bets
Toronto Raptors, Fred VanVleet
The Prop: Over 4.5 rebounds (+110)
The defending champions are down 0-2 and searching for answers. The Raptors are struggling to score, though they came much closer in Game 2. Now, they face a must-win Game 3, and for as much as Toronto is known for its vaunted depth and versatility, the Raptors rotation is getting shorter and shorter in the biggest games.
VanVleet is one of the biggest winners. He’s played over 38 minutes in both Boston games, and as always, minutes equal rebounding opportunities. VanVleet had at least four rebounds in each of his last five games. He also had no more than five in those games, so you’ll probably be cutting this prop close.
But with Toronto looking for scoring, expect VanVleet to play every minute he’s able to go. We’re projecting him at a whopping 41.6 minutes and 4.8 rebounds, just clearing this number. It’s not a slam dunk, but at +110 odds, it’s in our favor and worth a play down to around -110.
Denver Nuggets, Nikola Jokic
The Prop: Under 24.5 points (+110)
Nikola Jokic is the league’s best passing big man and might be the best in that category in NBA history. He can cut apart a defense like few others at any size. But in seven games against Utah, the Jazz turned Jokic into a scorer. That was a matchup play.
Rudy Gobert is far more valuable staying home protecting the rim and the Jazz preferred his defense there, opting to take its chances staying home on shooters and making Jokic beat them. And the big man did just that.
Five times in the series, Jokic scored at least 28 points. He averaged 26.3 PPG for the series and that number would be even higher if it weren’t for a complete no-show in Game 3.
However, this is a new series and Jokic is not a natural scorer. He averaged just under 20 PPG (19.9 to be exact) in the regular season and the Clippers don’t have a rim protector like Gobert who needs to stay home all game and let Jokic fire away. His scoring should regress and we project him at 18.5 points, which is far short of this number.
This line is actually moving down and that’s actually in our favor. It was at 25.5 as of Thursday morning, but at far worse odds. Now, it’s a point lower but +EV, and with our margin for error, those odds are in our favor. Grab the under now or wait for the odds to move further in your favor.
Los Angeles Clippers, Ivica Zubac
The Prop: Over 7.5 rebounds (-120)
The Clippers don’t have Gobert or anything close, but their closest thing is Ivica Zubac. The center starts for Los Angeles, but averaged only 18 MPG in the regular season. He’s a more stout defender than you’d think, but the Clippers often preferred to play small and go with their scoring options, most notably Montrezl Harrell.
In the playoffs, the Clippers have needed more defense out there and Zubac has averaged 24.8 MPG. As the only real true center in Los Angeles’ rotation, those numbers should stay high against Denver as the Clippers’ best defense against Jokic. Zubac is averaging 7.0 RPG in the playoffs and he actually produces solid numbers while on the court at 16.2 points and 14.7 rebounds per 36 minutes this regular season.
We’re projecting Zubac at 24.2 minutes, close to what he played against Dallas. That would put him a touch under 10 rebounds at his regular season rebounding rate, far ahead of this 7.5 number. That makes this prop a 10 out of 10 and playable as high as -145.