Best NBA Prop Picks (Tuesday, Aug. 4): Westbrook, The Distributor
Mike Stobe/Getty Images. Pictured: James Harden (13) and Russell Westbrook (0) of the Houston Rockets.
Betting on props can be one of the easiest ways to build your bankroll. 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.
How about a little reminder on just how impressively these bets did last season? Props with a Bet Quality of 10 posted a win rate of 60.31%, and props with a Bet Quality of nine won at a 58.82% clip.
As is the case with most sports, betting on unders proved to be more profitable than betting on overs last season:
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 10: 341-172 (66.47%)
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 9: 457-273 (62.6%)
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 8: 898-589 (60.39%)
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 7: 1447-1086 (57.13%)
- Unders with a Bet Quality of 6: 1992-1663 (54.95%)
Overall, if you just blind bet every under with a Bet Quality of eight or higher, you would’ve won at a 62.1% clip on more than 2,700 bets.
Tonight’s props come from two of the slate’s three games:
- Boston Celtics @ Miami Heat: 6:30 p.m. ET on TNT
- Houston Rockets @ Portland Trail Blazers: 9 p.m. ET on TNT
Let’s dive in.
Rockets PG Russell Westbrook
THE PICK: Over 6.5 assists (-134)
Westbrook’s assist total had been slowly fading as the season went along before the hiatus. He averaged 10.3 APG in four October games, settled in at 7.1 from November through January, then dropped to 6.0 and 4.8 in February and March. That is the picture of a player adjusting to a new small-ball scheme that has him taking more shots at the rim and dumping off less to a rim-running center like Clint Capela.
We’ve seen a more balanced Westbrook in the bubble, with eight assists in each of his first two games, and expect scoring galore in Rockets-Blazers. The oddsmakers certainly do, setting a huge over/under at 244.5. That means plenty of scoring, assists and rebounds to go around, and you know Westbrook always gets his.
Our tools project Westbrook at 8.1 assists and rate this prop a 10 out of 10.
Rockets F/C Robert Covington
THE PICK: Over 7.5 rebounds (-117)
Sticking with the Rockets theme, let’s grab another volume play with new “center” Robert Covington. Per Basketball Reference, Covington has played 80% of his minutes at center since being traded to Houston, and he’s about as big an option as the Rockets have, so they’re going to need a lot from him against a team that will have Jusuf Nurkic or Hassan Whiteside out there all 48 minutes.
Covington has held his own on the boards, averaging 8.0 rebounds in 16 games with the Rockets, with 11 and seven in two bubble games. He’s also averaging almost 40 minutes a game. A big man playing 40 minutes in a game with 244 points on the table is going to have a shot at a ton of rebounds.
Our projections have RoCo at 8.9, safely over this number and worth playing up to about -140.
Celtics C Daniel Theis
THE PICK: Over 1.5 assists (+132)
Theis is the pick of the day, so get this one in before the line fixes itself. The Celtics run an effective six-man rotation, but Theis is the forgotten player alongside the more well-known Boston stars. He’s the starting center and he does the little things, setting picks, moving the ball well and playing tough D.
That ball movement has really become a focal point lately, where Theis has now recorded three assists in five straight games, obviously including both bubble efforts. Boston is starting to use him as more of a pivot and running off the ball, and Theis is showing the ability to find cutters.
And yet somehow we are getting plus-money on a 1.5 line? Our projections put Theis at 2.0 assists, and this is the best prop on the board at these odds.
Grab this at any positive number while you can!