Friday’s Best NBA Player Props: Betting LeBron James Assists, More

Friday’s Best NBA Player Props: Betting LeBron James Assists, More article feature image

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23).

  • Friday's 10-game NBA slate features three player prop bets offering value.
  • This piece will focus on Cavaliers C Tristan Thompson, Bulls PF Lauri Markkanen, and Lakers SF LeBron James

Prop bets can be a great way to get action on a game. Bookmakers don’t have to worry about taking a lot of action on them, so there isn’t as great an incentive to post a competitive line.

As a result, props can be some of the most exploitable bets on the board.

These props can become downright unfair when you combine them with our FantasyLabs Player Prop tool.

Friday’s best props focus on three of the slate’s 10 games:

  • Sacramento Kings at Cleveland Cavaliers: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Oklahoma City Thunder at Chicago Bulls: 8 p.m. ET
  • Los Angeles Lakers at San Antonio Spurs: 8:30 p.m. ET

Let’s dive right in.

Cavaliers C Tristan Thompson

The Pick: Over 13.5 rebounds (-125)

The Kardashian curse is officially dead! Thompson is in the midst of his best season as a pro and is currently averaging career highs in both points and rebounds per game. He’s been particularly effective on the glass over his past 15 games, averaging a ridiculous 13.6 rebounds per game. That includes a fluky game in which he grabbed just two boards vs. the Thunder — removing that from the sample increases his average to 14.4.

He’s in a great rebounding spot today againts the Kings, who have played at the second fastest pace this season. They also rank just 23rd in team rebound rate, so Thompson should be able to have his way with them on the glass.

Thompson has ripped down at least 14 boards in three straight games, and I think he has a good chance of making it four in a row today. I like the over up to -160.

Bulls PF Lauri Markkanen

The Pick: Over seven rebounds (-135)

Markkanen was expected to ease into the Bulls’ rotation, but he played more than 32 minutes in his most recent contest. He was supposed to be capped at 28 minutes, but interim coach Jim Boylen didn’t want to take him off the court. Markkanen managed to pull down 10 rebounds in that contest against the Pacers, which bodes well for his rebounding prospects moving forward.

The Pacers play at one of the slowest paces in the league, and today’s matchup with the Thunder should feature significantly more possessions. The fact that Markkanen also saw some time at center in his last game is another positive for his rebound potential in tonight’s contest.

Markkanen is not exactly a rebound monster, but he did manage 7.0 rebounds in just 29.0 minutes per game as a rookie. I like his chances of going over in this contest and would play it up to -155.

Lakers SF LeBron James

The Pick: Over seven assists (-114)

LeBron has averaged just 6.6 assists per game this season, so this line feels a bit high on the surface. That said, the Lakers will be without Brandon Ingram for tonight’s contest against the Spurs, which does increase LeBron’s upside. For starters, he could see a few additional minutes: He’s averaging just 34.8 minutes per game through his first 24 games this season.

He’s also increased his assist rate by +3.4% with Ingram off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 7.5 assists per 36 minutes. Finally, the Lakers have increased scoring potential vs. the Spurs, who have been the second-worst team in terms of defensive efficiency this season.

Ingram’s absence should be a huge benefit to the King — you can read more about their poor fit in Matt Moore’s excellent piece on the Lakers — so I’m expecting a vintage LeBron performance in an excellent matchup. I’d play the over up to -140.

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