The Skyrocketing Price of Russell Westbrook’s Triple-Double Prop
Will Newton/Getty Images. Pictured: Russell Westbrook of the Washington Wizards.
The Washington Wizards looked dead in the water just one month ago. On April 10, the Wizards were 19-33 and seemingly headed for their third-straight NBA Draft Lottery.
Since then, the Wizards are 13-3 and have posted a top-six Defensive Rating and a top-three Offensive Rating. They have the fifth-best Net Rating in the NBA over this stretch and their offense is still capable of exploding for 120-plus points at a moment’s notice .
So, what happened? Russell Westbrook happened.
Westbrook’s triple-double prowess has always made him capable of being a one-man offensive engine, but he clearly wasn’t 100% healthy in the first half of the season, and his continued inefficiency as a shooter hurt the Wiz even with Beal playing at an elite level.
Now, Westbrook’s ability to nab triple-doubles feels like Washington’s best route to winning and the safest bet in basketball.
Pre-All Star break, Westbrook was averaging 20.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 9.8 assists.
Post-All Star break, he is averaging 23.3 points, 13 rebounds, and 12.8 assists per game.
Oddsmakers have taken notice of this trend as well and have been slowly adding more and more juice to his triple-double props.
Bettors haven’t been able to get plus money odds on a Westbrook triple-double prop since March 27. Since that time, Westbrook has recorded 19 triple doubles in 23 games, which continues to push the price higher.
The reason NBA bettors can continue to back Westbrook’s odds to get a triple-double with complete confidence lies in the details. I mentioned Westbrook’s health, which clearly improved over the season, but I would be remiss not to mention the NBA trade deadline deals Washington made.
While not the most exciting group in the world, the players the Wizards brought in at the trade deadline all play very specific roles that gave Washington even more of a defined outline of how they want to play.
The Wizards traded Moritz Wagner and Troy Brown Jr. in a three-team deal to acquire Daniel Gafford and Chandler Hutchison from the Chicago Bulls.
Hutchison hasn’t played much but has provided Washington with an athletic slasher who needs the ball in hands much less than the aforementioned Wagner.
Gafford has played almost the same role as in Chicago but has been (unsurprisingly) been an extremely effective rim-runner next to a true point guard, averaging 10.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game on 69.3% from the field.
And to top it all off, the Wizards’ long-time franchise star Bradley Beal has also stepped up his game opposite Westbrook’s historic pursuit of the all-time triple-double record.
Beal has been scoring at an extremely high rate all season long, but his 3-point shooting had taken a bit of a hit early in the season as defenses heavily game-planned for him. Post-All Star break — coinciding with Westbrook’s run — Beal is shooting 37.6% from the 3-point line.
Westbrook’s historic stretch has seen his playmaking hit perhaps the highest level of his career. Per NBA Advanced Stats, his 47.4% assist percentage is the second-highest of his career, behind only his 2016-17 MVP season (54.3%)
At the time of this writing, Russell Westbrook is already tied with Oscar Robertson for the top spot as the NBA’s career leader in triple-doubles with 181.
Westbrook’s triple-double odds have been shortening on the regular. The odds for “The Brodie” to get a triple-double on May 8 vs. Indiana were -335. Tonight, Westbrook’s odds to collect a triple-double against the Hawks — a team he’s played just once this season and didn’t record a triple-double against — are at -400 at DraftKings.
Following Monday’s matchup with the Hawks, Washington has three more games before the official end of the regular season. But considering the run Westbrook and the Wizards have been on, by Tuesday it will likely be too late to debate if Westbrook will break the triple-double record this season.