NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks: 3 Picks for Saturday, Including Jayson Tatum

NBA Player Prop Bets, Picks: 3 Picks for Saturday, Including Jayson Tatum article feature image

Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Dwight Powell

With only five games on the NBA slate tonight, I am focusing my attention on just two games with three props that really caught my eye. I am focusing on the offensive side of the ball tonight, specifically two role players who defer most of the offensive production to their teammates. The other is a star who has been struggling to find his groove shooting the ball.

We'll be using the Action Labs Player Prop tool to compare our NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks. Each bet is then graded on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade.

Below, I have laid out three prop-bets that I'm playing, the case for each bet and the best books to find odds on those player props.

NBA Player Props & Picks

Javonte Green, Under 8.5 Points + Assists (-105)

Bulls vs. 76ersBulls -4
Time | TV8 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass
Best BookDraftKings

The first prop I am writing up tonight is Javonte Green from the Chicago Bulls. Who? Green is a four-year veteran who is in his second season with the Bulls. Since Patrick Williams was injured, Green has entered the starting lineup. He has started the last three games and played 22 or more minutes in every game.

The problem with Green entering the starting lineup is he is surrounded by players who demand the ball much more often than him. DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine have usage rates over 30% this season, while Nikola Vucevic has a usage rate of 21.7% and Lonzo Ball is at 18.2%. For comparison, Green has a usage rate of just 9.9%, which is extremely low for a starter.

Green is on the floor with the starters simply for his rebounding and defense. He will occasionally find himself open under the hoop for a dunk, but other than that he won't be shooting the ball too much especially in this pivotal Eastern Conference battle. Green has yet to attempt more than six field goals in a game this season and has only attempted six 3-pointers all season.

Green also isn't even getting to the charity stripe. He is averaging one free throw attempt per game. As far as assists go that is almost a zero. Green has averaged 0.5 assists per game so far this season. He is also not in the closing lineup, as that spot belongs to Alex Caruso, who has the upside to play 30+ minutes in any game.

The minutes for Green are definitely there since the Williams injury, but the offensive production has been non existent. Playing alongside the starters who all need the ball in their hands doesn't provide many opportunities for Green to do anything besides rebound and get after it defensively. There are a lot of Green props that are intriguing, but the Under 8.5 points + assists is my favorite. I would bet this down to 8.0 if it were to get there on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Dwight Powell, Under 9.5 Points + Assists (-105)

Mavericks vs. CelticsMavs -4.5
Time | TV8:30 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass
Best BookDraftKings

Since Kristaps Porzingis has been out due to injury, the minutes have been very sporadic for Dwight Powell. The most minutes he played in the five games Porzingis missed was 33 and the least was 19. Porzingis is expected back tonight and that is a major reason why I love this Powell prop tonight.

I wouldn't mind this prop if Porzingis somehow still needs another rest day. Without him in the lineup, Powell averaged 8.6 rebounds per game and 0.8 assists per game. That would make it closer, but I would still take it. Porzingis practiced on Friday and the Mavericks are hopeful that he will be able to play.

There are two reasons I am leaving out the rebounds part of this prop and only going with points and assists. The first is Porzingis isn't known for being a great rebounder. Sure, he has shown the upside to grab double-digit rebounds already this year, I just don't trust it. Powell will get physical down low when Porzingis won't.

Next, the Boston Celtics have been torched on the glass this season. They rank 27th in rebounding percentage this season and will be without Jaylen Brown, who averages 6.1 rebounds per game.

Luka Doncic runs the show for the Mavs. He is second behind Donovan Mitchell in the entire league in usage rate this season with 34.9%. He leads the Mavericks in points, rebounds, and assists with all not being that close at all. For comparison, Powell has a 14.9% usage rate without Porzingis this season, and a 12.1% usage rate with him playing.

Obviously monitor the news of Porzingis at our news dashboard on Fantasy Labs, but expect him to play. Remember this is a points + assists prop, do not include rebounds!

I like this prop down to 8.5 if it gets there with Porzingis ruled in. However, right now the best is 9.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Jayson Tatum, Over 10.5 Rebounds + Assists (-120)

Mavericks vs. CelticsMavs -4.5
Time | TV8:30 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass
Best BookDraftKings

I am going back to this Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics game with a Jayson Tatum Over rebounds + assists prop. Similar to Powell above, there is a reason I am leaving out one specific stat category here with Tatum. That would be his points.

The Celtics will be without Jaylen Brown tonight which is significant. In the one game that Brown has missed this season, Tatum went for 31 points, nine rebounds, and only two assists. Without Brown for 13 games last season, Tatum averaged 28.6 points per game, 8.0 rebounds per game, and 3.9 assists per game to go along with a 31.9% usage rate.

The reason I am leaving points out of this equation is seeing how much Tatum has struggled shooting the ball to start the season. He had the one good game without Brown, going for 31 points, but it has been a struggle as Tatum has a career-low 46.0% True Shooting Percentage this season. He is attempting a career-high 22.3 field goal attempts per game, but is averaging a career-low in field goal percentage (37.3%), 3-point percentage (27.1%), and even free throw percentage (74.5%). He may shoot himself out of his slump, but I can't trust it.

Similar to the Celtics, the Mavericks have been awful on the glass this season. They are leading the league in defensive rebounds allowed with 39.8 per game. The one benefit to Tatum and his poor shooting is that he is averaging a career-high in rebounds with 8.1 per game. He is very live to get double digit rebounds in this matchup. If that happens, he only would need one assist to get over this prop. The Mavericks have allowed the second most points in the paint in their last three games.

I certainly wouldn't mind taking this prop at 11.5 if we can find plus money, but until then I would stick with 10.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook. Taking the points with Tatum may be enticing, especially with Brown out of the lineup, but the true value is really on his rebounds and assists tonight.

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