Saturday’s Best NBA Player Props: Will LeBron Drop Double-Digit Dimes vs. Grizzlies?
Alonzo Adams, USA Today Sports. Pictured: LeBron James
- Saturday's nine-game NBA slate features four player prop bets offering value
- This piece will focus on Hornets C Cody Zeller, Pacers SG Jeremy Lamb, Blazers PF Carmelo Anthony, and Lakers SF LeBron James
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 four of the slate’s nine games:
- Chicago Bulls at Charlotte Hornets: 7 p.m. ET
- Orlando Magic at Indiana Pacers: 7 p.m. ET
- Portland Trail Blazers at Cleveland Cavaliers: 8 p.m. ET
- Los Angeles Lakers at Memphis Grizzlies: 8 p.m. ET
Let’s dive in.
Hornets C Cody Zeller
THE PICK: Under 10.5 points (-125)
I hit the under on this prop yesterday, and I’m going right back to the well tonight. The Hornets have decided to manage Zeller’s minutes recently in an effort to keep him healthy for the full season. As a result, he’s logged 21.9 minutes or less in each of his past three games. Zeller is not the kind of player who scores points in bunches, so it’s not surprising to see him struggle offensively in limited minutes. Overall, he’s scored eight points or fewer in four straight games.
Zeller couldn’t hit double digits yesterday in an elite spot vs. the Wizards, so I have no fear backing the under on his scoring prop today. I’d play it up to -175.
Pacers SG Jeremy Lamb
THE PICK: Under 15.5 points (-114)
Lamb is expected to return to the lineup after an ankle injury caused him to miss each of the past seven games. That said, it’s definitely reasonable to expect him to be limited in some capacity. Lamb has averaged 17.0 points per game this season, but he’s also played an average of 33.0 minutes per game.
Even if he does return to his normal workload, there’s no guarantee he’ll hit the over in a tough matchup vs. the Magic. They’ve played at the slowest pace in the league, and they also rank ninth in defensive efficiency.
The Pacers have also played slow this season — they rank tied for 24th in pace — so points should be at a premium in this contest. The total on this game sits at just 201.5 points, which is the lowest mark of the day by a substantial margin.
The combination of matchup and playing time concerns is more than enough for me to place a wager on the under. I would play it up to -125.
Blazers PF Carmelo Anthony
THE PICK: Over five rebounds (-114)
The Blazers wasted very little time integrating Melo into their rotation. He played 23.6 minutes in his first game with the team, but that number jumped to 29.0 minutes in his second contest. He pulled down seven rebounds in that game, and he’s currently projected for a similar amount of playing time today. Melo has never been an elite rebounder, but he’s averaged at least 5.4 rebounds per game in all but one of his first 16 seasons in the NBA.
His matchup vs. the Cavs is mediocre — they currently rank 12th in team rebound rate — but it would become much more appealing if Kevin Love is ultimately ruled out. He’s been downgraded to questionable, and the Cavs’ rebound rate drops to just 47.6% with Love off the court this season. That would be the fourth-worst mark in the league.
This line is simply too low for a PF projected to play around 30 minutes. I like the over up to -150.
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Lakers SF LeBron James
THE PICK: Over 10.5 assists (-100)
LeBron has reinvented himself as a distributor this season. He’s always been a great passer, but he’s focused much more on getting his teammates involved than looking for his own shot in his second year with the Lakers. He currently leads the league with an average of 11.3 assists per game, and he’s handed out at least 11 dimes in six of his past seven games.
LeBron is in a great spot today vs. the Grizzlies. They have completely abandoned their “Grit and Grind” philosophy and currently rank seventh in pace and tied for 23rd in defensive efficiency. The Lakers are currently implied for 116.0 points, which is the second-highest mark on the slate.
I’m all in on point guard LeBron this season and would play the over up to -120.
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