NBA Player Prop Bets & Picks: Norman Powell, Christian Wood Highlight Top Options (Sunday, April 18)
Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Normal Powell of the Portland Trail Blazers.
- A limited slate of NBA games on Sunday is no reason for there not to be betting value in the props market.
- Daniel Titus breaks down his two favorite plays in a pair of games.
The NBA is keeping it rolling Sunday, with an eight-game slate that started at 1 p.m. ET with the New Orleans Pelicans visiting Madison Square Garden to face the New York Knicks. The Indiana Pacers also battled the Atlanta Hawks.
The matchup between Zion Williamson and Julius Randle was billed to be must-see TV, as both stars have emerged as undersized bullies on the block. To quote former WWE announcer Jim Ross, “we have a real slobber knocker on our hands, here. ”
The biggest game of the schedule features the Brooklyn Nets facing the Miami Heat, which tipped off at 3 p.m. ET. Jimmy Butler was questionable to play, but with the Heat on a three-game skid and holding onto a narrow half-game lead for the No. 7 seed in the East, it was shaping up to be an important game for Miami.
Today’s props are focusing on two 7 p.m. games. With news of Damian Lillard (hamstring) set to miss Portland’s tilt against Charlotte, I’m riding with Norman Powell to stuff the stat sheet. Also, I’ve been meaning to get in on a Christian Wood prop, and I’m digging his points, rebounds and assists market against an inconsistent Orlando Magic front court.
For those who are new to this article, 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 two 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
Norman Powell — Over 25.5 points Pts + Rebs + Asts (-125)
|Blazers vs. Hornets||Hornets +4.5|
|Time | TV||7 p.m. ET|
Powell continues to adjust to his new home in Portland. The Blazers are 6-5 overall since acquiring the bucket-getting swingman, and he’s averaging 17.2 points, with 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 11 games through Sunday. So why am I playing his P+R+A market?
Powell’s seen a 20.5 usage rate with Damian Lillard on the floor, but in his last game without Lillard, his usage rose to 24.3% in Friday’s matchup against the Spurs. Lillard will miss his second consecutive game with a hamstring injury, which should offer more touches for Powell against the Hornets. The 217.5 game total doesn’t wow me by any means either.
However, so much of the Blazers’ offense runs through Lillard. Per NBA Advanced Stats, Lillard is responsible for 26.8% of Portland’s points; 45.3% of its assists; and, 10.7% of its rebounds in the last 11 games.
There’s no doubt CJ McCollum will see an increase in his usage, but with Powell averaging 22 P+R+A with Lillard on the floor, he should have no issue eclipsing his 25.5 combo market against a Hornets team that ranks as the 10th- worst in the league in defensive efficiency over its last five games.
In his last two games, Powell has gone over 25.5 points and is in a great position to do it for a third time in this contest.
Our projections have Powell accumulating 28.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists, with a bet quality rating of 8 out of 10. I’m taking the over in this spot.
Christian Wood — Over 33.5 Pts + Rebs +Asts (-105)
|Rockets vs. Magic||Magic -1|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
The Rockets play against the Magic and I think this is a great spot for Wood to continue his dominant play. Over his last three games, he is averaging 21.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists.
According to Team Rankings.com, the Magic allowed the 12th-most points in the paint per game (47.3) to opposing teams over their last three games.
For the season, Wood has played well against sub .500 teams, averaging 20.8 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists across 15 games. The game total sits at a solid 220, which should offer plenty of opportunities for the big man to fill up the box score.
Houston’s injury report is extensive, but the main player sitting out will be John Wall, because the Rockets are playing on the front end of a back-to-back set.
Without Wall this season, Wood has averaged 21.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 13 games. With Wall on the floor, Wood’s usage rate stands at 25.2, but according to StatMuse, Wood’s usage rate rises to 27.1 with him out of the lineup.
Wendell Carter Jr, is also not the poster child for astounding defensive and rebounding metrics. Per Cleaning the Glass, Carter ranks in the 65th percentile in defensive rebounding; 75th in offensive rebounding; and, 62nd in blocks. All of this shows that Wood has a promising matchup against a center who sits in the middle of the pack defensively.
Our projections have Wood hitting for a combined 35.9 points, rebounds and assists against the Magic, with a bet quality rating of 8 out of 10. I’m going with the over on this prop as well, with both teams fighting for a lottery pick.