NBA Player Prop Bets & Picks for Wednesday: Fade Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan as NBA Trade Deadline Looms (March 24)
Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Orlando Magic standout Nikola Vučević.
- The NBA trade deadline is less than 24 hours away, so roster could be quite fluid Wednesday night.
- Brandon Anderson is targeting a pair of "comfort food" bets amidst the trade chaos along with a Rookie of the Year candidate.
- See which players he's buying and which one he's fading as the NBA takes center stage Wednesday night.
You know those days when you just feel like curling up with a nice warm blanket, a good book and some perfect comfort food?
Well, I’m still fried from the first weekend of March Madness and ready for some Wednesday night comfort. And with all the NBA trade deadline craziness going on, I’m sticking with what we know works on the card.
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 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
Nikola Vučević, Over 13.5 Rebounds + Assists (-113)
|Suns vs. Magic||Magic -10|
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
If we’re grabbing comfort food, you had to know the Orlando Magic were going to be in play.
We’ve been crushing Magic overs all season, because this poor team has been shorthanded all year. Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz are out for the season. Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon have bounced in and out of the lineup. They’re healthy now, but could easily be late scratches because of trade talks. Terrence Ross and Mo Bamba are probably out as well.
Hey, you know who’s not out? Who’s never out and not getting traded and always showing up — night after night — to grind for a franchise no one cares about? That would be Nikola Vučević.
The standout big man continues to put up monster numbers. Vučević comes in at 24.5 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game on the season, and I see no reason for him to slow down against the Phoenix Suns. Vučević should get plenty of passing opportunities and see as much of the ball as he can handle all night, and he’s always a monster on the glass.
Vučević has 12 or more rebounds in more than half his games, which puts us within a couple assists of an easy win. Heck, he’s covered this line with rebounds alone in 13 of his 43 games. Vučević has gone over the combo prop in 30 of 43 games, hitting this over a whopping 70% of the time.
We project Vučević at 12.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists, putting him at 17.1 on the combo and making this a slam-dunk play. So, what’s going on with this line then?
Well, Vučević had only 10 boards and no assists early this season against Phoenix, one of his two games all year without a dime, and there’s a chance the Suns could run away with this early and limit Vučević’s minutes.
However, barring a surprise lack of minutes, Vučević should cover this one with ease. This line should have been a full one, maybe two points higher. I’ll play the over to -150 odds.
DeMar DeRozan, Under 0.5 3-Pointers (-155)
|Clippers vs. Spurs||Clippers -5.5|
|Time | TV||8:30 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Fading DeMar DeRozan has been comfort food for the better part of a decade now, and betting against DeRozan making a three is like a warm, cheesy bowl of Easy Mac.
Look, we just made this exact bet two days ago and won it easily, so let’s go back to the well until the books adjust. We’re drinking a little more juice here, but not enough to throw us off the scent.
DeRozan has never exactly been a 3-point shooter, but he’s pretty much stopped trying since arriving in San Antonio. DeRozan has made 34 threes in three seasons combined with the Spurs. That’s 34 threes in 178 games. That’s one every 5.2 games, and he’s making only a quarter of his attempts and taking under two 3-pointers per game.
Seven times this season, DeRozan hasn’t even bothered attempting a three, and he’s only made a trey in 12 of 33 games this year, going under this line 63.6% of the time. He went 0 for 2 against one of the worst 3-point defenses in the league in our win Monday, and the Clippers are actually pretty good defending the arc and not so good inside where DeRozan is best.
DeRozan has hit 18 threes this season, but 10 of those came in just four games. That means DeRozan has just eight 3-pointers in 29 other games. That’s an average of just “error does not compute; shooters not gonna shoot.”
A line of -155 odds implies a 60.8% chance of a hit, but the books haven’t moved this far enough yet. Even at around -200, this prop would be worth a consideration.
Tyrese Haliburton, Under 24.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists (-120)
|Hawks vs. Kings||Hawks -3|
|Time | TV||10 p.m. ET | NBA TV|
Haliburton is our one play that isn’t comfort food, but we gotta mix it up at least a little. He has been terrific for the Sacramento Kings, even moving into the starting lineup four days ago.
I’ve always been a huge Haliburton fan. I had him as a lottery pick a year before he even declared for the NBA Draft and thought he was a top-five guy in last year’s draft because he does all the little things well.
Haliburton is a basketball savant who always makes the right pass and decision. He’s a smart team defender and a good — albeit wonky — shooter. He might be the best player on the Kings already, for whatever that’s worth.
What Haliburton doesn’t do, though, is put up consistent numbers. That’s just not his game, and it’s why I’ve been fading him as a Rookie of the Year pick all year and even still now, even with LaMelo Ball out. Haliburton isn’t a natural scorer, and his numbers are high variance because he takes what’s there and isn’t typically going to explode unless he just hits a barrage of threes.
Since Haliburton returned from injury, he’s averaging just 11.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists, going under this triple combo line in six of seven games. And sure, that’s not totally fair since he was ramping up his minutes a bit and is starting now, but he’s only at 15.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists in these four games as a starter, and that’s still well short of the line.
Haliburton has gone under this line in 27 of 37 games, playing more than enough minutes to have a shot in many of them. He’s probably going to spend a lot of time and energy defending Trae Young as well.
Besides, moving into the starting lineup isn’t always good for numbers. The competition is harder against starters, and you’re sharing the ball a lot more with De’Aaron Fox, Harrison Barnes and others rather than putting up higher usage with a bench unit.
We project Haliburton at 12.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists, which puts him well short of this line. I like the combo to help fend off the possibility of a big outlier night at one of those numbers, and I’ll play to -140 odds.