The Best NBA Player Props, Odds and Analysis for January 4
A busy Monday night in the Association with nine games on tap which helps ease the pain of no more Monday Night Football for eight months. Eight of the nine matchups tip-off between 7 and 8:00 p.m. ET, so make sure you set your fantasy lineups and visit FanDuel’s DFS to play along. Here are a few solid player props to consider. Be sure to check out the SportsGrid Player Prop Tool for more options and always check back throughout the day, as odds and projections may change with news and starting rotations.
Odds are courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.
Toronto Raptors, Fred VanVleet vs. Boston Celtics
The Bet: Over 5.5 Assists (-144)
While Kyle Lowry may have something to say about it, Fred VanVleet has been the best Raptor during Toronto’s disappointing start to the season. Despite a 1-4 record Freddy VV has been playing some of his best basketball. The Raptors guard leads the team with 19.2 points and is second on the club averaging six assists per game, just behind Lowry’s 8.2. Lowry is edging VanVleet by playing two more minutes per game at just over 37 a game. While Fred is averaging about the same amount of court time as he was last year, he showed in the 2020 playoffs he can handle more. VanVleet was playing over 39 minutes for the Raps in last year’s postseason.
With the struggles of Pascal Siakam, Toronto may ask for even more from VanVleet, and he could see extra minutes. The Raptors guard has had three games of six assists or more, including a season-high nine helpers in San Antonio on Boxing Day.
Freddy V put up six or more assists in 38 of 54 regular-season games last year and in eight of 11 playoff games.
In seven of those playoff games in their series with Boston, VanVleet averaged almost six and a half helpers per game. The Raptors guard played nearly 37 minutes per game against Boston in the regular season, the second-highest of any team Toronto played at least four times in 2019-20.
Boston hasn’t exactly been a defensive juggernaut this year either. The Celtics are ranked in the bottom half of the league, allowing 112.3 points per game, and hold the league’s fourth-worst opposing field goal percentage at 48.3.
VanVleet projects for 6.0 assists against the Celtics and to play around 36 minutes. The former Wichita State product should be a focal point of the offense against Boston and will have the ball in his hands a ton as the Raptors look to get on track. Toronto is a 4.5-point home favorite at FanDuel’s Sportsbook against the Boston Celtics and offers a 218.5 total.
Sacramento Kings, Buddy Hield vs. Golden State Warriors
The Bet: Over 19.5 Points (-112)
The Kings will look to get back on track after losing their past two, both to Houston, after starting the season at 3-1. Sacramento has exhibited a balanced scoring attack with six players in double-figures. One of those men is Buddy Hield. Hield has been solid, putting up nearly 17 points per game but is down from the 20 points he’s been scoring the past two seasons. De’Aaron Fox is the Kings’ number one option, but Hield is right behind him.
Buddy leads the Kings making nearly four triples per game, almost twice as many as any teammate. The Sacramento swingman is tied for fifth in the league with his 3.8 three-pointers per game. Hield is putting up these numbers despite shooting nearly four percent lower than his 41 percent career average from three-point land. The 2016 sixth overall pick is also shooting a career-worst 37 percent from the field, a stretch from his career average of 44 percent. You know what they say about shooters; just keep shooting. Hield will have his chance against one of the worst defensive teams in the league.
In fact, Golden State is the worst in the league, allowing 123.7 points per game, almost three points more than any other team. The Warriors are terrible defending the perimeter allowing a league-worst 16.5 triples per game. Opposing teams are also shooting over 42 percent from three-point land against the San Francisco squad, the second-highest rate in the NBA.
Hield averaged nearly 20 points and four 3-pointers against Golden State last year after dropping 26.5 per game, with almost five triples against the Warriors in the 2018-19 season.
The Kings two-guard projects to score 23 points against the defensively challenged Warriors on Monday night. Watch out for this game should be a high-scoring affair since the Kings don’t defend all that well either, so expect Hield to get plenty of good looks.
The Kings are 2-point road favorites, and this game offers a bulky total of 233.5 on the FanDuel Sportsbook.