3 NBA Player Prop Bets to Target on Thursday 12/31/20
Player props can be useful in a variety of ways, from taking advantage of them straight up (to the tune of cold hard cash) to measuring a player’s potential to produce in daily fantasy basketball. Here we’ll focus on utilizing our projections and a slew of other tools to help make money betting player props.
For this article, we are using the odds provided at FanDuel Sportsbook to pinpoint spots where value can be had tonight.
Please note that betting lines and our game projections may change throughout the day after this article is published.
Steven Adams Over 9.5 Points (-120)
Steven Adams will face his former Oklahoma City Thunder team for the first time since becoming a New Orleans Pelican. As the Pelicans’ center, Adams scored a season-high 11 points in his previous game playing only 23 minutes. The big man went a perfect 5-of-5 from the field, making him 16-of-21 (76.2%) for the season. The Thunder, without Adams, allow the ninth-most points per game to opposing centers (21.67) and the fourth-most points in the paint (54.7) to opponents.
The Pelicans have allowed opposing big men Nikola Vucevic (28), PJ Washington (18), Mike Muscala (14), Rudy Gobert (12), and Aaron Gordon (12) all to hit the over 9.5 mark. Adams is most comparable to Gobert and Vucevic as rebounding and interior centers, and Adams could certainly make five-to-six baskets with a free-throw or two to hit this over. Our model projects Adams to score 12.1 points versus the Thunder, his best projection of the season.
Julius Randle Under 38.5 Points, Rebounds, and Assists (-104)
Julius Randle has shown out for the New York Knicks in the first four games, averaging 24.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 7.5 assists. He’s been a surprise, and after a triple-double of 28 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists, it’s only down from here for Randle. While I don’t anticipate him having a terrible game versus the Toronto Raptors, I don’t see a triple-double or monster double-double coming. Our model predicts Randle to total 21.2 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 5.2 assists, just hitting the under (37.4).
The Raptors lost Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka but retained athletic stretch bigs Pascal Siakam and Chris Boucher and added Aron Baynes. The Raptors were torched by Joel Embiid in their previous contest but held Steven Adams, Zion Williamson, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Ben Simmons, all under the 38.5 points-rebounds-assists total.
Randle has yet to shoot below 47% from the field, and he’s been lights out from three, hitting 9 of his last 11 triples (81.8%). He has to come down sometime, and being on the road for the first time since the season-opener could throw Randle off or see a slow scoring start, which is more than welcomed tonight for the under bettors.
James Harden Over 5.5 Rebounds (-118)
James Harden‘s lines are all lower than normal tonight due to the debuts of John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins. The most significant discrepancy between projections and his lines tonight is his rebounding total. The line is 5.5, but our model predicts 6.9 for Harden versus the Sacramento Kings. Sacramento allows the 12th-most rebounds to point guards per game (6.64) and lead the league against shooting guards (3.59). While that may seem concerning for this bet, Harden will have to share point guard duties with Wall, and the simplest way for Harden to get the ball early is either to rebound or share duties bringing the ball up after each allowed basket. I like Harden to be a little more aggressive tonight.
Harden has a 34.1% usage rate to start the season, the most in the league for available players tonight. That number will take a slight dip, but the Houston Rockets‘ role players will see their shot attempts and rebounding efforts on the decline with Cousins and Wall’s arrival. Over 5.5 rebounds aren’t much to ask for despite him grabbing 4 and 6 in the first two games. Cousins is only projected to play 19.1 minutes, so Christian Wood will be Harden’s main rebounding competition for Houston.