Player props can be useful in a variety of ways — from taking advantage of them straight up to measuring a player’s potential to produce in daily fantasy basketball on FanDuel. Here, we’re going to focus on the former.
Please note lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published.
NBA Prop Bets
Giannis Antetokounmpo Over 52.5 Pts + Reb + Ast (-113)
Giannis Antetokounmpo showed out in the quarterfinals of this tournament, recording 53.0 combined points, rebounds, and assists (PRA) in just 34 minutes. It’s a high bar to reach, but I think Giannis follows up on this performance.
On the season, he is averaging just 46.1 PRA, but Milwaukee’s 131.5-point implied team total against the Pacers is about as high as it can get. The Bucks have scored 132-plus points on four occasions this season, and Giannis is averaging 57.8 PRA in that span.
Indiana allows the fifth-most points and the eighth-most rebounds to power forwards per game. Though the Pacers are less sacrificial when it comes to assists, only six assists are accounted for in this prop — going by his points and rebounds props — and Giannis has recorded 10 assists in each of his last two games.
Giannis scores 21.0% of his points from the free-throw line, and no team allows more free-throw attempts per game than the Pacers.
He scores 68.9% of his points in the paint, and the Pacers allow more paint points per game than any other team in the league.
The fact that Indiana is the most vulnerable team in the same spots where Giannis scores 89.9% of his points led to a 54-point and 69 PRA performance against Indiana in November. There is a caveat here — Damian Lillard did not play in the aforementioned matchup — but Giannis’ PRA line is set far below where he ended up in that game, so Lillard’s status as a scorer should not interfere too much.
Plus, in three games against Indiana last season, Giannis averaged 55.1 PRA all while only playing 30.7 minutes per game. He’s netting 34.3 minutes per game this season and could see even more time on the court in a game that is projected to close and should be a playoff-like atmosphere.
Myles Turner Over 8.5 Rebounds (+110)
Myles Turner was good for just six rebounds in a November matchup against the Bucks, but we should see more boards from him tonight.
Turner is averaging just 7.9 boards per game, but he’s played a larger rebounding role as of late. He’s grabbed nine-plus rebounds in three straight games and is averaging 9.1 rebounds across his last seven contests.
Part of the reason Turner has been accruing more rebounds is that he has been deferring fewer boards. In his first 11 games this season, Turner’s deferred rebound chances stood at 1.5 per night. In the eight games since, that number has dropped to 0.9.
The Bucks pose as a pretty nice matchup for this prop. Milwaukee allows the fifth-most rebounds to centers per 36 minutes. They are also contesting rebounds at the ninth-lowest clip and are netting the sixth-fewest offensive rebounds per game.
numberFire projects Turner to record 9.6 rebounds tonight, so I don’t want to pass up the plus odds here.
LeBron James Under 35.5 Pts + Ast (-125)
Despite the fact that LeBron James recorded 42 combined points and assists (PA) in the quarterfinals of this tournament, I think the under is the side to be on tonight.
LeBron is averaging 31.3 PA this season. He has recorded 36-plus PA in just six of his 21 games this season, which brings the under at this line to a 71.4% hit rate.
He’ll go up against the New Orleans Pelicans, a team that allows the eighth-fewest points to power forwards. The Pelicans do give up the sixth-most assists to the small-forward position, but eight assists are accounted for in this prop, a number LeBron has reached just seven times in 21 games.
There are a few factors that could create pause when siding with the under, but perhaps they are not as threatening as they may seem.
The Lakers have a somewhat high 116.5-point implied team total, but LeBron is averaging only 30.1 PA in games where Los Angeles has scored 116-plus points. While the 2.0-point spread indicates that starters could see more court time than usual, LeBron is averaging 33.9 PA in games that have been decided by six or fewer points. And finally, there are high stakes with this game at this stage of the tourney, but LeBron averaged only 31.0 PA in last season’s playoffs.
Further, LeBron didn’t exactly overperform against New Orleans last season. In three games against the Pels, he averaged just 29.4 PA despite playing a whopping 36.3 minutes per game.
The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.