Another day in the NBA means more of the best NBA player props today, with our picks and best for Friday across the league.
I have been looking forward to the NBA being back for several weeks, and I was even more excited when we went 2-1 on opening night. Like Wednesday, Friday is a staple night for the NBA, and it is a night that stars often shine on. One of those stars could be Jaylen Brown, who highlights our best NBA player props tonight.
The Celtics guard struggled on opening night, but his team was able to grind out a win against the Knicks. Tonight, Brown gets the Heat in a rematch of the last two Eastern Conference finals. Brown has had a lot of success against Miami in those matchups and could be in for another big night.
While Celtics-Heat was a fascinating playoff series, my personal favorite was Kings-Warriors in the first round. It was a fantastic series for props and each team returns most of their cores. For the Kings, that includes center Domantas Sabonis and he may take advantage of the Warriors lack of size on the glass.
First, let’s begin in Charlotte, where I will be backing another center.
NBA Player Props Today
Pistons vs. Hornets
Jalen Duren Over 10.5 Rebounds (+106)
|Time | TV||7 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Jalen Duren closed out his rookie season with double-digit rebounds in five of his last eight games. That includes games with 14 and 18 rebounds and he finished last season averaging 8.9 rebounds per game. Keep in mind that Duren did that while the Pistons were experimenting with James Wiseman. As of now, Wiseman is out of the Pistons rotation after he lost the backup center battle in the preseason to Marvin Bagley and he did not play in the season-opening loss at Miami.
Duren played 32 minutes and pulled down 14 rebounds while battling Bam Adebayo down low. Tonight, he gets the Charlotte Hornets, who were the best rebounding matchup for opposing centers last season. The Hornets put up more resistance down low after Mark Williams was given more playing time. Williams, who was picked two slots after Duren in the 2022 NBA Draft, had 15 rebounds against Atlanta on Wednesday. However, Clint Capela had 13 rebounds in 29 minutes as well.
Last season, Duren hit this line in two of three games against the Hornets and he finished with nine in the other. In the two games that Duren cleared this line, he finished with 19 and 13 rebounds. If Duren stays out of foul trouble, 11 rebounds will be no problem for him and he could offer some value as well. On DraftKings, you can take him for +13 rebounds at +250 and at +700 for 16 rebounds on FanDuel.
Heat vs. Celtics
Jaylen Brown Over 19.5 Points (-125)
|Time | TV||7:30 p.m. ET | ESPN|
On Wednesday night against the Knicks, he scored 11 points and shot just 4-for-11 from the field. That game only had 212 points overall and Jayson Tatum and Kristaps Porzingis scored 64 of the Celtics’ 108 points. Tatum is the Celtics No. 1 option and we know he is going to get his. However, Porzingis usually has a little extra motivation when he goes back to New York and he had 15 points in the first quarter. As I was watching the game, it appeared to me that Brown willingly took a step back, recognizing that Porzingis and then Tatum had the hot hands.
In addition to Porzingis, the Celtics also brought in Jrue Holiday this offseason. Figuring out their props on a night-to-night basis will be difficult early on as the team looks to establish chemistry. However, this line looks awfully low for a player of Brown’s caliber.
Brown has averaged 20 points per game in each of the last four seasons. Last year, he averaged a career-high 26.6 points per game and earned his first All-NBA selection. With two seven game series against the Heat the last two postseasons, Brown has seen a lot of Miami over the last two years. Including the postseason, Brown has scored 20 points in 14 of his last 20 games against the Heat, averaging 23.3 points per game in those games.
Now with Holiday and Porzingis in town, those stats are not as relevant to tonight’s matchup. However, Brown still poses a matchup problem for the Heat. If Jimmy Butler spends most of the night on Jayson Tatum, that means one of Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and Caleb Martin will be on Brown most of the night. Of that trio, only Martin is a good defender, so Brown could feast in this matchup. If so, Brown will have little scoring 20 points tonight and I also like him to score 25 points at +240 on FanDuel.
Warriors vs. Kings
Domantas Sabonis Over 12.5 Rebounds (-120)
|Time | TV||10 p.m. ET | ESPN|
The Warriors have played small ball as much any team in the league over the last decade and it has resulted in four championships. They doubled down on small ball again when they flipped Jordan Poole into Chris Paul this season. However, they can also be vulnerable on the glass because of their lack of size.
In the season opener, the Warriors were -11 on the glass on the glass. Center Jusuf Nurkic had 12 rebounds in the first half and finished with 14 for the game. Backup center Drew Eubanks had seven rebounds in 19 minutes as well. Tonight, the Warriors have to deal with another one of the league’s best rebounders in Domantas Sabonis.
Last season, the Kings center averaged 12.3 rebounds per game. He also averaged 12.7 rebounds per game against the Warriors in 10 games. Of those games, Sabonis hit this line in just two of the seven games in their first round series. However, he cleared this line in the three regular season matchups that he played in with games of 14, 14, and 22 rebounds.
Tonight, the Warriors will be even smaller with Draymond Green still out of the lineup. That will give Sabonis more rebounding chances, but so will the pace in this game. Last season, the Warriors led the NBA in pace in the regular season while the Kings were 12th, per NBAStats. In the playoffs, they were both in the top three in pace.
While a game where they shoot 55% and combine for 270 points would be fun, more possessions leads to more rebounds. I expect Sabonis to pull down at least 13 of them tonight.