Friday's NBA Player Props: Bets for D'Aaron Fox & Khris Middleton

Action Network contributor Alex Hinton details his NBA player prop picks for Friday, including picks for De'Aaron Fox and Khris Middleton.

NBA Player Props Today

After a Christmas Day victory over the Bucks, the Knicks lost in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night. Tonight, they will be in Orlando to battle another young team on the rise in the Orlando Magic. I’ll be backing Isaiah Hartenstein in that one.

The Hawks are short home favorites over the Kings but the total over 250 points is what I have my eye on. With De’Aaron Fox and Trae Young on the floor, there will be a lot of points on the board. It would not be a surprise if the two had a duel as well.

The Bucks are no strangers to lighting up the scoreboards themselves this season. We have cashed on both Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s points this week. However, the Bucks will be even more dangerous as Khris Middleton continues to get healthier. Middleton will like to stay hot in Cleveland tonight.

Let’s dive into my NBA player props for Friday, December 29 including picks for Isaiah Hartenstein, De’Aaron Fox and Khris Middleton.

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Knicks vs. Magic

Isaiah Hartenstein Over 9.5 Rebounds (-113)

Spread Knicks -1
Time | TV 7 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass
Best Line DraftKings

The Knicks have been without Mitchell Robinson since December 8 at Boston and likely will be for the rest of the season. The Knicks miss his ability to anchor a defense, but they have been able to replace his production on the glass. Over the last 10 games, Isaiah Hartenstein is averaging 10.5 rebounds per game. He has had at least eight rebounds in nine of those games and cleared this line in five of them.

On paper, Hartenstein has a tough matchup tonight as he faces the Orlando Magic. They are allowing just 41.4 rebounds per game, fourth-fewest in the league. It makes sense when you consider all the length that the Magic have. They have been rotating three centers since Wendell Carter Jr. returned from injury. However, Orlando is more generous to centers, ranking 15th in the league in rebounds allowed to the position.

Orlando’s collection of centers is part of the reason why I like Hartenstein tonight. Hartenstein will be closer to the basket because Orlando typically plays big. Moritz Wagner will stretch him to the perimeter at times, but Carter Jr. and Goga Bitadze will primarily be stationed around the rim. In December, Daniel Gafford (twice), Jarrett Allen, Kristaps Porzingis, and Mo Bamba went over their rebounds line against Orlando. All but Bamba reached double digits.

Over his last 10 games, Hartenstein is averaging 16.6 rebound chances per game and he is collecting 63% of them. He is averaging about 32 minutes per game in that span. If he plays 30 minutes again, I like his chances of getting 10 rebounds again tonight.

Kings vs. Hawks

De’Aaron Fox / Trae Young 25 Points Parlay (-116)

Spread Kings -1
Time | TV 7:30 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass
Best Line FanDuel

De’Aaron Fox is fifth in the league in scoring at 30.2 points per game. Tonight, his scoring line has crept into the low 30s. He has scored 30 points in four of his last eight games against the Hawks and he very well may do so again tonight. However, Fox has scored 30 points in just 11-of-23 games (48%) this season. Watering down Fox to 25 significantly increases his hit rate. Fox has scored 25 points in 19-of-23 games (83%) this season.

If Fox has a big scoring night, Trae Young will have to match him if the Hawks are going to pull out a victory. Young’s lines are at 28.5/29.5 tonight and likely will increase closer to tip. Young actually has scored 30 points in eight of his last 10 games, so he may be the safer choice if you are looking to take just one straight. However, he still is averaging 28 points per game and has a 50% hit rate this season. He has scored 25 points in 12 of his last 15 games.

The Hawks (27th) and Kings (22nd) are both in the bottom 10 of the league in scoring defense and are top 10 in pace. Fox and Young will have ample opportunities to score. However, both of them tend to do much of their scoring in the fourth quarter, which could be problematic if the game unexpectedly turns into a blowout.

Taking each to score 25 points should be safe. However, if the expected shootout does come to fruition, they will present value. You can parlay Young and Fox to score 30 each at +257 and 35 each at +764.

Bucks vs. Cavaliers

Khris Middleton Over 17.5 Points (-115)

Spread Bucks -6
Time | TV 7:30 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass
Best Line DraftKings

Khris Middleton has averaged 15.4 points per game since the start of last season. However, he has spent much of that time recovering from injuries. This season, he has also been adjusting to playing with Damian Lillard. However, in the previous five seasons, Middleton averaged 20 points per game in four of them and 18.3 in the other. Middleton has been getting closer to that form of late.

Middleton has scored 20 points in four of his last six games and scored was hooked on 17 points in another. Narrowing even more, he has scored 20 points in each of his last three games, averaging 23.7 in the process. The key there is that Middleton has played 30 minutes in each of the past three games. The Bucks have been slowly ramping up Middleton’s minutes, which is good news for their team and for us tonight.

Dating back to last season, Middleton has scored 18 points in 13-of-16 games when playing 30+ minutes and he is averaging 23.1 points in that stretch. Middleton has not played the Cavaliers in that time, but they present a favorable matchup for him tonight. Per FantasyPros, the Cavaliers are allowing the eighth-most points per game (22.2) to small forwards. In the last two weeks, De’Andre Hunter, Tari Eason, Dillon Brooks, and Trey Murphy III have hit their points lines against the Cavaliers.

This month, Middleton is shooting 51.7% from the field and 42.9% from three. He has benefited from the attention that Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo create. That will likely remain the case all season, provided good health for everyone. As a correlated play, you can parlay Middleton’s points and Lillard over 6.5 assists for +233.