There are few days on the NBA regular season calendar I enjoy more than the night after the All-Star rosters are announced. And that’s because we get to bet on the All-Star snubs.
Motivation is everything in the NBA, especially on a random February Friday night in the middle of a long, grueling regular season. Just finding the guys with a little extra motivation can sometimes be enough.
NBA Player Props & Picks
LaMelo Ball, Over 7.5 AST (+112) | Record a Triple-Double (+1500)
|Cavaliers vs. Hornets||Hornets -4.5|
|Time | TV||7 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
I’m not sure there’s a bigger snub this season than LaMelo Ball. He continues to be a revelation and looked like a surefire reserve as the engine of the Charlotte Hornets, who are currently 28-24 and only 1.5 games back of the Brooklyn Nets to jump into the top six in the standings and out of the play-in range.
Ball continues to put up big nightly numbers: 19.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 7.7 assists per game. He’s notched four triple-doubles already this season and is one of the league’s brightest young stars, a walking highlight reel with his dazzling passes.
In a bigger market, he’d be a certain All Star and maybe a starter. Instead he was left off the team completely — and he most likely lost his spot to Darius Garland, whose team he’ll face tonight. Sounds like a big incoming game from Ball to me.
Besides, the numbers are already in our favor. Ball has gone over 7.5 assists in seven of his past 10 games, averaging 8.6 per game outside of one outlier with two dimes. Ball has gone over 7.5 assists in 24 games this season, a 53% hit rate for a prop we’re getting plus juice on.
I’m also getting greedy and going for that triple-double All-Star snub statement game. Ball is a prideful player and you have to believe his teammates will want to help him make a statement.
He has scored 10 or more points in all but three games, has double-digit assists in 12 of 45 games and double-digit rebounds in nine of them. LaMelo has four triple-doubles this season, but he also has 10 other games where he was within three combined rebounds or assists of another triple-double. That’s 31% of his games where Ball has had a real shot.
We’re getting +1500, an implied 6.2% at a triple-double. He’s done it 8.9% of his games this year and gotten within range in 31% of them, so I have to take a shot in a game where he’ll want to put up big numbers.
Evan Mobley, Under 18.5 Points (-105)
You could argue that Evan Mobley is another snub. Mobley has been awesome as a rookie. He’s averaging 15.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, and he’s made an even bigger impact on the defensive end with 1.7 blocks and 0.7 steals per game. he has helped push the Cavs into the heat of the playoff race with the league’s third-best Defensive Rating.
Still, it’s probably a bit soon for Mobley to be an All Star — and that’s in part because of his teammate Jarrett Allen, the real snub on this roster. With Darius Garland and most of the other Cavs guards out, Mobley had a career-high 29 points last game, so that’s why this line is high. But Mobley isn’t really a score-first player, and he got a big assist in that game from Houston’s pace and lack of defense. I’m banking on Allen having the bigger All-Star snub performance and Mobley regressing closer to his usual numbers.
Before that 29-point outburst, Mobley had gone under 18.5 points in seven straight games. He’s gone under that number in 35 of 44 games in the NBA, giving this an 80% hit rate. Even with more presumed volume because Garland is missing, I have to play this under.
One player who could absorb some of those points is Brandon Goodwin. He averages 14.6 points per 36 for his career and is getting the start in Garland’s place. Goodwin played over 32 minutes last game, and if you play that much for a team that needs points, then over 10.5 points is not a big ask. That’s a nice over play, especially if you want to pair it with Mobley’s under and hope he gets a couple of those points Mobley doesn’t tonight.
Kyrie Irving, Over 2.5 3-Pointers (+126)
|Nets vs. Jazz||Jazz -3.5|
|Time | TV||9 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Fine, Kyrie Irving doesn’t really count as an All-Star snub. The guy has only played 10 games, and as terrific as he is when on the court, it’s tough to qualify for the All-Star Game with only 10 games played.
But that doesn’t mean Irving is not snub in his own mind, so let’s stick with the theme here.
Really, this is just a numbers play as the books are slow to adjust up on Irving’s numbers, especially with Kevin Durant out and plenty of volume to be had. After shaking off the rust in his first game back, Irving has hit 38% of his 3s and taken 6.7 per game. He’s made at least two 3s in all but one of those games, putting him within one of this over, and the only game below that was a blowout win when he played heavily reduced minutes.
Irving has gone over 2.5 made 3s in six of these last nine games, hitting this prop 67% of the time. That would imply a line of -200, but we’re playing at plus juice instead at +126, an implied 44% hit rate. And remember, the Nets are playing a crippled Jazz team missing the core of its usually tough defense, so that should make life a bit easier too.
There’s one other Irving prop our tool loves today. You can play Irving to record over 0.5 blocks at +180 at DraftKings. That may sound crazy, but Kyrie has at least one blocked shot in 38 of his 84 appearances with the Nets, a 45% hit rate. Again, the math is heavily in our favor on that one for a bet that is close to a coin flip but giving us closer to 2-to-1 odds.
For just the 3-pointers, I’ll play Irving to go over 2.5 makes at any plus numbers. We project him at 3.0 makes tonight.
Bonus Prop Bets
- Kevin Huerter, Under 0.5 Blocks (-125 DraftKings): Huerter has only recorded a block in 11 of 44 games this season, going under this line in 75% of his games. His minutes are back up but this is too juicy not to play, especially since the Raptors aren’t even top 10 in blocks allowed.
- OG Anunoby, 20+ points (+200 FanDuel): We hit this exact prop last night at +164, so let’s go back to the well with our winnings. Anunoby has scored 20-plus points in four of his last six and eight of 16. His volume is up and the 3s are falling, so we should have a decent shot at this. We project Anunoby at 20.2 points and recommend his over 16.5 points, but I’ll take the more aggressive play and hope to triple up.