Monday's NBA Player Props: Can Josh Giddey Lead Shorthanded Thunder?

Action Network NBA betting contributor Tyler Schmidt previews three player props on Monday night's slate, including why he likes Josh Giddey.

We’ll call this point guard Monday as the props that caught my eye are all point guards on this five-game slate. Let’s get the assists numbers up tonight!

We’ll be using the Action Labs Player Prop tool to compare our NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks. Below, I have laid out three prop bets that I’m playing, the case for each bet and the best books to find odds on those player props.

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NBA Player Props & Picks

Fred VanVleet, Over 7.5 Assists (-140)

Hornets vs. Raptors Raptors -2
Time | TV 7 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass
Best Book DraftKings

The Raptors are one of the best teams to target for player props due to the absurd amount of minutes that they play. Four of the Raptors starters rank in the top five of minutes per game this season, which is pure insanity. Fred VanVleet leads the league averaging a ridiculous 38.7 minutes per game.

Now that the Raptors are fully healthy, VanVleet has taken a little bit of a step back in his scoring production and increased his assist numbers. VanVleet has had eight or more assists in seven of his last eight games, which is far above his average.

This matchup against the Hornets is also great. They rank 24th in Defensive Rating and second in Pace this season. They have allowed the third-most points with 114.2 per game. This game also features the second-highest total on the slate at 224.5 points. There is a lot of reasons to love this matchup.

The Raptors are used to playing slow as they rank 26th in Pace, so this is a nice uptempo spot to target them. There will be so many opportunities for VanVleet to get over this prop and I would even take it to 8.5 assists tonight.

Kyle Lowry, Over 7.5 Assists (+100)

Wizards vs. Heat Heat -6
Time | TV 7 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass
Best Book BetMGM

Another point guard, another assists prop. Kyle Lowry has had one atrocious game and one fantastic game since coming back from injury. His minutes are trending up as he played 31 in the last game for the Heat. Over those two games Lowry has attempted seven shots from the field and has a 11.3% usage rate.

The Heat will also likely be playing without Tyler Herro as he is doubtful to play due to injury. This is the main reason why Lowry should thrive tonight. Despite coming off of the bench, Herro leads the Heat in usage rate. However, in six games without Herro, Lowry is averaging 14.7 points and 10.3 assists per game.

This game against the Wizards features by far the lowest total on the slate at 206.5 points. Both the Wizards and Heat rank in the bottom 10 in Pace. This will most likely be a snooze fest, but Lowry can still get over 7.5 assists. The Wizards rank 22nd in Defensive Rating and are still playing without their star Bradley Beal.

As always, shop around for the best line, but as of this writing BetMGM has this prop listed at even-money. Taking it at 8.5 assists tonight in this game environment might be a reach, but I love this bet at 7.5 assists.

Josh Giddey, Over 28.5 PTS + REB + AST (-125)

Thunder vs. Warriors Warriors -12.5
Time | TV 8 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass
Best Book DraftKings

For their standards, the Thunder have been playing very well recently. Despite their 17-35 record, they have won three of their last four games. Granted they are still massive home underdogs against the Warriors, which is deserving.

The Thunder are decimated with injuries right now. Their point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is out along with Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and potentially Luguentz Dort who popped up on the injury report today as questionable. Using our On/Off tool on FantasyLabs, Josh Giddey has played the most minutes on the team without Gilgeous-Alexander on the floor this season.

In seven games without Gilgeous-Alexander, Giddey is averaging 17.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game. He has taken over the point guard reigns and ran with them. Over the last five games Giddey is averaging 16.6 points, eight rebounds, and six assists per game. Both totals mentioned were well over this points, rebounds, and assists prop for Giddey tonight.

The biggest downfall is this matchup against the Warriors is about as tough as they come. They lead the league in Defensive Rating by a comfortable margin.  The Thunder are implied for a slate-low 99 points. They have scored under 100 points in two of their last three games, but both games resulted in a win.

Our model has Giddey projected for 30.5 points, rebounds, and assists tonight despite this difficult matchup. With so many players out for the Thunder, the minutes are solidified for Giddey. He has averaged 36.8 minutes per game in his last five games. The matchup is bad, but there is value with Giddey tonight.