This season, seeing that Tyrese Haliburton is playing is enough to get me excited about betting player props when looking at the NBA slate. Haliburton and his Pacers will remain in LA to complete their back-to-back with the Lakers. However, tonight there is almost a full slate with 10 games on the schedule.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will be in Toronto to battle the Raptors. Toronto may even get its star forward Pascal Siakam back tonight, but unfortunately, player props are limited for that game as of this writing. Instead, I will be focusing on the West tonight, starting in Denver and closing it out in Los Angeles.
NBA Player Props & Picks
Jamal Murray Over 5.5 Assists (-130)
|Houston Rockets vs. Denver Nuggets||Nuggets -11.5|
|Time | TV||9.10 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Over the last two years, Nikola Jokic has been the sole engine of Denver’s offense while it dealt with injuries to its other star players. The team has begun to gel of late, winning three of its last four games and currently sits in second place in the Western Conference. Getting Jamal Murray back into form gives the Nuggets a phenomenal scoring option (just ask the Jazz) and secondary playmaker. Tonight, I’m going to focus on assists with Murray.
This season, Murray is averaging five assists per game. However, he is averaging seven assists over his last eight games and has had at least six assists in six of his those games. That includes a game with eight assists, two games with nine assists and another with 10 assists. According to props.cash, the Houston Rockets are 20th in Assists Allowed and 26th in defending point guards.
The Rockets also rank 24th in scoring defense, giving up an average of 115.7 points per game. The game total is also 228.5 points, which indicates a high-scoring game in which Murray will have a solid opportunity to get six assists.
Deandre Ayton Under 10.5 Rebounds (-130)
|Phoenix Suns vs. Sacramento Kings||Suns -1|
|Time | TV||10:10 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Deandre Ayton can be a frustrating player to bet on. He has tantalizing talent, which is why he was the first overall pick in a draft that included Luka Doncic, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Trae Young.
Ayton can go for 25 points and 15 rebounds any given night, but he will also settle for 11 points and seven rebounds in an excellent matchup. Ayton has gotten at least 11 rebounds in five of his last seven games, punctuated by a 21-rebound performance against the Jazz on Saturday night. However, I think tonight is the time to fade him.
Tonight, Ayton gets the Sacramento Kings, who allow the third-fewest rebounds, the fewest offensive rebounds and fourth-fewest points to opposing centers, according to props.cash. A lot of those stats can explained by the Kings having one of the best rebounders in the league in Domantas Sabonis.
Sabonis has gotten the best of Ayton in their careers. In seven career meetings, Sabonis has averaged 20 points and 14 rebounds while Ayton has averaged 14.7 points and 10.9 rebounds. Ayton has had 10 rebounds or fewer in three of seven games against Sabonis–that includes the first time they matched up with Sabonis as a King last season.
Additionally, the game total is 232.5 points. It is difficult to pile up a ton of rebounds in a game with a lot of points and both teams shooting a high percentage from the field.
Tyrese Haliburton Over 29.5 Points + Assists (-115)
|Indiana Pacers vs. Los Angeles Lakers||Pacers +3|
|Time | TV||10:30 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Last Monday, I played (and wrote about in this column) Haliburton Over 30.5 Points + Assists (PA), and he basically got it in three quarters as the Pacers routed the Magic. Since then, he has gone under this line in two of his last games. Last Wednesday, he had a rough shooting night as he finished with 10 points on 4-for-15 shooting.
However, he did dish out 14 assists and went over an assist line at 12.5, which even I thought was too high to bet for value. Yesterday, he had a difficult matchup against the Clippers, who are second in Defensive Rating, and finished with 15 points and 11 assists.
Haliburton has been playing at a high level all season, but I also targeted him because he was going against the Magic. The Lakers are not quite as favorable a matchup as the Magic, but they are still a good matchup for Haliburton. According to prop.cash, the Lakers are 22nd in Assists Allowed and 21st in defending point guards. The Lakers are also 21st in points allowed at 114.4 points per game.
On the year, Haliburton is averaging 19.6 points and 11.1 assists, which sums to 30.7 points + assists. That means he is hitting this line on an average night. We need 30 PA to hit the over, but it would not be a surprise if he went for 25 points and 10-12 assists against the Lakers. Haliburton has gone over 29.5 PA in six of his last 10 games and 12 of 19 games this season. If it ain’t broke. . .