On Monday night, the NBA kicks off the week with a seven-game slate. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Oklahoma City Thunder will be in Boston to battle Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics on NBA TV. Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns are still in Florida to face the Miami Heat.
The Atlanta Hawks‘ exciting young backcourt will take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. Antetokounmpo is probable to return as well. Unfortunately, we will be robbed of a matchup between last year’s Rookie of the Year (Scottie Barnes) and last year’s No. 1 overall pick (Cade Cunningham). However, is there a current rookie in that game worth betting on?
NBA Player Props & Picks
Jaden Ivey Over 27.5 PRA (-118)
|Toronto Raptors vs. Detroit Pistons||Pistons +5.5|
|Time | TV||7:10 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Jaden Ivey has been as good as advertised since the Pistons made him the fifth overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. The rookie guard is averaging 15.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. That amounts to 24.7 PRA, and yes, Ivey has only reached 28 PRA in five of 13 games this season. However, there are a few reasons I like this play.
For starters, Ivey has gone over this line in three of his past four games. He nearly cleared this line with just his scoring alone when he had 26 points against the Celtics. The Raptors are ninth in the NBA in scoring defense, but Ivey had 19 and 26 points in two games against the Celtics in the last week, so we know he can get it done against an elite defense.
Additionally, there are multiple ways for Ivey to get here without a big scoring night. He has had three games with double-digit rebounds, including two in his past four games. Ivey ranks 21st in rebounds among guards this season.
Furthermore, the Pistons remain without Cunningham as he misses his third straight game due to shin soreness. Cunningham’s absence not only opens up more shot attempts for Ivey, but it also opens up more playmaking opportunities for him as well–Ivey already has a nine-assist game this season. On Monday, he will face a Raptors team that gives up the third-most assists in the league, and specifically the most to shooting guards.
Ivey has already shown that he is capable of filling up the stat sheet early in his young career. I like his chances of doing so and going over this line in the process.
Jayson Tatum Over 7.5 Rebounds (-140)
|Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Boston Celtics||Celtics -12|
|Time | TV||7:30 p.m. ET | NBATV|
When you think of Jayson Tatum, you probably think about his all-around offensive game–his ability to get to any spot on the floor, the stepback 3s and his big scoring nights. Tatum has scored 30 points in his last four games, including a 43-point outing against the Pistons on Saturday. However, one aspect of his game that is probably a bit underrated is his rebounding ability.
Tatum has averaged at least seven rebounds per game in each of the last four seasons. He averaged a career-high eight rebounds per game last season and is currently at 7.2 this season. He has pulled down at least eight rebounds in each of his last two games and in four of his past seven. That includes two games of 12 rebounds and 10 against the Pistons on Saturday.
Tatum will have an excellent opportunity to pull down a ton of rebounds on Monday night. He will face a Thunder team that allows the most rebounds and defensive rebounds in the league and ranks 25th offensive rebounds allowed. Oklahoma City also ranks 27th in rebounds allowed to small forwards.
One reason that the Thunder allow so many rebound opportunities is because they rank 23rd in the league in shooting percentage. Nonetheless, the Thunder lit up the floor on Sunday afternoon in New York, shooting 62.5% from the field and 54.8% from behind the arc.
However, OKC will be playing on the second end of a back-to-back on Monday. Perhaps OKC stays hot, but I am expecting shooting performance closer to its season averages. That will give Tatum ample opportunities to pull down eight rebounds.
Paul George Over 26.5 Points (-111)
|Los Angeles Clippers vs. Houston Rockets||Clippers -5.5|
|Time | TV||8:10 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
The Los Angeles Clippers will take on the Houston Rockets already for the third time in this young season tonight. That is probably music to the ears of Clippers star Paul George. During a home-and-home with the Rockets two weeks ago, George scored 35 and 28 points in those games. That began a run for George in which he has scored at least 27 points in five of his last seven games. He just missed in another game, finishing with 26 points.
It is not hard to see why George likes facing the Rockets. Houston ranks 27th in points allowed and 28th in field goal percentage defense. The Rockets are also 20th in 3-pointers allowed per game and 23rd in defending small forwards.
The Clippers have a deep roster, and you never know what lineup Ty Lue will deploy on a night-to-night basis, but that does not apply to Paul George. He is averaging 35.7 minutes, giving him to plenty of opportunities to get shots up. He is averaging 18.9 field goal attempts per game this season and 23 shots in two meetings against Houston. George is coming off a poor 5-for-21 performance against the Brooklyn Nets. Stars rarely have two bad games in a row, and I expect George to bounce back Houston.