Week two of the NBA is in the books, and the weekend featured many notable performances. Pacers rookie guard Bennedict Mathurin continued to make his early case for Rookie of the Year with a 32-point outing against the Nets on Saturday. He is averaging 21 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game with shooting splits of 45/43/88 this season. Mathurin will get another crack at the Nets as Brooklyn hosts the Pacers once again on Monday night.
Donovan Mitchell did his best to make the Knicks regret not trading for him during the offseason as he finished with 38 points and 12 assists last night. Mitchell has scored 30 or more points in five of his first six games as a Cavalier. The league’s leader scorer is Luka Doncic at 36.7 points per game. He has scored 30 or more in every game this season, including 31 against the Thunder on Saturday and 44 against the Magic last night.
Doncic began the season as the betting favorite to win the MVP at +500 on FanDuel. His odds have fallen to +350, however he now has the second-shortest odds behind Giannis Antetokounmpo at +320. However, we will begin Monday’s slate with another MVP candidate who might come as a surprise to some.
NBA Player Props & Picks
Pascal Siakam Over 6.5 Assists
|Atlanta Hawks vs. Toronto Raptors||Raptors -4|
|Time | TV||7:30 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
NBA.com’s MVP ladder has Ja Morant currently atop the leaderboard after finishing seventh in MVP voting last season. Former two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic, who has finished in the top six in MVP voting in each of the last two seasons, are in the second and third spots. Sitting in fourth on the ladder is Pascal Siakam, who has received MVP votes just once in his career when he finished 10th in the 2019-20 season.
The Raptors forward has been phenomenal as he is averaging is 25.3 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 7.7 assists this year. For Monday night, I will be focusing on his assists. Siakam has gotten better as a playmaker every season as his assists have slowly trended up each year. He averaged a career-high 5.3 assists last season and is on pace to set another career high this season.
Siakam has gone over 6.5 assists in three of his last five outings with nine, 11, and 13 assists. In the two games he missed, he finished with six assists, so he was still right on line. Siakam is tied for 10th in the league in assists with teammate Fred VanVleet. However, he is also 16th with 12.8 potential assists per game.
There should be plenty of potential assists for Siakam against a Hawks team allowing 113.2 points per game. The Raptors also averaged 112.2 points in four meetings with the Hawks last season. Should the Raptors have an average shooting night, there will be plenty of opportunities for Siakam to record seven assists and cash this over.
Tyrese Haliburton Over 34.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists (-111)
|Indiana Pacers vs. Brooklyn Nets||Pacers +8.5|
|Time | TV||7:40 p.m. ET | NBA TV|
Tyrese Haliburton has begun this NBA season on a tear. The third-year point guard is averaging 23.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 10 assists per game thus far this season. He has scored 20 or more points and recorded a double-double in five of his first seven games this season. Both of those stats are positive contributors to a points, rebounds and assists line.
Haliburton has gone over 34.5 PRA in six of his first seven games this season, and he is averaging 37.5 PRA this season. While Haliburton has been on a tear, I am targeting him tonight because of his matchup against the Nets. Brooklyn is last in both points allowed per game (122.2) and Defensive Rating this season.
Haliburton just had 40 PRA on Saturday against the Nets, his second-highest total this season. Saturday’s game finished with 241 points, and tonight’s total is set at 236.5 points. The Pacers play at the fifth-fastest pace in the NBA as well. Between Indiana’s pace, Brooklyn’s defense and the way Haliburton is playing so far this season, he will have a great chance to go over his PRA line once again.
Kelly Olynyk Over 1.5 Threes (-110)
|Memphis Grizzles vs. Utah Jazz||Jazz +2|
|Time | TV||9 p.m. ET| NBA League Pass|
The Utah Jazz have been one of the most surprising teams in the NBA this season, and Kelly Olynyk has been a big reason why. Olynyk came over from Detroit in the Bojan Bogdanovic trade in September. He is averaging 13.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.7 assists. He has also been scorching hot shooting the ball this season.
Olynyk is shooting 56.7% from the field and 64% from beyond the arc, with 2.3 made 3s on 3.6 attempts per game. Generally, I prefer more volume, but I am riding Olynyk’s hot hand here. He also has a great matchup against the Grizzlies on Monday night.
The Grizzlies are 26th in the league at 13.7 3s allowed per game and 23rd in 3-point percentage (36.9%). Olynyk went 4-for-6 from deep against Memphis on Saturday night. He also has made two threes in five of his first seven games this season. I feel comfortable with Olynyk hitting two, but if you want to sprinkle, DraftKings has him available for three at +290. Perhaps either FanDuel or DraftKings will offer him for four 3s closer to tip-off.