This Martin Luther King Day is filled with great basketball games. This props article will feature the five games that are later in the day. There are three props that really caught my eye on the night slate of games. Let’s dive in!
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.
NBA Player Props & Picks
Franz Wagner, Under 16.5 Points (+100)
|Magic vs. Trail Blazers||Trail Blazers -2|
|Time | TV||7 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
The only team in the league that has yet to reach double-digit wins is the Orlando Magic. They have a chance tonight as they are only two-point road underdogs at home against the Trail Blazers. However, C.J. McCollum is back.
This game could be pretty entertaining as both teams are getting a little bit more health. The Magic have returned rookie Jalen Suggs back into the mix along with Cole Anthony and Mo Bamba. There are more mouths to feed on this team, which is why I am taking an under prop for rookie Franz Wagner.
Our model absolutely loves all of the Wagner under props today. This one is a little dicey as the Trail Blazers are putrid defensively. They rank dead last in Defensive Rating and have allowed their opponents to shoot a league-high 47.9% from the field and 37.8% from behind the arc. Maybe the return of McCollum can help their defense out a little bit, but I honestly doubt it.
Wagner has really taken a backseat with Anthony and Suggs in the lineup this season — especially Suggs, who leads the Magic in usage rate. In 23 games with Suggs in the lineup, Wagner is averaging 13 points and 11.9 field goal attempts per game.
Wagner has only hit this over once in the last six games. Getting this at even-money is fantastic value. He only attempted six field goals in their last game despite playing 27 minutes. I would even take this prop to 15.5 points.
Dejounte Murray, Over 7.5 Assists (-115)
|Spurs vs. Suns||Suns -4.5|
|Time | TV||8:30 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
The Spurs have lost nine of their last 11 games, but at least they have found their point guard of the future. That would be Dejounte Murray. He is leading the Spurs in points, assists, steals, and is second to Jakob Poeltl in rebounds.
In his fifth season with the Spurs, Murray has flourished. He is averaging a career-high in nearly every stat, including 19.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists per game. Murray also competes at a high-rate defensively, where he leads the league in steals with 2.1 per game. He has become an incredible two-way player for the Spurs this season.
This matchup against the Suns presents a difficult spot for Murray, as they rank second in the league in Defensive Rating and fifth in points allowed at 104.5 per game. However, where Murray and the Spurs can take advantage is in transition. The Spurs rank fourth in transition while the Suns rank sixth.
This game has the second-highest total on the slate at 227 points. The Suns allow 17.8 points in transition and Murray should thrive in this up-tempo atmosphere. Assists will be easy to come by as long as the Spurs keep it close.
Our model has this Murray prop as the best line on the board and I completely agree. He is projected for 9.4 assists tonight. Murray has had over 7.5 assists in 12 of his last 13 games. This over prop is hitting at an incredible 92.3% rate. I would be happy take this prop up to 8.5 assists.
LeBron James, Over 29.5 Points (-110)
|Lakers vs. Jazz||Jazz -4.5|
|Time | TV||10:30 p.m. ET | NBA TV|
The Lakers have lost three straight as they welcome in one of the best teams in the Western Conference to Los Angeles. They are coming off of a 133-96 loss to the Nuggets where they were out of the game very early. The Lakers are home underdogs with this game total being the highest on the slate at 230.5 points.
This LeBron James prop has been very popular lately due to how well he has been playing. The dud performance last game was only the second time in the last 13 games where James did not score 31 or more points. Over that 13 game stretch, James is averaging 33.5 points while shooting 54.2% from the field.
Not only has James been balling lately, but he is playing monster minutes, which has been needed with Anthony Davis out of the lineup. James is tied for third in the entire league in minutes at 36.7 per game. That many minutes provides plenty of opportunities for James to reach this points prop, especially in a close game.
James has averaged 28.9 points per game this season, which ranks second in the league to Kevin Durant. The last time James has averaged this many points was when he was on the Cavaliers during the 2009-10 season. The minutes James is playing is also the most that he has played since joining the Lakers.
The Jazz present a difficult matchup with Rudy Gobert back from the COVID protocols. They rank 12th this season in Defensive Rating and have allowed their opponents to score only 107.5 points per game. James is matchup-proof and we all know that. I would take this prop up to 30.5 points tonight.