On Saturday afternoon, the Philadelphia 76ers were double-digit favorites over the Brooklyn Nets. They looked the part in knocking off the Nets 121-101 to tip off the NBA Playoffs. The Sixers used a balanced scoring attack en route to the victory; however, P.J. Tucker was one of the unsung heroes. That may be the case once again in Game 2 tonight.
In Sacramento, Game 1 of the Warriors-Kings series lived up to expectations as a high-scoring shootout. The Kings outlasted the Warriors 126-123 for their first playoff victory in 16 years. Despite 249 points scored, there were still missed shots and plenty of rebounds available. Look for Stephen Curry to snatch up a few of them in Game 2.
As the 76ers and Kings look to go up 2-0 in their respective series, here is how I am betting the player props for the Game 2s.
NBA Player Props & Picks
P.J. Tucker Over 4.5 Rebounds (-102)
|Time | TV||7:30 p.m. ET | TNT|
When the Philadelphia 76ers signed P.J. Tucker last summer, I questioned the logic of giving a three-year deal to a 37-year-old. However, these are the games he was brought in for. Tucker has long been one of the league’s toughest players. Between Toronto, Houston, Miami and Milwaukee, Tucker had played in the postseason in six consecutive years. In each of those years, he averaged at least 4.8 rebounds and 25 minutes per game. In Game 1 he was a factor on the glass once again.
Tucker played 25 minutes on Saturday and pulled down seven rebounds. Five of them came on the offensive end in timely spots to extend possessions for Philadelphia. Per NBAStats, Tucker collected seven out of nine potential rebounds. He also collected four of seven contested rebounds. If Tucker gets four contested rebounds, we will only need him to grab one more to go over this line again.
If Tucker plays 25 minutes again, he should have ample opportunity to go over this line. However, he may play a bit more if Mikal Bridges goes off once again. Bridges lit his hometown team up for 30 points on 12-for-18 shooting from the field in Game 1. Among Philadelphia’s starters, Tucker is the best perimeter defender of the group. That should keep him on the floor and give him more opportunities to grab at least five rebounds.
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Stephen Curry Over 5.5 Rebounds (-140)
|Time | TV||10 p.m. ET | TNT|
In the regular season, we cashed on Stephen Curry’s rebounds and rebounds + assists props consistently. He averaged 6.1 rebounds per game in the regular season, and in Game 1 against the Kings, he played 37 minutes and grabbed six rebounds. In Game 2, I am looking at Curry again for a few reasons.
In Game 1, Curry collected six rebounds out of 11 rebound chances, per NBAStats, with his average rebounding distance at 4.3 feet. In this series, there should be a lot of 3s attempted, and that was the case on Saturday. The teams combined to shoot 28-for-82 (34.1%) from beyond the arc as Curry grabbed one offensive rebound and five defensive boards.
Misses off 3-point attempts are more likely to result in long rebounds, which are easier for a guard like Curry to track down. These rebounds are also more likely to be uncontested, which would help as well. Curry collected just two of his six contested rebound chances. However, in another fast-paced game, I like Curry’s chances to go over this line. We are essentially betting on him to have an average rebounding performance.