NBA Player Prop Bets & Picks: How to Play Jalen Brunson and Paolo Banchero (Wednesday, October 19)

Tyler Schmidt breaks down his three favorite prop bets for Wednesday's slate of 12 games, including a play on Jalen Brunson.

After an exciting opening night with the home teams taking care of business, we have a 12-game NBA slate scheduled for tonight. Now is when the real fun begins! Sit back and relax. We have a long season ahead of us, and we are going to crush it with the team here at Action Network!

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.

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NBA Player Props & Picks

Jalen Brunson, Under 4.5 Assists (+120)

Grizzlies vs. Knicks Grizzlies -4
Time | TV 7:30 p.m. ET | ESPN
Best Book DraftKings

Jalen Brunson Under 4.5 Assists leads off these three prop bets. Our Player Prop Tool has him projected for only 2.8 assists in this matchup against the Grizzlies, so of course he is going to pop like crazy. This looks like the best prop bet to take on the slate as we are getting +120 from most sportsbooks.

A matchup against the Grizzlies is not ideal for a Knicks offense that ranked 23rd in Offensive Rating and shot only 43.7% from the field last season. Adding Brunson to the mix will surely help, but the Grizzlies tied for the fifth-best Defensive Rating last year and return all of their key perimeter defenders.

Brunson was fantastic last season, especially when Luka Doncic was not in the lineup. In 17 games without Doncic, Brunson averaged 20.4 points and 7.5 assists per game. Playing with the Knicks is a little different as RJ Barrett, who had a career-high 27.6% Usage Rate, needs the ball in his hands to succeed.

It will be interesting to see Brunson alongside Julius Randle as well. The Knicks ranked ninth in ISO possessions last year as Randle led the team with 4.9 possessions per game. During ISO hero ball, Randle shot a putrid 39.4% from the field. Expect Brunson to help the Knicks who ranked last in assists a season ago, but there aren’t enough shot makers surrounding Brunson.

Paolo Banchero, Over 0.5 3-Pointers Made (-120)

Pistons vs. Magic Pistons -3
Time | TV 7 p.m. ET | NBA TV
Best Book FanDuel

One of the most intriguing matchups on the slate features the Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic. These teams may not be contenders, but this is an intriguing battle of the last two No. 1 picks between Cade Cunningham and Paolo Banchero. We’ll be taking Bachero Over 0.5 3-Pointers Made as our next prop.

At Duke, Banchero averaged 1.1 3-pointers made per game. However, our model has him projected for 1.8 made tonight, which is showing as a great value with this 0.5 prop line. During the preseason, Banchero only played 23.5 minutes per game, but he attempted two 3-pointers per game during that time.

Last season the Pistons allowed their opponents to shoot 36.2% from behind the arc, which ranked tied for the eighth-highest percentage in the league. They also were 24th in Defensive Rating, which isn’t too surprising for such a young and developing team. This game may be a little sloppy with so much young talent, which can lead to wide open attempts from the perimeter.

Normally when rookies come into the league, they seem to be a little timid, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with Banchero. He will have a target on his back as the No. 1 overall pick, but he seems poised to have a great season. All we need is one 3-pointer made tonight. He can at least do that!

Bradley Beal, Over 5.5 Assists (+105)

Pacers vs. Wizards Wizards -1
Time | TV 7 p.m. ET | NBA TV
Best Book DraftKings

Wizards star Bradley Beal. also has value on his assist prop tonight. After deciding to stay with the Wizards, Beal is once again the focal point in this offense and will likely lead the team in points and assists. He averaged a career-high 6.6 assists and 12.0 potential assists per game last season.

This Pacers and Wizards matchup has the third-highest total on the slate at 227.5 points. The Wizards ranked 25th in Defensive Rating last season, while the Pacers ranked 28th, so don’t expect much defense to be played at all in this spot. The Wizards are one-point road favorites in this season opener.

Our model has Beal projected for 7.6 assists, which is well over the 5.5 prop line. In his last 13 games before injury cut his season short, Beal had six or more assists in 12 of those 13 games. During that time, he averaged a ridiculous 8.3 assists per game. This line feels too short, plus we get the juice.

Beal’s only issue is staying healthy. He has played a maximum of 60 games in a season the last three years. Taking a Beal prop early in the season, when his legs are fully under him, is a great spot to be in. He has had above a 30% Usage Rate for three straight years.