We’ve got a huge Saturday slate of NBA games going head-to-head with college football, which means there are plenty of props available. Tonight we’re focused on two guards who could be in the running for the Most Improved Player award.
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 two 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
Ja Morant, Under 1.5 3-Pointers (+160)
|Heat vs. Grizzlies||Heat -2|
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
I know what you’re thinking. Putting the word under next to Morant’s name with the start he’s having this season seems wild right now.
Entering Saturday night, Morant and Stephen Curry lead the league in points per game (30.4) and the Grizzlies guard is shooting a ridiculous 40.6% from 3-point range. He seems to be making a concerted effort to hoist more 3s than he did in previous seasons too. His attempts are up to 6.4 per game, well above the 3.8 attempts he averaged last season.
But this play is less about Morant and more about his opponent on Saturday, the Miami Heat. Not only are the Heat the league’s top defense, allowing just 93.6 points per 100 possessions through five games, their opponents are shooting 39.1% overall 29.8% from behind the arc per NBA Advanced Stats.
With all due respect to Morant and the work he’s been putting in while in the dark I have to question whether he can keep this up. He was a 31% 3-point shooter entering this season, so this current pace he’s on seems unsustainable. In Morant’s two best shooting games he was 8-of-13 combined from deep. In the other three games he shot 5-of-19 (26%).
Our own Matt Moore highlighted how great Morant and the Heat have been so far and why he’s eyeing them both in the futures market. But at plus-money, I’m willing to fade Morant’s recent shooting against the league’s best defense.
Jordan Poole, Over 16.5 Points (-120)
|Thunder vs. Warriors||Warriors -12.5|
|Time | TV||8:30 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Poole came out of the gates with a good game against the Los Angeles Lakers in the opener, scoring 20 points on 4-of-11 from behind the arc. Then his shooting fell off a cliff — he’s made just three of his 20 3-point attempts since.
So far, Poole has been getting open looks from deep, but they aren’t falling. Per NBA Advanced Stats, 18 of his 31 attempts this season have been deemed open, but Poole hasn’t been able to hit them.
Enter the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder give up open 3s at the sixth highest rate in the NBA. Sure Poole has been struggling, but there’s no better way to get those numbers up than to take more open shots.
The Thunder also allow opponents to shoot 68.1% inside 5 feet, which plays well into Poole’s game. He Leads the Warriors in points off drives (6.2) and shoots 56% on those plays. Whether the shot comes around tonight or not, Poole should be able to score inside on the Thunder.
The Thunder will be chasing Curry around trying to slow down his greatness, which means Poole should have opportunities to get right at home against the third-worst defense in the NBA.
I’m backing Poole here to have himself a night.