Saturday's NBA Playoff Props: Target 2 Role Players in Game 1

Action Network contributor Tyler Schmidt writes his two favorite NBA player props for Saturday's Game 1 matchups, including Quentin Grimes of the Knicks.

After a few fantastic NBA Play-In tournament games this week, the 2023 NBA Playoffs take center stage. Saturday’s slate features four games that will be played throughout the day — it’s like Christmas in April.

So many intriguing matchups are taking place in the first round and this article will focus player props for two key role players in two of the afternoon Game 1 matchups. You can also check out this piece if you’re looking for playoff prop plays on PrizePicks.

Here are the two NBA player props I’m targeting today.

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NBA Player Props Today

Al Horford, Over 8.5 Rebounds + Assists (-136)

Spread Celtics -9
Time | TV 3:30 p.m. ET | ESPN
Best Line FanDuel

For this first player prop, we are taking an over on role player Al Horford. The veteran has averaged 9.2 rebounds and assists per game this season, which is a little below standard. Horford was a key asset during the Celtics playoff run last season and it wouldn’t be shocking if he played an integral part of this year’s run. Robert Williams has only started in 20 games this season, so if his minutes aren’t stable, that will be another boost for Horford.

Robert Williams was in and out of the lineup last playoffs and Horford took full advantage averaging 9.3 rebounds and four assists per game. Horford recorded 10+ rebounds in 10 of his 19 playoff games last season. That would easily surpass this prop line if he just rebounded the ball. Recently this season, Horford has done a great job capturing assists as he has six consecutive games with three or more and had 10 in a game less than a month ago.

The Celtics are nine-point home favorites implied for 120.25 points against the Hawks coming off a great road win over the Heat to make it to this spot. In his two games against the Hawks this season, Horford is averaging 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Our model has Horford projected for 12.2 rebounds and assists tonight, which makes this one of the best value props on the slate. Take the veteran to do the dirty work for the Celtics.

Quentin Grimes, Under 12.5 Points (-128)

Spread Cavaliers -5
Time | TV 6 p.m. ET | ESPN
Best Line FanDuel

The second role player that we are looking at is Knicks guard Quentin Grimes. He has played incredible over his last nine games averaging 21.9 points per game. Grimes took full advantage of injuries to Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett. All three are expected back with the biggest question mark around Randle and his ankle injury. If all three play, that is really going to cause Grimes to take a back seat in the Knicks pecking order.

Prior to his nine-game explosion, Grimes had five consecutive games where he averaged only 5.6 points per game. He may have played himself into more minutes for the Knicks playoff rotation, but his usage rate will plummet. Our model has Grimes projected for only 7.2 points tonight, which is well under this 12.5 prop line. DraftKings is offering this line at 11.5 points and a -105 value. Strong odds as well if Grimes puts up another dud performance.

The Cavaliers are five-point favorites as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. They led the league in Defensive Rating this season, allowing a league-best 106.9 points per game, which was nearly three points less than the next closest team. This is going to be a slug fest, especially in the playoffs as this total is only 217 points.

If the Knicks are healthy, it would be shocking if Grimes attempted double-digit field goals, which makes this under look fantastic.