Now is the best time to get in on player props as these matchups haven’t been played out yet, and we can use our projections and intuition to get ahead of the market and sportsbooks.
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 these props.
NBA Player Props & Picks
Jaylen Brown, Under 23.5 Points (-105)
|Celtics vs. Bucks||Celtics -4.5|
|Time | TV||1 p.m. ET | ABC|
The Boston Celtics have won 30 of their last 36 games, including a surprising sweep of the Nets in the first round. They are the hottest team in the league and now get a matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks without Khris Middleton. The Celtics are 4.5-point favorites today at home.
Even though Brown has played well, you’re getting pretty good value taking the under at nearly even-money. Brown averaged 22.5 points per game against the Nets and every game he had 23 or fewer points. And there is a really good chance he gets the Jrue Holiday treatment.
Holiday is one of the premier defenders in the league and as a whole the Bucks lead the league in defensive rating through the first round of the playoffs by a landslide. They were the worst team defending the 3-point line, which does give me pause, but Brown only averaged 22 points per game against the Bucks in three games as he shot 43.1% from the field and 31.8% from behind the arc.
Brown is also dealing with a lingering hamstring injury. He aggravated the injury in the close-out Game 4 against the Nets and has been getting treatment around the clock. He says it is minor and he will be able to play, but hamstrings are something that can come back to haunt you out of no where.
Brown is a very streaky scorer. He can get it going very quickly or he can defer to Jayson Tatum early and often. The Celtics have other capable scorers in Marcus Smart, Al Horford, and even Grant Williams who all averaged double digits in the first round.
Draymond Green, Over 6.5 Assists (-145)
|Grizzlies vs. Warriors||Warriors -2.5|
|Time | TV||3:30 p.m. ET | ABC|
After the Golden State Warriors beat the Denver Nuggets in a gentleman’s sweep, they get set to go on the road for Game 1 of the second round against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Warriors are 2.5-point road favorites despite losing to the Grizzlies in three out of their four games this season.
A healthy Warriors team is a scary sight for opponents. They are now 5-1 when Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson all play. Yes, they have only played six games together all season including the five in the first round of the playoffs. They beat the Nuggets easily, but this will be a different game.
The Grizzlies and Timberwolves played at the fastest pace in the first round, which should come to no surprise. The Grizzlies ranked fourth in pace this season, which should help Draymond Green and this assist prop. Green had his hands full with Nikola Jokic last series, but still averaged 7.4 assists per game.
In the two games that Green played against the Grizzlies this season, he averaged eight assists per game. After averaging a career-high 8.9 assists per game last season, Green is only averaging seven this season, mainly due to the absence of Curry and Thompson. The chemistry between this trio is amazing.
It is hard to see Green not having a field day against this Grizzlies defense playing at a projected fast pace. He will be at the top of the key directing the offense and finding his shooters all night. This prop may get juiced to 7.5 assists, but I would take that as well.