We’ve only got three games on tonight’s slate and some big names missing or on the fence, including Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, Jimmy Butler, Pascal Siakam, Caris LeVert, and others.
That means a pretty lean selection of props available with so many question marks, so tonight we’re pivoting to two guys in the same game. You can play both on their own or pivot to a Same Game Parlay if you want to try to increase your potential winnings with a hit.
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 Prop Bet & Picks
Ivica Zubac, Over 9.5 Points (+105)
|Heat vs. Clippers||Clippers -4|
|Time | TV||10:30 p.m. ET | NBA TV|
Last year’s Clippers made an unlikely run to the Western Conference Finals even without Kawhi Leonard over those final games, and they did it playing a ton of small-ball lineups and gunning from behind the arc.
This year’s Clippers haven’t been able to go small ball very often, largely because Marcus Morris and Serge Ibaka still have yet to play this season — along with Kawhi Leonard, of course.
With those names out, the Clippers have shifted their identity to a defensive team. Los Angeles ranks third in the NBA in Defensive Rating per Basketball Reference. And they’re doing it thanks to a superstar turn from Paul George and with more minutes from key role players like Zubac and Eric Bledsoe. The Clips are playing bigger and bullying other teams.
Zubac is playing a career high 23.8 minutes per game, and he’s played at least 24 minutes six times already in 10 games. In those six games with a higher playing time, he’s scored double digit points in every one of them. That includes 10 or more points in each of his last four outings and in seven of 10 games so far this season. He’s averaged 12.3 points and 9.5 rebounds per game over these last four games, playing 29.3 MPG.
This is not a new trend for Zubac — he always produces when he’s out there. Last season when Zubac played over 24 minutes, he scored 10 or more points in 19 of 23 games, hitting this over 83% of the time. And in there of the four misses, he was short by only a bucket.
We’ll bet on Zubac getting minutes tonight in a tough game against a mean, physical Heat team. And if he’s out there for enough minutes, he’s usually going to hit this number. It’s nice to get a shot at plus juice too.
As of writing, the top seven plays in our Props Tool are all Zubac overs. It likes some of the combo overs too, but his rebounding and other numbers have bounced around so I’ll stick with just the points, especially since that’s the one with a plus number on the line. I’ll play to -115.
Eric Bledsoe, Over 1.5 STL + BLK (+100)
We don’t play a ton of defensive props, but there can be some value there even with the low lines, just because books tend to not pay as close attention on some of these numbers since the public doesn’t play them as often.
I think that’s the case tonight with Eric Bledsoe, whose line just looks off to me. Bledsoe stunk last year with the New Orleans Pelicans. He never fit that roster, and his strengths on defense were wasted with so little help around him. He was never a perfect fit with the Milwaukee Bucks the two seasons before that either.
It looks like Bledsoe feels more at home back in L.A. where he began his professional career with the Clippers. He’s not being asked to score or handle as much, and his defense is shining through once again.
Bledsoe has multiple steals in seven of 10 games this season, meaning he’s hit this steals + blocks over on steals alone in all of them. He’s also still one of the best shot-blocking guards in the league. He has six blocks already, including multiple blocks in two games too, again hitting this over on blocks alone.
Bledsoe is averaging 1.9 steals and 0.6 blocks this season, a robust 2.5 “stocks,” and it feels like that’s probably where this line should be, not 1.5. That’s a massive difference when the line is this low. Bledsoe has gone over 1.5 stocks in nine of 10 games this season, and his one under came in a 30-point blowout win with reduced minutes — and even then he was just one away. For his career, Bledsoe is averaging 1.5 steals and 0.5 blocks per game.
You never know with steals and blocks, but this line just doesn’t look right, especially at even odds like we’re getting here. It’s a soft Plus Juice Day, but we’ll take it. At 1.5 stocks, the numbers suggest there’s value here to at least -150 and probably beyond.
If you prefer to be more aggressive, you can play just steals over 1.5 at DraftKings for +185. That cuts some of your margin for a win without the potential blocks in there, but he has gone over 1.5 steals in 70% of his games this year so there could be a bigger payoff if you want to risk it.