With Christmas Day games right around the corner, and a full slate of matchups on tap for Thursday night, we’re going with the guards for tonight’s prop plays.
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
Devonte’ Graham, Over 4.5 Assists (+120)
|Pelicans vs. Magic||Pelicans -6|
|Time | TV||7 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
The New Orleans Pelicans announced that Nickeil Alexander-Walker has entered health and safety protocols and won’t be available for Thursday’s games against the Magic. With NAW out, Devonte’ Graham is likely to see more minutes and I think there’s some added value to his assist line tonight.
Graham averages 4.5 assists and 8.8 potential assists on the season, per NBA Advanced Stats, both second-most for the Pels behind Brandon Ingram. Graham hit five assists in his last game in just 28 minutes and he is projected to play 33 tonight. In games where he’s played 30 or more minutes, Graham has gone over 4.5 assists
Our prop projections expect Graham to get 5.4 assists and at plus-money, I think he’s worth a bet with the Pelicans playing a bit shorthanded in the backcourt.
Chris Paul, Over 13.5 Points (+102)
|Thunder vs. Suns||Suns -14.5|
|Time | TV||9 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Our own Raheem Palmer gave Chris Paul some well deserved love in his piece this week futures“>breaking down the early MVP candidates for the season. Paul is following up an impressive season that ended in the NBA Finals with another outstanding showing thus far.
Paul is shooting 54.5% on 2-point shots this season, which is the second-best mark of his career behind his one season with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He has become automatic from the midrange area over the past three seasons. His volume for the season isn’t high, but he’s still averaging 14.4 points per game. He’s been able to tally at least 14 points in 18 of his 30 games this season.
The Suns face the Thunder tonight, who are coming off a great win against the Denver Nuggets and are playing the second leg of a back-to-back. The Suns are huge favorites tonight and if they are comfortably covering in this matchup, Paul could see fewer minutes than usual.
Still, I think we’ll get a good game from Paul in this spot and I like betting him at a plus number.