The NBA regular season is winding down and there are still plenty of playoff seeds to be determined. The Thursday schedule features four games and there are a couple of player props I like. Let’s dive right in!
NBA Player Props & Picks
Jonas Valanciunas, Over 12.5 Rebounds (-125)
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
The New Orleans Pelicans will welcome the Charlotte Hornets to town for a non-conference matchup. I am going to continue to fade the Hornets’ interior defense against opposing centers and am expecting another huge rebounding night for Jonas Valanciunas.
Valanciunas is averaging only 9.8 rebounds per game, but over the past five games that average has increased to 12.4 per game. In an earlier matchup against the Hornets, Valanciunas grabbed 17 rebounds. Since Valanciunas joined the Pelicans, he is averaging 14.3 rebounds per game in three matchups against the Hornets.
The Hornets struggle to keep opposing big men off the glass. The Hornets are allowing opposing centers to grab 16.4 rebounds per game and over the past two weeks, the number has stayed consistent at 16.9 rebounds per game. Lastly, according to NBA.com, since the All-Star break, the Hornets rank 22nd in opponent rebounds per game.
I like this number up to 13.5. Take the over 12.5.
Kawhi Leonard, Over 29.5 Points (-115)
|Time | TV||10:30 p.m. ET | NBA TV|
The Los Angeles Clippers will host the Oklahoma City Thunder in consecutive games. The Clippers were upset by the Thunder on Tuesday night as seven-point home favorites. The more devastating news for the Clippers was the injury to Paul George, which will keep him out for 2-3 weeks.
The Clippers look to avenge their loss against the Thunder and I believe this is a game in which Kawhi Leonard will put the Clippers on his back. In six games without George, Leonard has scored 30 or more points three times. Furthermore, in three of his past five games against the Thunder, Leonard has scored 30 or more points.
There’s no question Leonard is playing a bunch of minutes as he is averaging 38.1 minutes per game over the past five games. With the number of shots that will open up in George’s absence, I like Leonard to take advantage.
Take the over of 29.5 points for Leonard. I like this up to 30.5 points.