It’s a bit of a tricky slate tonight since Luka Doncic is questionable, and Steph Curry’s minutes are unknown. But the playoffs are always moving and shifting, so uncertainty in one spot means opportunity in another.
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 five 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
Karl-Anthony Towns, Over 25.5 Points (-104)
|Grizzlies vs. Timberwolves||Grizzlies -1.5|
|Time | TV||7:30 p.m. ET | TNT|
The Grizzlies counter-punched in Game 2, and they connected.
The Grizzlies ran away from the Timberwolves with an easy win to tie the series up, and they did it in part to a very early lineup adjustment. When Steven Adams picked up two fouls and a flagrant in the opening three minutes, the Grizzlies pivoted to a smaller team the rest of the game.
Adams didn’t play another minute and might be out of the rotation entirely, and there were a ton of minutes with Jaren Jackson and Brandon Clarke as the big men, with Xavier Tillman playing a surprising role too.
That smaller lineup swarmed the Wolves and gave them problems in both games, but now it’s time for Minnesota to punch back. And what better way to punch back than by putting the ball in the hands of your franchise player in a huge home playoff game and letting him go to work?
Karl-Anthony Towns had a night to forget in Game 2. Like many players on each side, he got in quick foul trouble and played under 28 minutes. He had moments against this small lineup early on but just never quite found a rhythm. But remember, KAT played almost 43 minutes in Game 1, and now he’s a bit more rested and should see huge minutes again if he can stay out of foul trouble.
Minutes should lead to numbers. In 11 games this season with at least 38 minutes played, Towns scored 25 or more points all in all but one of them, averaging 28.1 PPG. He also averaged 11.5 RPG in those games, going over the posted rebounding total of 10.5 in eight of the 11. And he had multiple 3s, clearing his 3-point prop in all but one of them too.
It’s always tricky with Towns because he plays so emotionally and can kill an over with foul trouble at any turn. But with a smaller and equally foul-prone opponent, this is a spot where KAT really needs to step up for his team and feast on the opponent, punishing them for their lack of size.
If you want to go all in on Towns with a Same Game Parlay on a few of those stats above, that makes a lot of sense since they’re all dependent on the same heavy minutes load. You can consider an alternate points over if you like too. For just the points, I’ll play the over at near even odds or up to -130.
Bojan Bogdanovic, Over 21.5 Points (+100)
|Mavericks vs. Jazz||Jazz -7|
|Time | TV||9 p.m. ET | NBA TV|
The Utah Jazz are having serious problems scoring.
The Jazz had the league’s No. 1 Offensive Rating during the regular season, but the Mavericks had a highly rated defense and have really given the Jazz problems.
In particular, Dallas swarms the perimeter and takes away the 3-pointer. Utah led the league in 3s but is getting up way less volume through two games.
That means the Jazz are having to turn elsewhere for offense. It’s not coming from Mike Conley, and it hasn’t come from Rudy Gobert either, especially in this matchup. Donovan Mitchell takes on a big scoring load, but through two games, Bojan Bogdanovic has really stepped up a lot for Utah too.
He’s scored 26 and 25 points through two games, and this isn’t just hot shooting. Dallas is cross matching on defense much of the time, defending Utah’s dangerous guards with its longer forwards and leaving its smaller guards against Jazz forwards. That doesn’t mean much for Royce O’Neale, but Bogdanovic has been taking advantage of the size advantage.
During the regular season, Bogey averaged 6.7 2-point attempts per game. But look at the playoff numbers. He’s made 17 2s in two games on 25 attempts inside the arc. That’s 12.5 attempts per game, nearly double what he took in the regular season. When the offense stalls and can’t get that open 3, Utah is just dumping it to Bogdanovic to let him create or just shoot over a smaller opponent, and he’s scoring super efficiently.
Bogdanovic has scored at least 21 points in four of five matchups against Dallas this season. We’re getting even odds here, so let’s keep the good times rolling. You can also play 25-plus points at +182 at FanDuel if you like, and that’s just two more buckets, or maybe one 3-pointer, so that’s worth an escalator sprinkle too.
Jordan Poole, Over 2.5 3s (-156), Over 3.5 Assists (-140)
|Warriors vs. Nuggets||Warriors -2|
|Time | TV||10 p.m. ET | TNT|
The Poole Party has only just begun for Golden State.
That new Poole Party lineup — I like that name personally, but I’ve also enjoyed Death Poole and The Deep End as options — is absolutely devastating opponents so far, and it’s single handedly ruined the Nuggets in this matchup. Denver just has no way to defend all that shooting and space with Poole, Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson out there plus Draymond Green playmaking and Andrew Wiggins, well, also attending.
Poole is not one of the nominees for Most Improved Player, but he’s certainly one of the league’s biggest improvers. His numbers down the stretch have been absurdly good. Over the final 20 games of the regular season, Poole averaged 25.4 points per game with 4.2 3s on 43%. He also added 4.3 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.
Those numbers come pretty close to matching Devin Booker for the season, for reference, and Book might be First-Team All-NBA.
Poole has gotten his playoff career off to an amazing start. He scored 30 in his Game 1 debut, then added 29 more in Game 2 with five rebounds and eight assists to boot. And he’s hit five 3s in each of the games, taking 17 attempts along the way.
Obviously this blazing hot stretch can’t continue forever, and those regular season numbers must be taken with a slight grain of salt since Curry missed much of that stretch and is back now. But Steph has come off the bench thus far, and even with him back, Poole just keeps producing.
This 3-point prop is just too low with the way he’s playing right now. He’s gone over 2.5 made 3s in 17 of those last 20 regular season games, hitting this prop 85% of the time. He had four or more in 14 of those, and remember, he hit five in both playoff games. You can play four makes at +164, which looks pretty good while he’s hitting that 70% of the time, and five-plus is at +400.
The assists are worth playing too. Poole had at least three assists in all but one of those final 20 games, which puts him within one dime of the posted over. He has three and eight in these two playoff games, and his improved playmaking might be even more shocking than his shooting uptick.
The Poole Party moves to Denver tonight, so we’ll see how he does in his first road playoff game. But if the first two games are any indication, beware of the splash zone.
Bonus NBA Prop Bets
- Rudy Gobert, Under 13.5 Points (-122 FanDuel): Yet again, Gobert is struggling to punish a small opponent. Dallas is spreading things out and killing Utah’s perimeter defense, and Gobert is unable to repay the favor with his size on offense. He’s scored only 13 points in two games, and he’s averaging just 9.8 PPG against Dallas on the season, under in four of the five, with only 23 field goal attempts total. Gobert was over this line in 44 of 66 regular season games at 15.6 PPG, but we’re not in the regular season anymore Toto.
- Klay Thompson, Over 1.5 Assists (-165 BetMGM): Thompson has quietly been a much improved playmaker since returning this season. In games with at least 22 minutes (factoring out his ramp up from injury), he’s averaging 2.8 APG with multiple assists in 24 of 31 (77%). He’d had multiple assists in eight straight games til finishing with just one in Game 2, where his minutes fell a bit in the blowout. The juice is worth the squeeze.