There are 10 games on the schedule for tonight’s slate and it could be one of the best of the year. As a part of NBA Rivals week, the Brooklyn Nets will take on the Philadelphia 76ers while Nikola Jokic takes on Giannis Antetokounmpo in a matchup of former MVPs. Unfortunately, player props are limited in the Nets-76ers game because of injury designations.
The second game of ESPN’s doubleheader will have the Memphis Grizzlies and the Golden State Warriors, which is gotten testy over the last year. In their last matchup on Christmas Day, Draymond Green had a huge impact on the game while scoring just three points. He will look to do so again with Stephen Curry back in the lineup.
Here’s a look at the three NBA player props I’m betting in Wednesday’s games.
NBA Player Props & Picks
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Over 29.5 Points (-122)
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued his remarkable season with on Sunday night by hitting the go-ahead bucket with 9.2 seconds left to end the Nuggets‘ nine-game winning streak. He finished 34 points, going over 30 points for the 27th time in 43 games. That means he has cleared this line in over 60% of his games this season. He is also at 60% over his last 10 games with six 30-point games, including two games with 37 points.
Tonight, Gilgeous-Alexander gets the Atlanta Hawks and I expect Dejounte Murray to draw his defensive assignment. Murray is a solid defender, but that did not stop SGA from scoring 35 points in the first meeting in December. (The Hawks are not the strongest defensive team in the league either.)
Atlanta allows 116.2 points per game and is 21st in points allowed per game. It is 17th in defensive efficiency and 19th in field goal percentage defense. The Hawks are stingy guarding the perimeter, ranking top five in both 3-pointers allowed per game and 3-point percentage defense. However, it is 17th in two-point percentage defense and 26th in points in the paint allowed per game.
Gilgeous-Alexander makes his living getting in the lane and operating in the midrange area. Look for him to pick his spots and take advantage of the Hawks defense.
|Time | TV||10 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Nikola Jokic plays in the Western Conference, but he is not the conference’s only great passing big man. Domantas Sabonis is averaging 7.4 assists per game this season, ranking 11th in the league and second among big men.
Sabonis is averaging 9.4 assists in 11 games this month. He has actually recorded nine assists in just five of the 11 games. However, he has recorded eight assists in nine of those games.
Sabonis has really picked it up as a facilitator over his past six games — which includes the five games he finished with nine assists. In that span, he is averaging 11.3 assists per game. He has even become matchup-proof to some degree. On Monday night, he faced the Memphis Grizzlies, who allow the fourth fewest assists to centers, but that did not stop Sabonis from dishing out 11 assists.
Sabonis gets the Toronto Raptors tonight and it is not the easiest matchup. Toronto allows the fifth-fewest assists to centers, but it is 20th in assists allowed overall. The Raptors also try to force the ball out of opposing stars hands. Doing that to a willing passer like Sabonis could lead to a few more assists for him.
Sabonis has become the fulcrum of the Kings offense and he has developed a strong rapport with De’Aaron Fox in just a year. In 54 games with Sabonis, Fox is averaging 24.7 points per game according to StatMuse.
Sabonis and Fox have had the Kings offense rolling of late, as they are averaging 126 points per game this month. If the Kings score in the 120s again, Sabonis will likely have nine assists.
Draymond Green Over 14.5 Rebounds + Assists (-130)
|Time | TV||10 p.m. ET | ESPN|
I noted above that the Grizzlies faced Sabonis on Monday night and tonight they face another playmaking big man, Draymond Green, who is averaging 14 combined rebounds and assists (7.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game). He has recorded 15 rebounds and assists in eight of his last 10 games and is averaging 16.6 in that span.
Green last faced the Grizzlies on Christmas day and he had 13 rebounds and 13 assists in that game. Green was able to pile up that assist total without Stephen Curry in the lineup. Curry is now back and he is a frequent recipient of Green’s assists. Curry will have his share of his assists too, but Golden State’s lineup change opens things up for Green even more.
With the Warriors playing small, Green is surrounded by Curry, Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson, and Andrew Wiggins, who are each capable of big scoring nights. Green has had 16 assists in the two games since Poole replaced Kevon Looney in the starting lineup.
Green is also averaging 9.5 rebounds over his last 10 games. He already one big rebounding game against the Grizzlies. This time, Memphis will be without Steven Adams, so there should be a few more rebounds available.
Green is capable of having 10 rebounds or assists most nights, which would mean he’d only need five of the other category. Green has recorded five rebounds and five assists in 11 of his past 13 games. If he does, it is likely that he records 15 rebounds + assists.