Tonight, for the first time in ESPN history, the network will present an NBA game fully announced, directed, and produced by women. Doris Burke, Beth Mowins, and Lisa Salters will be on the call for Warriors–Jazz, while 33 other women will handle the production side of things.
It’s a HUGE moment for women in sports media, and we’re recognizing and celebrating the occasion tonight by playing three props from that showdown between two of the West’s top four teams.
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 three 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
Stephen Curry, 5+ 3-Pointers | Warriors Win (+400)
|Warriors vs. Jazz||Jazz -1.5|
|Time | TV||10 p.m. ET | ESPN|
Can we say yet that Curry’s long shooting slump is finally over?
It’s true that Curry went into a funk for awhile there. For a 15-game stretch, he looked downright human, with 4.0 makes on 12.0 attempts, a mortal 33% from behind the arc during that stretch. That’s still a full point per shot! It’s still pretty good. It’s just not what we’ve come to expect from Curry.
The attempts never wavered though, and with the greatest shooter in human history, you knew the shots would start to fall again soon enough. And sure enough, they’re going in again. Over the last 10 games, Curry has ticked up to 37% on 3s, still below his usual average but headed back in the right direction. And over the last five games, Curry looks like the MVP again at 4.8 makes per game on a blistering 47%. And that would be even higher if he weren’t down to 10.2 attempts per game, probably in part due to Klay Thompson’s return.
Klay is out tonight, and the Jazz play drop coverage a lot and don’t have great perimeter defenders, so we should get plenty of Curry 3-pointers. He’s already made at least four 3s in seven of these last 10 games, and even including the season-long numbers and months-long slump, he’s averaging — averaging!! — 4.8 makes per game on 38%. That would be an All-NBA career year for all but a few players in human history.
For the season, Curry has made at least five 3s in 25 of his 49 games, just barely over 50%. We can play him to make at least five treys at +130 at FanDuel, and we’re projecting Curry at 5.6 makes tonight, so this is the top prop on the board in our Props Tool for this game.
But we can take this one step further, thanks to a special bet offered at FanDuel today. They’re offering +400 odds on Steph to make five 3s and the Warriors to win, and as you might guess, those events are extremely correlated.
In 35 games this season, Curry has made at least four 3s. The Warriors are a ridiculous 31-4 in those games, a 73-9 pace. In other words, Golden State plays like the 2015-16 Warriors this season when Curry makes at least four 3s. When he doesn’t do that, the Warriors are mortal at 10-9 in all other games, a meager 43-39 pace.
When Steph plays like a mere mortal, the Warriors are a borderline playoff team. When he makes four or more, the Ws play like the best team in regular season history. Seems valuable! The Warriors have won 84% of their games when Curry makes at least five 3s. So rather than play the +130 for just the five 3s, it makes a lot of sense to add that Golden State moneyline too.
Andrew Wiggins, Over 16.5 Points (+100)
The Action Labs Player Prop Tool is also backing Andrew Wiggins tonight, so we’ll play the other Warriors All-Star starter. Remember, Klay Thompson is out tonight, and so is Draymond Green still. That means Wiggins acts almost as a hedge against our Curry bet — because if Steph’s shots aren’t falling, then Wiggins will almost have to take a few more shots and find some extra scoring by default.
Look, Wiggins should not be an All-Star, let alone a starter. He’s having a very nice season and has become a reliable defender and role player for this team, but he’s not the second-best Warrior and might not even be next after that. But what Wiggins has been this season is reliable, and that’s a nice development.
Wiggins has scored double digits in every single game he’s played this season for the Warriors. He’s scored 17 or more in 26 of his 49 appearances, hitting this prop 53% of the time. We’re getting the over at even odds, so that’s a small edge in our favor, but remember that Klay and Draymond were out there for a lot of those games.
Since both Draymond and Rudy Gobert are out, we should get less defense in this game and likely a faster pace too, so that creates more scoring opportunities for everyone. We project Wiggins at 19.7 points, so I’ll play this over to -120.
Donovan Mitchell, Over 25.5 Points (-105)
Let’s flip to the other side for our last pick. Donovan Mitchell is one of those guys who might have felt he deserved that Wiggins starting All-Star spot. Even though Mitchell’s 3-point shooting has been a bit cold this season, he’s still averaging 25.7 points per game, just off his career best.
Mitchell can catch fire at any time, and he has a better chance to do that tonight with no Klay or Draymond out there to try to slow him down. That’s especially important because Spida has taken a big step forward on his 2s this season, finishing at a career-high 55% and scoring more efficiently even with the colder 3-point shooting. He should find some of those looks easier with two star Warriors missing.
There are a few ways you can play Mitchell. If you’d like, you can back him to hit a heap of 3s and turn this game into a 3-point shootout against Curry. Mitchell is +152 to make at least four 3s, and he’s done that in 17 of 42 games, a 41% hit rate. He’s made at least five in 24% of his games, and that one is +370 at FanDuel. If you like the Jazz, it probably comes from a big Mitchell game so those could be some aggressive ways to play.
I’ll stick with just the points, giving Mitchell a few options. Maybe he gets hot and hits those 3s, or maybe he gets a few extra buckets in the lane. Either way, Mitchell has scored 26 or more points in 25 of his 42 games this season. That’s a 60% hit rate on this prop, and he should get a few extra touches and scoring chances with Gobert and Joe Ingles out too.
Let’s hope for a heap of points tonight and go with our third scoring over in this game. We project Spida at 29.6 points, so I’ll play to -125.
Bonus Prop Bet
- Patrick Beverley, over 0.5 Blocks (+115 DraftKings): Beverley is averaging a career-high 0.9 blocks per game and has five blocks in two games against the Kings. More minutes for De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell means more block opportunities, and Beverley had two against the Kings just last night.