Wednesday's NBA Props: Bet Jalen Johnson, Scottie Barnes

Action Network contributor Alex Hinton details his favorite NBA player props today, including bets for Jalen Johnson, Scottie Barnes.

Last night, we went 1-2 after a strange game from Anthony Edwards that was not helped by a Timberwolves blowout and an injury to Marcus Smart. However, we were able to cash on Jaden Ivey’s rebounds + assists. Ivey and the Pistons will be in action once again as they host the Spurs. I do like the spot for him once again, but instead I will be backing a hot shooter in Devin Vassell.

In Atlanta, the Hawks will be hosting the Sixers and they will be looking for their first win in the season series. More importantly, the first two meetings have had at least 239 points. That has caught the attention of the oddsmakers as well as the total is 244.5 tonight. I like Jalen Johnson to contribute to the scoring for the Hawks.

Another high total (235.5) is in Los Angeles where the Clippers will be hosting the Raptors. The Raptors allowed 132 points last night in a loss to the Lakers. Facing a hot Clippers offense tonight may make it difficult for Scottie Barnes to collect a ton of rebounds.

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NBA Player Props Today

Devin Vassell Over 21.5 Points (-125)

7 p.m. ET| NBA League Pass


Devin Vassell is averaging 18.7 points per game this season, but he has not had a problem scoring 20 points of late. Vassell has scored 22 points in five of his past seven games, with exactly 22 in four of them. As a result, this line is at 22.5 on other books. Currently, FanDuel has the best line at similar odds and you could also wait for the alternative lines if this line moves further. However, we may not have to worry about the hook for a few reasons.

Two games ago, the Spurs finally moved Tre Jones back into the starting lineup. That gives them a real point guard to run their offense and hopefully ends the Jeremy Sochan point guard experiment for them. Most importantly for their future, the move helps Victor Wembanyama, but Vassell has benefitted too. In the first game with their new lineup, Vassell scored 34 points against Milwaukee and followed that up with another 22-point outing in Cleveland on Sunday.

Tonight, Vassell gets the Pistons in what should be a great spot for him. The Pistons did not have to travel, but they are still on the second end of a back-to-back. Moreover, their defense has been an issue regardless this season. The Pistons are 28th in defensive rating and 28th in both points allowed per game and 3-point percentage defense.

Vassell has shot 38% from 3 on seven attempts per game since the start of last season. He has also made three 3s in six of his last 10 games and knocked at least two in eight games in that span. I also lean towards over 2.5 3s for him as well. However, if he is going add at least six to nine points from behind the arc, that should help his chances of hitting this line as well. Additionally, if he goes for 30 points again, you can back him at +410 on FanDuel.

Jalen Johnson Over 15.5 Points (-113)

7:30 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass


Tonight, I am going back to the well with one of my favorite players to back this season in Jalen Johnson. The Hawks forward has scored 12 points in each of his past two games, but he still has cleared this line in three of his past five games. In those games, he just cleared this number with 16 points in one game but also smashed this line with 24 and 28 points in the other two games.

Johnson missed one of the meetings against the Sixers this season, but he scored 18 points in his lone game against them thus far. That game came in Atlanta as well and Johnson has scored 16 points in five of his last games at home. Johnson can stretch the floor as well, but he may find a bit more room to operate inside as the Sixers will be without Joel Embiid and his rim protection tonight.

Whether it is off an alley-oop or just a regular dump-off inside, Johnson will likely be set up Trae Young or Dejounte Murray. Combined, the duo is averaging 16 assists per game, accounting for over 60% of the Hawks assists. Young and Murray push the pace as well and Atlanta is fifth in pace this season. That helps an athletic finisher like Johnson.

Additionally, the Sixers are allowing 23.8 points per game to power forwards this season per FantasyPros. Johnson has scored 20 points four times already this season, including twice in his aforementioned recent games. You can back him for 20 points at +220 on FanDuel.

Scottie Barnes Under 13.5 Rebounds + Assists (-130)

10:30 p.m. ET| NBA League Pass


Scottie Barnes is the Raptors leading rebounder at 8.6 per game, but that number is on the decline. In the last five games, Barnes has topped six rebounds just once. In fact, while he was averaging over nine rebounds per just two weeks ago, he has nine rebounds total in his past three games.

Now, the Raptors second leading rebounder, Jakob Poeltl, missed last night’s game and is out indefinitely, but that did not help Barnes last night. R.J. Barrett and Immanuel Quickley have combined for 12 rebounds per game since being acquired. Guards Dennis Schroder are averaging five rebounds per game, so it stands to reason that Barnes would have more rebound opportunities since playing with them.

Quickley is also averaging 6.2 assists per game as a Raptor as well. That has not affected Barnes as drastically, but he has seen a slight drop, going from 6.1 assists per game in December to 5.6 in January thus far. As a result, Barnes has went under this line in each of his past five games. This line has dropped by one but it is still offering great value since he is averaging just nine rebounds + assists per game this month.

Additionally, Barnes will likely have to guard either Paul George or Kawhi Leonard tonight, which could put him in trouble. The Clippers offense has been humming anyway as they are second in offensive rating over their past 15 games. In that span, they are 12-3 and they are 10.5 point favorites tonight.

The Clippers were off last night while the Raptors lost a tight battle against the Lakers. The Raptors have been playing well- 3-2 in their last five- but should this game turn into a blowout, we could also benefit from Barnes not playing in the fourth quarter.