NBA Player Prop Bets: George Hits the Boards
There is a fun two-game slate tonight with the Bucks-Nets series that was expected to be a classic has actually been the dud of the second round, changing venues to Milwaukee. The Brooklyn Nets have dominated the series and garbage time has sniped over props for many in the process. Then you have Game 2 of the Clippers-Jazz series, where the initial adjustments will be revealed after Utah won the first game. Getting into the details of the matchups and possible adjustments is the best way to find value and 4for4’s NBA Player Prop Tool can help out with that. Let’s mine for some value and make it a profitable Thursday.
*Betting lines accurate at the time of publication.
PointsBet Player Prop Bets (June 10, 2021)
Kevin Durant Under 5.5 Assists (+100)
Kevin Durant is one of the most remarkable offensive players of this, or any other, generation. Part of what makes him unique is why there is value in this prop. In this postseason, Kevin Durant has shot 50% from distance on 38 attempts. Of those 38 attempts, 34 of them have been contested!
Not many would consider Durant a selfish player but hoping there are extra passes and potential assists because someone is guarding him closer does not apply to him the same way it does to most players. In this series, Durant’s assist and potential assist numbers have crept up from the Celtics series. Against Boston, Durant averaged 3.0 assists on 6.0 potential assists per game but in the two games against Milwaukee, those have risen to 4.5 assists on 8.5 potential assists.
The volume increase is noticeable but not enough to deter from the prop. The biggest difference is the average potential assist is worth less in this series with the absence of James Harden. Harden is clearly a fantastic shooter and his replacement in the starting lineup, Bruce Brown, is a very good cutter and can get buckets that way but is not in the same stratosphere in the shooting department.
Even in the first round with Harden, 50% of Durant’s potential assists were converted, so with the current potential assist number of 8.5, the Nets would need to convert 70.5% of Durant’s potential assists to hit this prop. The Nets are a very good shooting team but that is a big ask.
Risk: 1 unit on PointsBet to win 1 unit.
Paul George Over 7.5 Rebounds (-115)
People have a lot of things to say about the playoff version of Paul George…a lot. One term you don’t hear very often is "Los Angeles Clippers leading rebounder, Paul George". It’s understandable that it would not come to mind with George averaging 6.6 rebounds in the regular season, but his 9.1 average in the playoffs is tops on the Clippers.
Part of the reason to trust the uptick is that it is a trend from the end of the regular season as well. In the 12 games George played in the final month of the season, he averaged 8.3 rebounds on 13.5 rebounding chances. That is a significant jump in chances from the rest of the regular season, where that number averaged 10.2. In the playoffs, those 9.1 rebounds per game have come on 15.8 rebounding chances.
This prop does not even ask George to be overly efficient in his rebounding, considering the number of chances he has seen per game. One thing to monitor in the game is the number of minutes for traditional center Ivica Zubac, who could get more run as opposed to the Mavs series due to the presence of Rudy Gobert.
With the Clippers playing 5 out in most of George’s playoff minutes, it has decreased the average distance of each rebound as well. That matters because it shows George is getting closer to the basket, where more of the rebounding chances will be coming from. That is partially possible due to playing everyone on the perimeter—there are fewer bodies to impede an athlete like Paul George from getting to the spot for the rebound. In the playoffs, the average distance per rebound is 5.3 feet, which is down from 6.0 feet in the last month of the regular season, which is down from 6.7 feet in the rest of the regular season.
The Utah Jazz have allowed shooting guards to hit the boards as well. In the first round against Memphis, Dillon Brooks averaged 4.2 rebounds, up from his 2.9 regular-season average. In the regular season, they allowed the seventh-most rebounds to the position.
Risk: 1.15 units on PointsBet to win 1 unit.
FanDuel Player Prop Bets (June 10, 2021)
Royce O’Neale Over 7.5 Points (-104)
By far, O’Neale is the overlooked starter for the Utah Jazz but overlooking his points prop would be a big mistake. In the playoffs, O’Neale has averaged 10.5 points per game on 7.5 field goal attempts. When a player’s points prop is the same number as his field goal attempts, he’s not being asked to be efficient to hit the number and that provides value.
No matter if Mike Conley or Joe Ingles starts, O’Neale is the fifth option in the Jazz offense and the one defenses are okay letting shoot. That would scare some off but when you consider how egalitarian their system is, it has worked to O’Neale’s advantage. Utah allowing the ball to move until a wide-open shot is available plays to O’Neale because defenses will give the open him.
A difference with the playoffs versus the regular season that always has to be baked into the thinking on props is how heavily scouted playoff opponents are. Utah is such a tough team to gameplan for because they have a lot of options, so giving O’Neale open shots is a very viable option but just because O’Neale is a defensive specialist doesn’t make him Tony Allen. In the regular season, O’Neale shot 38.1% from deep and has raised that to a gaudy 48.4% in the playoffs.
What made going over this in-game one more promising for the viability of the prop, is that O’Neale did not shoot well from deep—he was 0-3—but he was still able to go over by getting to the free-throw line four times. A lot points to the forgotten man in the Utah starting lineup becoming a man remembered for filling our wallets.
Risk: 1.04 units on FanDuel to win 1 unit.
For the most up-to-date picks check out my Twitter and subscribe to our Discord. This sheet from Dan Rivera tracks all my betting picks (and those from the rest of the betting staff) on the year. Just click on the tab with my name on it for the results.
This article is intended for entertainment purposes and adult users only. Call 1-800-GAMBLER if you have a gambling problem.