Sometimes in this props column, we have to get a lot boring and make it big man night, watching for blocks and rebounds. That was the angle Wednesday night, and it may have been boring, but it was also profitable.
But other nights, we turn to the shooters and playmakers and let it rip. That’s the case tonight, and that means we get to have a little fun watching three guys gun for big numbers. Let’s hope it’s just as profitable.
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
Seth Curry, Over 2.5 Threes (+150)
|76ers vs. Hawks||Hawks -2|
|Time | TV||7:30 p.m. ET | ESPN|
How excited do you think the Philadelphia 76ers are to see the Atlanta Hawks on the schedule? The Hawks embarrassed the Sixers last year in the playoffs, knocking out the one-seed in seven games and ending their postseason run prematurely. Philly already played Atlanta once this new season and crushed them by 28, and you know they’ll get up for this one.
Besides, Seth Curry sure wasn’t the reason this team lost to Atlanta.
Curry was absolutely scorching hot against the Hawks for the entire playoff series. Over seven games, he got up 52 3-point attempts and made a ridiculous 31 of them, a sizzling 60% behind the arc for the entire series on 4.4 makes per game. Curry was unstoppable shooting because that’s kind of what Currys do when it’s all on the line.
Let’s hope Curry gets his mojo going against a familiar opponent. This is not a very high line for a guy who can start raining fire if he gets hot. Curry has at least two made 3s in 16 of his 20 games this year, so that means we’re within one make of the over almost every game. Over these last two seasons, Curry has gone over 2.5 3s in 29 of 67 games, hitting this over 43% of the time. That’s more than enough to merit playing this at such a high line.
We’re projecting Seth Curry to hit 2.9 makes behind the arc tonight, so let’s let shooters shoot and go for glory. I’ll play to +125.
Jordan Poole, Over 24.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists (-115)
|Suns vs. Warriors||Warriors -7|
|Time | TV||10 p.m. ET | ESPN|
For the second time this week, we get a marquee NBA matchup between the two hottest teams in the league. The Phoenix Suns continued their long winning streak with a win Tuesday night against the then 18-2 Golden State Warriors. Now we get to see them play again tonight, with a third matchup coming soon on Christmas.
If you watched Tuesday — and let’s be honest, you did — you saw the same thing everyone else did. Mikal Bridges put Steph Curry in the torture chamber. Curry might be the unanimous MVP if the season ended tonight, but Tuesday was one of the worst shooting nights of his entire career. Bridges used his length to shadow and bother Curry all night long, and it forced Golden State to turn to its other players to find some offense.
With Klay Thompson still sidelined, that means Jordan Poole is the next best answer on Golden State. Poole had a big game against the Suns, scoring 28 points with six made 3s and adding five rebounds and three assists. He also played his second-highest minutes total of the season.
Poole has scored 17 or more points in 11 games so far this season, and he’s gone over this combo PRA line in all but one of them. Basically, if his shots are falling and he stays on the court long enough to get 17 points, he’s getting around eight or nine rebounds and assists too and hitting this PRA line. And six times already, he’s cleared this line on scoring alone.
Poole is only over this line in 10 of 21 games, so under 50% of the season, but that’s deflated by so many easy Warriors wins meaning Poole has sat out a lot of blowouts late. That shouldn’t be the case tonight, so I expect more minutes and plenty of shots. If you’re interested in playing some alternate escalator lines too, you could look at Poole hitting four or five 3s and/or scoring 25 points. If he gets hot, those numbers are child’s play at this point.
I’ll play this PRA over to -135. We project him at 29.5 PRA, well over this number.
Donovan Mitchell, Over 4.5 Assists (+105)
|Celtics vs. Jazz||Jazz -8|
|Time | TV||9 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
The Utah Jazz just keep humming along, and I’m still waiting for for Donovan Mitchell to sneak his way into the MVP race at some point.
Mitchell’s scoring is actually down a bit so far this season, but only because his 3-point shooting has been ice cold. He’s making only 32% of his 3s thus far, but his attempts are up and he’s finishing his 2s much better, up almost 5% from his career rate. His assist rate is also starting to creep up as Mitchell increases his playmaking role, and that’s the angle we’re playing tonight.
Spida has recorded at least four assists in all but three of his games this season, which establishes a very high floor and puts us within one dime of an over almost every time out. He’s gone over 4.5 assists in 13 of 20 games, hitting this over 65% of the time.
And if you dig a little further, you see the playmaking increasing lately. Over the first 14 games, Mitchell averaged 4.6 assists per game on 9.2 potential assists, but he’s gone over this assists line in six straight since. During that stretch, he’s up to 6.0 APG and over 11 potential assists per game, per NBA Advanced Stats. It’s a subtle difference, but it’s there, and I like Mitchell to stay hot as a playmaker tonight against the Celtics.
I love that we’re getting plus juice on this one. If Mitchell keeps this up, this line will rise to 5.5 within the next week or two. For now, I’ll play the over at any plus number or down to -120 if needed.