Best player props on Thursday’s NBA slate (3/18): Assists on the menu

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Andrew Wilsher

NBA· 7 months ago

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Editor of Pickswise. Born and raised in jolly old London, England, with an undying love for the NFL, NBA, soccer, and horse racing. A big-time sports bettor who loves futures markets and backing underdogs. Long-suffering New York Jets fan.

Howdy folks! We’re off to the races with a 6-game slate of NBA action highlighted by a rematch of one of the best games of the season between the Blazers and the Pelicans. The remaining five games feature quite a few potential mismatches so we will proceed cautiously. Before you bet any sides or totals, check out our experts’ analysis for all of the games on the docket tonight.

I’m off to a decent start this week having gone 11-7 thus far. I will look to build on that momentum and carry it over to tonight. I’ve found two props that I think are great values and below I will provide analysis for each bet.

Gordon Hayward over 3.5 assists (-128)

Hayward who is averaging 4.0 assists per game on the season has eclipsed this total in six of the Hornets last seven games. During this stretch, Hayward even managed to cover this number in three blowouts that saw him on the bench during the 4th quarter.

The former Butler Bulldog has been averaging a season high 5.9 assists in the month of March. It’s no coincidence that with the Hornets roster healthy for the first time this season and featuring numerous quality shooters, Hayward’s assist averages have risen.

Hayward fill face a Lakers team that surrenders the 11th most assists per game in addition to giving up the seventh most assists per field goal made. Hayward also had 14 assists in two games vs the Lakers last season including a 9 assist performance. With the Hornets reeling a bit, I expect Hayward to have the ball in his lands a lot tonight to generate offense.

Hayward has proven that he can cover this total in three quarters in the event the Lakers blowout Charlotte. If the game can remain competitive, I like our chances even more as Hayward should be the focal point of the offense. Im projecting Hayward to finish with 5 assists.

Damian Lillard over 8.5 assists (-130)

What time is it? It’s Dame time! Coming off one of the best individual performances of the 20-21 season, Lillard is set up nicely to have another big game. Having just dished out 10 assists against the Pelicans two nights ago, I like his chances to replicate that number.

The Pelicans give up more assists to enemy point guards than any team in the league. Lillard has notched 26 assists this season in two previous outings against New Orleans. Their team stats are also passer friendly as they allow the second most assists per game at 27.

With these teams combining for 249 points two days ago and the highest projected total on tonight’s slate, I project Dame to dish out digit assists once more. I’m comfortable playing this at 9.5 and + odds as well.

Pickswise is the home of free NBA picks and predictions. Make sure to also check out our NBA parlays and ‘NBA prop bets‘ tabs for more expert picks. 

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