Best NBA Player Props for Wednesday's Slate: All about the Points
For the first time in two years, we’re treated to NBA action on St. Patrick’s Day. Ten games on the slate tonight, with several intriguing matchups. Before you bet any sides or totals, check out our experts’ analysis for all of the games on the docket.
On the player prop front, tonight I’ve honed in my focus on two lead guards. One plus matchup, and another on the tougher side, here are my two best bets for tonight.
Zach LaVine over 26.5 points (-114)
Line available at publishing. Playable up to over 27.5 points.
LaVine is in the midst of a career-best season, averaging 28.4 points, which has earned him his first All-Star selection. He’s revved up his production as the season has trudged on, averaging 30.8 points over his last 17 games. Coming off a huge game last night, where he dropped 40 on the Thunder, LaVine is actually averaging 30.3 points on zero days of rest. In these scenarios, he’s eclipsed this total in six of eight games this season.
The dynamic guard garners his point production from two main sources: the pick and roll and the three-point shot. He averages the fourth-most points per game in the NBA in each (11.3 from the pick and roll and 10.8 points from behind the arc). Tonight, he gets the Spurs, who struggle to defend both play types. San Antonio allows the tenth most points per game to pick and roll ballhandlers and the sixth-highest percentage from three.
And with point guard Coby White supplanted as a starter, LaVine should see more time with him off the court. LaVine is averaging a bump of 2.8 points per 35 minutes with White on the bench. Lauri Markkanen is back, but LaVine still reigns as the top dog in the Bulls’ fast-paced offense. For tonight’s game, I have the Bulls guard projected at 30+ points.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for San Antonio Spurs vs. Chicago Bulls.
Ben Simmons under 17.5 points (-110)
Line available at publishing. Playable to -125.
The Sixers point guard is averaging 16 points per game this year, and has stayed under this total in 25 of 33 games. Yes, he’ll continue to be without his All-Star counterpart, MVP candidate Joel Embiid, tonight. But, the center’s absence has not necessarily translated to Simmons scoring production. Without Embiid on the floor, Simmons averages 17.7 points per 34 minutes, a slight uptick. However in seven full games without Embiid, Simmons has stayed under this point total five times.
And tonight, Simmons will be treated to the length of the Bucks defense. In ten career games versus Milwaukee, Simmons has never eclipsed 16 points. This is mainly due to how well the Bucks protect the rim. Milwaukee allows the fewest frequency of shots within ten feet of the rim (38%), the second-fewest made shots per game (18.9), and the lowest field goal percentage (54.1%). It’s very well-publicized that Simmons is not a jump shooter – 94% of his made baskets are within ten feet of the basket. With Giannis Antetokounmpo drawing the matchup, it’ll be the rare game where Simmons’s length and speed will be matched by his primary defender.
I’m only sticking with points here, instead of my typical points, rebounds, and assists combination for an under. I do see Simmons having a strong chance to produce on the boards or as a facilitator. But in terms of scoring, I love the matchup to keep him at bay. I have the Aussie projected at 15 points in this one.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for Milwaukee Bucks vs. Philadelphia 76ers.