Best player prop bets for Tuesday’s NBA slate: LeBron to lead with A.D. out

Lebron James Playing Against Magic
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Ricky Dimon


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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me. For Ricky Dimon media enquiries, please email

It’s LeBron James’ team now that Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis is sidelined by an Achilles’ injury. Of course, it’s always LeBron’s team no matter the circumstances; that fact is simply ameliorated by Davis’ absence. The Lakers will try to get back in gear when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday. Also on the NBA schedule is a double-header on TNT featuring the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies, Brooklyn Nets, and Phoenix Suns.

Let’s take a look at the four best player prop bets for Tuesday.

Kyle Anderson to score more points than Lonzo Ball (+106)

At plus money, there is good value on Anderson to outscore Ball when the Grizzlies host the Pelicans. Anderson has scored at least 15 points in four of the last five games, including 21 points on one occasion and 27 on another. Backup small forward Desmond Bane is out, as is backup shooting guard De’Anthony Melton. Anderson has logged at least 29 minutes in four of the last five and that kind of usage should continue on Tuesday. Interestingly, his 27-point performance came when he got only 24 minutes of playing time. Ball is also in fine form, but he is forking up three-pointers at an alarming rate (27 in the past three games) and Memphis generally defends that shot relatively well. The Grizzlies allow only 12.5 three-pointers per contest (12th fewest in the NBA) and they just limited Sacramento to an 8-for-33 effort from deep during Sunday’s 124-110 win.

Khris Middleton Over 2.5 three-pointers made (-106)

Middleton, on the other hand, should be in line for another successful day from the land of plenty when his Milwaukee Bucks entertain the Toronto Raptors. Toronto is much better at defending the paint (second in the league in that department, behind only Miami) than it is at guarding the perimeter (it allows the fifth-most three-pointers per game to opposing teams). Unsurprisingly, Middleton went 5-for-8 from deep when the Bucks beat the Raptors 115-108 on Jan. 27. Middleton is shooting 44.4 percent on triples this season and he has logged at least 35 minutes in four straight outings (well over his 32.8 mpg average). All signs point to plenty of opportunities for the veteran sharpshooter on Tuesday—and to plenty of success.

Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks

LeBron James to record a triple-double (+350)

Obviously a game without Davis doesn’t automatically mean a triple-double for LeBron, but it definitely gives the 35-year-old a better chance than under normal circumstances. No, LeBron is not going to deliver a triple-double every time out until A.D. returns in March. But he is almost certainly going to turn in a few, and one could come on Tuesday night against Minnesota. The Timberwolves play at the seventh-fastest pace in the NBA, and more possessions naturally mean more numbers for everyone involved. LeBron came within one assist of getting a triple-double against Denver on Sunday and he was three combined assists and rebounds short against Memphis two days earlier. With Davis out, it only stands to reason that LeBron’s stats will improve enough to get him over the hump. Needless to say, +350 is great value for the best player in basketball.

Deandre Ayton Over 11.5 rebounds (-114)

There is no need to overthink this one. Ayton is averaging 12.3 rebounds per game, comfortably more than his 11.5 quota for Tuesday’s date with Brooklyn. The Nets play at the third-fastest pace in the association and generally launch shots with reckless abandon. That leads to a lot of makes, of course, but also to a lot of misses. In terms of percentage, Phoenix is fourth best in the NBA at defending the three-ball. If James Harden and Kyrie Irving are forking up bricks from the perimeter, Ayton will be happy to corral the ensuing rebounds. He has grabbed at least 11 boards in 13 of his last 15 games, including at least 13 on 11 of those occasions. It should also be noted that with Kevin Durant out, DeAndre Jordan is the only player in the Nets’ rotation taller than 6’8’’.

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