Best player props for Friday’s NBA slate: Porter Jr. set to step up against the Rockets

Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr.
Photo of Germantas Kneita

Germantas Kneita

NBA

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Like most Lithuanians, I started watching basketball from the age of six. I'm based out in London and played basketball at the University of Lincoln here in the UK. I had always had an interest in the NBA but things really took off in the summer of 2010. That year Linas Kleiza led Lithuania to 3rd place at the World Championships and signed with the Toronto Raptors to replace the departing Chris Bosh. I've been a Raptors fan since that day and I've not missed a game since. I've been handicapping games for more than a decade, specializing in player props.

Over the last three Pickswise articles that I have written I have compiled a 9-2 record and tonight’s monster 11 game slate brings plenty of opportunities to keep that run going. The pick of the bunch in terms of games tonight certainly looks to be the battle between the Clippers and 76ers. Both teams have tittle aspirations, and I’m sure the 76ers have not forgotten about that shot from Kawhi Leonard. Could definitely be a tasty game as a result.

You can see our full game previews here, but in the meantime, lets take a closer look at tonight’s player prop picks.

Michael Porter Jr. over 32.5 points + rebounds + assists (-104)

With the injury to Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr. is now without a doubt the second option on this Nuggets team, and he has been playing like it. He has managed to score at least 20 points in all but one game in April, recording five double-doubles in those eight games. Whilst he did struggle from deep earlier this month, those shooting woes should be behind him after he went three from six in his last game against the Heat.

The Rockets represents a great opponent for him too. He is likely to see some time against Kelly Olynyk here who he should be able to dominate offensively. He is far more athletic and should have a major speed advantage over him, allowing him to attack the rim. Considering he is shooting 55 percent from the field this month, that could be a dangerous proposition. Over the last 10 games the Rockets are 29th in defensive rating, so expect a strong 20-point double-double from him here. Back the over.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Denver Nuggets vs. Houston Rockets.

Joel Embiid over 10.5 rebounds (-110)

After coming back from injury Joel Embiid has been slow to return to his rebounding rate from earlier in the season. However, he did show signs of recovery against the Nets, grabbing 13 rebounds in the game. The 76ers have been involved in a few blowouts that Embiid played less than 30 minutes in, but that should not be the case here against a strong Clippers team.

Ivaca Zubac also represents a perfect match up for Embiid, one that should allow him to have a big rebounding night. Zubac is not much of a floor spacer, so Embiid can remain in the paint on defense, allowing him to clean up Clipper misses. He is also bigger and longer than Zubac so should get opportunities to grab a few offensive boards over him on the other end. Back him to get back to his season average here.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Los Angeles Clippers vs. Philadelphia 76ers.

Damian Lillard over 7.5 assists (+156)

Damian Lillard has been able to record 10 assists in two of his last three games and is well positioned to do something similar here tonight. Over the last 10 games the Spurs rank 20th in opponent assists per game and 26th in defensive rating. With a fully healthy roster, Lillard should be the one pulling the strings and racking up the assists.

With the game line set at 232.5 points, this one looks to be a high scoring game. The Spurs tend to stay competitive in games too, having not lost by more than 11 points in any of their last five games. That should mean Lillard is able to play his usual minutes and put-up strong numbers here.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Portland Trail Blazers vs. San Antonio Spurs.

Kevin Durant over 2.5 threes (+126)

Kevin Durant’s numbers have been improving game by game as his minutes have been going up since his return from injury. Having rested mid-week, do not be surprised to see him reach the 30-minute mark tonight and return to his previous numbers this season. In February he averaged a touch under three three-pointers per game, so this bet seems like a good value option, especially considering he made four in his last game against the Timberwolves.

The Charlotte Hornets are allowing teams to make 16.2 shots from deep in their last six games, with only the Rockets allowing more. The 41 percent that teams shoot against them is the worst mark in the NBA. Kevin Durant is making 58 percent of his shots from deep this month and was able to knock down five of seven against the Hornets earlier this year. Five attempts from deep from him could be enough to clear this one.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Charlotte Hornets vs. Brooklyn Nets.

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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