Best Player Props for Thursday's NBA Playoff Slate: Robinson looks to fire back
Tonight we will see the first of the NBA Playoffs Game 3s this year as each series shifts to the lower seeds’ home court. It will be a huge night for the Miami Heat, who would go down 3-0 in their series if they were to lose, a hole that would all but eliminate them from the playoffs. In the other two matchups, it will be the first opportunity for the higher seeds to regain the home-court advantage that they lost over the first two games. A win tonight would take pressure off the fourth game in the series.
You can find full game previews for tonight’s action here, with picks on the side and total. But for now, let’s look at my top selections for this evening’s games.
Duncan Robinson over 14.5 points (+124)
While the second game of the series was a blowout, one fact remains unchanged — the Bucks have not been great at defending three-pointers all season. Although they only allowed eight in game two, that contest was over after the first quarter and the Heat looked deflated. That should not be the case here with the series now moving to Miami. A much more competitive game should see Duncan Robinson closer to the 30-minute mark rather than the 23 he saw in the last outing. With the Bucks allowing the most three-pointers per game in the regular season this year, Robinson should be one of the main players to benefit.
So far in the series, he opened with a 24-point effort followed by 10 in shorter minutes in Game 2. Every shot he has taken so far has been beyond the arc with him making just over 43 percent of his attempts. Robinson is also efficient from the line, making at least three free throws in each game so far this series. If this game ends up being close, he would also be a prime candidate for the Heat to take free-throws if the Bucks decide to play the foul in the closing stages of the game. Robinson is a specialist who is perfectly suited to take advantage of the Bucks’ shortcomings. Back him to hit at least four threes tonight with a few free throws on top.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat.
Andre Drummond over 9.5 rebounds (-105)
Andre Drummond saw his playing time jump from 19 minutes to 25 in the series so far, as the Lakers have realized they will need to utilize him more against Deandre Ayton. Drummond is an absolute machine on the boards and has been the league leader in that category for the last several seasons. He recorded 9 boards in limited minutes in Game 1 and 12 in Game 2. With his minutes unlikely to drop here with Ayton still proving effective in Game 2, we should see a similar level of production from him on the boards here. Ayton operates in the paint so Drummond should not have to venture far out on either side of the court. This looks like a good value bet to make.
Dennis Schroder over 14.5 points (-110)
With the Lakers needing to find answers against the Suns, Dennis Schroder stepped up with a big performance in Game 2, totaling 24 points and taking his series point average up to 19.5 per game. That level of performance should not drop off tonight as the series heads to Los Angeles, where Schroder averaged one more point per game than his regular-season average. He was effective at getting to the rim in Game 2 making four shots underneath the basket. When playing with someone like Anthony Davis, he has someone he can utilize in pick and pop situations which draws the opposing bigs like Ayton out, allowing him an easier time in the paint. With Chris Paul still unlikely to be fully recovered from his injured shoulder, look for Schroder to continue attacking with an increased level of aggression tonight.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers.
Nikola Jokic over 2.5 made threes (+205)
The Portland Trail Blazers have made the decision that they will make Nikola Jokic into a scorer and take away other aspects of his game. As a result, the Serbian big is averaging 36 points per game with just three assists per night. If that is set to continue then this line represents great value as Jokic is one of the most versatile scorers in the league and can do damage from downtown. He hit three shots from deep in Game 1 of the series but only managed to knock down two next time. Regardless, he is still shooting 46 percent from deep in the series and five attempts from deep could be enough for him to hit this line tonight.
Jusuf Nurkic still represents a physical presence on the interior and Jokic should continue to step out of the paint here to the mid-range and beyond. Considering how hot he has been in this series, I think he knocks several down tonight. After all, the Trail Blazers were only 19th in opponent threes per game this season.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers.