Best Player Props for Sunday's NBA Playoff Slate: Simmons to step up to the plate

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons
Photo of Germantas Kneita

Germantas Kneita


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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.

Last night the playoffs kicked off in spectacular fashion as we had a buzzer beating winner from Khris Middleton in the very first game. Tonight the excitement is set to continue as the other four series tip off. The Lakers will be looking to steal a road win against the Suns whilst we also get to see if Westbrook and Embiid are going to renew their rivalry after some heated exchanges in the past.

You can find full game previews for tonight’s games here. But now, lets take at the player prop picks I have selected for tonight action.

Ben Simmons over 27.5 points + rebounds + assists (-111)

Ben Simmons has had success against the Wizards in two regular season games this year, with his points, rebounds and assists averages combining to 33.5. With the playoffs likely to bring an increase in playing time, there is no reason to suggest he could not replicate a similar line here. Over the last 10 games of the regular season the Wizards were 23rd in opponent points in the paint, an area Simmons thrives in. The Wizards start with Alex Len in the middle, but he is not the greatest rim defender and will be occupied by Joel Embiid anyhow.

Russell Westbrook also represents a good opponent for Simmons especially on the defensive side of the ball. He is a sub-par three-point shooter, making just 31 percent of his attempts this season. That should allow Simmons to step away from him and be closer to the paint to collect rebounds. With his playmaking, Ben Simmons will be a triple-double threat tonight. Look for him to score around 16 points tonight too which should give this line a great shot of clearing.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Washington Wizards vs. Philadelphia 76ers.

Anthony Davis over 9.5 rebounds (+110)

The Los Angeles Lakers took on the Phoenix Suns towards the end of the season, in a game in which Davis played 41 minutes. He managed to grab 12 rebounds in that game, and he saw plenty of time at the five, as Andre Drummond only managed 20 minutes of playing time. If the same happens here again, and Davis sees time against Deandre Ayton, it should benefit his rebounding numbers. Ayton is unable to space the floor, mainly operating around the rim which should give Davis an opportunity in those stretches to stay in the paint and collect defensive boards.

In the starting line up for the Suns, they do not have a traditional power forward which can leave them undersized with players like Jae Crowder playing the position. That should put Davis in a great spot to use his length on the offensive glass too in those minutes that he shares the court with Drummond. Last year in the playoffs Davis averaged a touch under 10 rebounds per game, expect a similar level of production this year too.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns.

Clint Capela over 30.5 points + rebounds (+100)

In three regular season games against the Knicks this season, Clint Capela has been dominant, averaging 17 points and 17 rebounds per night. With Mitchell Robinson not yet clear to return for the Knicks, he will have a perfect matchup against Nerlens Noel tonight.  Noel simply lacks the physical attributes and strength to keep this seasons rebound leader off the glass. Capela collected close to five offensive boards per game this season and should be similarly effective against the Knicks in this playoff series. If they do try and switch Julius Randle onto him, Capela should be able to utilise his superior length and bounce to remain effective on the glass.

Points wise Capela should benefit from his work on the offensive glass to get some easier second chance points. He is also a prominent lob threat and should benefit from running the pick and roll with Trae Young, who is one of the best passing point guards in the league. With the game line set at 215 points for tonight’s match, this looks set to turn into a tough grind it out game. And with all of the dirty work that Capela does in the paint, he looks set to be one of the main benefactors of that. Look for him to keep causing the Knicks trouble tonight.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks.

Donovan Mitchell under 26.5 points (-112)

Donovan Mitchell is undoubtedly one of the most exciting scorers in the league. He averaged 26.4 points per game this year and if last years playoffs are anything to go by, he is certainly a big game player. However, tonight he could have serious trouble replicating those numbers. Mitchell missed the final 16 games of the regular season due to a sprained right ankle with tonight looking like his come back game. There is a strong possibility that his ankle will not be 100 percent which could hinder his production. There is also a possibility of a minute’s restriction. Having missed such an extensive period, rust is likely to be a factor too.

The Grizzlies are likely to utilize Dillon Brooks against him. Brooks done a fair job of slowing down Stephen Curry in the play in game, with the Warriors guard only able to surpass his game line of 38.5 points in overtime. Jonas Valanciunas also offers decent rim protection for the Grizzlies having recorded two or more blocks in five of the last eight games in the regular season. The combination of the pair should make things difficult for Mitchell to score tonight. Back the under for this one.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Memphis Grizzlies vs. Utah Jazz.

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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