Best NBA player prop bets for today, 12/31: Durant dishes on the road against Hornets

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) walks on the court against the Milwaukee Bucks during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, in New York
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Prop Holliday - Bobby Stanley


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NFL and NBA props specialist for Pickswise. For "Prop Holliday" Bobby Stanley media enquiries, please email

New Year’s Eve and we have a 9-game NBA slate ahead of us.  There are quite a few teams on a back-to-back tonight, including the Pistons, 76ers, Timberwolves, Jazz, Bulls, Pelicans and Heat. It will be interesting to see how these team operate on the eve of the holiday coming off a game last night. The best game of the night is the Pelicans/Grizzlies as it appears to be the only one that could be a potential playoff matchup. After going 3-0 last night, let’s see if we can replicate it today!

Kevin Durant (BKL) over 5.5 assists  (-120)

Line available at DraftKings at the time of publishing.

Since Irving’s return from suspension, Durant is averaging 8.8 potential assists per game. He’s flirted with this number 4 straight games and hit in 2 of them. The Hornets are a great matchup as they allow the 4th-most opponent assists per game (26.3) and are 26th overall in adjusted defensive rating. The Hornets defend the rim well, but mid-range and 3-point are where we see their real deficiencies. The Nets are set up to score from the perimeter at they average the 6th-fewest points in the paint and the 2nd-most points in the mid-range.  Charlotte is 8th overall in pace and that number has only increased since LaMelo Ball’s return. I love this spot for Durant, who put up 8 assists against Charlotte earlier in the season, and he now has hit running mate Kyrie Irving with him.

Be sure to check out our full Brooklyn Nets vs Charlotte Hornets predictions

Paul George (LAC) over 11.5 rebounds + assists (-120)

Line available at BetMGM at the time of publishing.

George flirts with this line on a nightly basis and I choose to attack it when we get a good matchup. The Pacers are just that matchup. They defend the perimeter poorly, setting up George up nicely for assists on open looks as he draws double-teams, and they are allowing the 7th-most RPG to opposing SFs over the last 7. Outside of Myles Turner, the Pacers deploy a small ball lineup of Hield, Haliburton, Nesmith and Nembhard. Jalen Smith has since been moved to the bench and it’s really hurt their rebounding figures in favor of better scoring on the offensive end. George has hit this in 3 of his last 5 and is averaging 9.7 potential assists per game since the month of December. 1U

Be sure to check out our full Los Angeles Clippers vs Indiana Pacers predictions

DeMar DeRozan (CHI) under 35.5 PRA (-110)

Line available at DraftKings at the time of publishing.

Here is where targeting a back-to-back comes into play. The Cavaliers are one of, if not, the best defensive team in the league. They defend the mid-range exceptionally well (5th-best), which is where DeRozan makes his living. Mobley and Allen’s length will make it difficult for him to finish at the rim and collect rebounds. It helps that Derozan’s average rebound distance is 8.6 feet while the Cavaliers shoot most of their shots at the rim (4th-most). The opportunities just won’t be there. In his one game this season against the new-look Cavs, DeRozan put up a meager 13 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist. Oh, and that back-to-back I mentioned? He averages 19-6-5 with 0 days rest. 1U

Be sure to check out our full Cleveland Cavaliers vs Chicago Bulls predictions

NBA degenerate Parlay (+13670)

  • Kevin Durant 7+ Assists + BKL Win (+210)
  • Anthony Edwards 8+ Rebounds + DET Win (+235)
  • Jordan Clarkson 4+ 3PM (+240)
  • Paul George 8+ Rebounds + LAC Win (+290)

$5 pays $683

Pickswise is the home of free NBA Picks and NBA Predictions. Check out the latest NBA Prop Bets and NBA Parlays as well as NBA Best Bets from our NBA experts.

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