Top 5 NBA Player Prop Bets for the 2018-19 Season

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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.

The 2018-19 NBA season is underway, so it’s time to look at five intriguing NBA Player Prop bets. Will Trae Young score more than fellow rookie Luka Doncic? Is Lonzo Ball going to improve? Can Dwyane Wade go out with a bang? These questions, and more, will soon be answered.

Trae Young to average more points per game than Luka Doncic (-170)

Young and Doncic will always be linked after they were swapped on draft day, when the Hawks selected Doncic at No. 3 overall and then shipped him to the Mavericks—who took Young with the fifth pick. The former University of Oklahoma scoring machine is the smart play here. That doesn’t necessarily mean he is going to better than Doncic either this year or beyond. The bottom line is that Young, as part of what should be a woeful Atlanta team, will have the ball in his hands a ton and can fork up shots with reckless abandon. Doncic, on the other hand, is part of a decent roster that includes Dennis Smith Jr., Harrison Barnes, DeAndre Jordan, and 40-year-old Dirk Nowitzki.

Lonzo Ball to have more than 1.5 triple-doubles (-115)

Ball recorded two triple-doubles during his rookie season, going for 19, 12, and 13 (points, rebounds, assists) against Milwaukee on Nov. 11 before delivering an 11, 16, and 11 clip against Denver one week later. The former No. 2 overall pick also had 29, 11, and nine in the second game of 2017-18 against Phoenix. With LeBron James now sure to hog all kinds of statistics, Ball’s numbers could take a hit at times. Still, there are reasons to think he can once again contribute at least two triple-doubles. The former UCLA standout should improve—especially in the shooting department—with a year of experience. And while LeBron will often sap teammates’ assists by possessing the ball himself, there will be some nights on which Ball drops dimes simply by feeding the ball to LeBron.

Gordon Hayward to average less than 18.5 points per game (-130)

In each of his last three seasons with the Jazz, Hayward averaged more than 19.0 points per game (including 21.9 in 2016-17 before leaving for Boston). However, the former Butler University standout was the focal point of that team and he now shares the spotlight with several other stars in Boston. Kyrie Irving loves to shoot, Al Horford is a scoring presence down low, and both Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown continue to emerge. Moreover, Hayward missed all of 2017-18 because of the nasty dislocated ankle he suffered in the opener and he is currently on a minutes restriction.

Stephen Curry to shoot better than 42.0 percent from three-point range (-115)

Curry has shot worse than 42.0 percent from the land of plenty just once in nine NBA seasons. His three-point percentages (rounded) are 44, 44, 46, 45, 42, 44, 45, 41, and 42. The former Davidson College sensation is seventh on the league’s all-time list in three-pointers made (he will soon pass Paul Pierce for sixth) and he is fourth in all-time three-point shooting percentage (his current head coach, Steve Kerr, is No. 1). On a star-studded Golden State team that also features Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, Curry will always get plenty of open looks. And when big man DeMarcus Cousins gets healthy, he will draw even more attention away from the two-time NBA MVP.

Dwyane Wade to average less than 11.5 points per game (-125)

Wade obviously lacks some explosiveness at 36 years old and with 15 NBA seasons—plus plenty of injuries—under his belt. That is especially concerning given that he has never been much of an outside shooter; especially not from three-point range (he made nine total treys in 78 games with Cleveland and Miami in 2017-18, shooting 22.0 percent from deep). Wade averaged less than 12.0 points per game for the first time in his career last season. The Heat are expected to be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference and have plenty of other scoring options in Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters, and Hassan Whiteside, so Wade may not be called on to do too much.

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