Points are just easier to play.
No matter how carefully we train our eyes to watch for the little things, our brains still think about basketball games in terms of points. Points are easier to track and think about, and points overs feel a bit easier to hit because you can get two or three at at time, instead of slowing adding one rebound or assist.
Today we’re grabbing three points overs on a night of comfort food in front of a huge NBA slate. With point overs, you’re always in the game until the final buzzer sounds, even if you need a big bucket or two late.
For those who are new to this article, we’ll be using the Action Labs Player Prop tool to compare our NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks. Each bet is then graded on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade.
As of 1:30 p.m. ET, there are 11 props in our tool with a 10/10 grade, so sign up for a trial to get them all.
Below, I have laid out three prop bets that I’m playing, the case for each bet and the best books to find odds on those player props.
NBA Player Props & Picks
Brook Lopez over 10.5 points (-118)
|Bucks at Raptors||-7|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
Brook Lopez likes playing the Toronto Raptors.
I was at Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals a couple years ago, and in a game with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard on the court, I swear to you, it sure felt like Lopez was the best, or at least most impactful player. Lopez poured in 29 in that game, and he’s had over 10.5 points in nine of 13 games against Toronto since joining the Bucks.
Lopez loves playing the Raptors, and it sure looks like the Raptors are more than happy to let BroLo fire away at them.
Lopez had a slow start to the season. He played under 22 minutes a game out of the gate but then looked good in 30 minutes of a win against Detroit and has been playing 31 minutes per game ever since, and he’s gone over 10.5 points in six of those nine games. The Bucks have also been playing better defense after looking a bit lost early on — that’s why Lopez is playing so much more now, to help fix that issue.
We’re projecting Lopez at 13.5 points, and he’s going to get some of those deep threes up against an opponent that is happy to concede them to him. I’ll play the over to -135. FanDuel has the best price -114.
And for what it’s worth, this isn’t even the top Lopez over on our prop board. Our best prop play on any game tonight is still Lopez over 0.5 assists, even at juice, since we’re projecting him at 3.6 dimes. But he has been held without an assist in three straight so I’m staying away on that one for now, even with our tool giving that one a 36% edge in our favor.
Evan Fournier over 17.5 points (-114)
|Kings at Magic||-1.5|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
We’ve been riding Evan Fournier in his return, and I think we get one or two more rides before the value is gone.
The Magic stink. They just have so little to offer on offense. Nikola Vucevic is doing a whole lot but can’t do it all, and Orlando was so excited to get Fournier back into the lineup and let him eat.
Since Fournier returned from extended injury absence, he’s averaging 22.5 points on 16.3 field goal attempts per game. That’s up from 10.5 FGA per game before the injury, showing you just how much more volume Fournier is getting now. The Magic simply don’t have enough shooting or scoring, so Fournier is going to keep getting his shots up.
Fournier has scored 19 or more points in all four games since his return, going over his points prop comfortably in all four. That line has risen from 14.5 in his return, one point at a time, to 17.5 here, and it’s still a play for another point or so.
I think Fournier ends up scoring around 20 PPG the rest of the way with so few options in Orlando, and that’s about where we project him tonight, at 19.5 points. Keep playing this prop while the value is still there. Most of the market is at 17.5 and -120, but FanDuel has the best price -114.
Richaun Holmes over 11.5 points (-120)
|Kings at Magic||+1.5|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
If you played fantasy basketball last season, you got to know Richaun Holmes down the stretch because he was a double-double machine over the final month of the season and a league-winning waiver wire pickup.
There was some worry that Holmes’s numbers might fade this year with the Kings signing Hassan Whiteside, but Whiteside has been a nonfactor. He’s playing under 13 minutes a game and struggling through injuries, and even though he may return tonight, I’m not too worried about Holmes.
Richaun has started all 15 games he’s played in, and when he’s out there, he works hard and produces in the flow of the game. In games this season where Holmes has played at least 30 minutes, he’s averaging 16.1 points per game and has scored double-digit points in nine of 10 such games. Basically, if he gets his 30 minutes, he produces.
Well, Holmes is averaging 36 MPG over the last six games and he’s at 14 PPG in that stretch. We’re projecting him at 35.7 minutes and 14.8 points tonight, right at those marks. It’s a slower pace against Orlando and a tough matchup, and I considered doubling down and grabbing the over 8.5 rebounds at plus money here too, maybe even parlaying both props.
Our tool likes both Holmes props tonight. But I think his rebounds will be right at the number while his points should be more comfortably over, so I’ll stick with the points. PointsBet has the best price at -120, and you can shop all props at more than 40 books at Action Labs.
We’ll play the points over to -135.
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