Sometimes it feels like a player is due for a big night or an increase in minutes, but it can be hard to know exactly how to play that angle. Do you go for a points over or stick with rebounds? Do you bet the team, or maybe fade a teammate’s production?
There are times where our Props Tool recommends two or three overs for the same player, and when that happens, I love to look for combo props — like total points, rebounds and assists — as a way to play multiple angles at once. That way, even if I miss one over by a rebound or a couple points, if my other piece of the combo goes way over, I’ve got some extra cover. That’s how we’ll play two of our three props tonight.
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.
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
Khris Middleton under 6.5 assists (-115)
|T’Wolves at Bucks||-10.5|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
Khris Middleton has been struggling mightily over the past couple weeks, and so have the Bucks. Milwaukee misses Jrue Holiday in a bad way. The Bucks traded away any semblance of depth they had in the Holiday deal, and the team just hasn’t been the same this year even with Holiday out there, but they’ve really struggled without him.
The Bucks lost five games in a row without Holiday, and he’s out again tonight. And while Holiday has been missing, Middleton has struggled too. He’s been especially poor defensively without Holiday to take the top perimeter option, but we can’t play a defensive angle. We can play the falling assists, though.
Through Feb. 10, Middleton was averaging 6.2 assists per game. But he’s plummeted to 3.7 APG in the six games since, going under this line in all six games. His shooting splits have fallen off too, along with the defense and overall production, and suddenly a player who looked like the best Buck on the court the first few weeks of the season is no longer even a lock to make the All-Star team when the rosters are announced tonight.
The Bucks are starting to bounce back, winning their last two after that five-game losing streak, and Middleton has been a bit better too. A game against the terrible Timberwolves tonight should not be particularly difficult. But that could be another avenue for a Middleton under here, if the Bucks do play well and the starters are able to rest late.
This line feels a full assist too high. I’m all over it at -115 and would play as high as -170.
Michael Porter Jr. over 21.5 points + rebounds (-105)
|Blazers at Nuggets||-6.5|
|Time | TV||10 p.m. ET | TNT|
Our Props Tool is absolutely crushing on Michael Porter Jr. tonight, and it’s easy to see why. Denver is extremely shorthanded yet again. The Nuggets are missing Paul Millsap, Gary Harris, P.J. Dozier, and JaMychal Green. That’s a ton of rotation minutes and it should push Porter into the starting lineup and big minutes.
We project Porter at 34 minutes, and that puts him at 17.5 points and 8.6 rebounds. MPJ is always going to put up numbers while he’s out there. He’s an elite rebounder for his position, a true standout board man, and he’s always been a gifted scorer and shooter. The Nuggets need all the help they can get, because Jamal Murray hasn’t been reliable and Nikola Jokic can only do so much.
Our projections would put Porter at 26.1 points + rebounds, giving this prop a massive margin. When the margin is that high, you have to pause and wonder what the books are seeing differently — and in this case, it has to be the minutes load.
After all, Denver was shorthanded last game too, and Porter played only 19 minutes. Porter’s attention on defense comes and goes, and he doesn’t always make the smartest plays on either end and gets into Mike Malone’s doghouse quickly.
There’s nothing more frustrating than playing an over and watching your guy flounder on the bench. Those 19 minutes are an anomaly, though. Porter has played that few minutes only four times all season. He’s played at least 23 in every other start and averages 28.7 minutes per start. Even if he’s at 29 minutes instead of 34, our projections would still like an over here, and MPJ is productive enough to hit an over even if he plays in the low 20s.
Let’s hope Porter doesn’t get himself in the doghouse tonight and that he has a big night in a pivotal game against the Blazers. I’ll play this combo prop to -125. If you don’t have these combo props at your book, our Props Tool likes Porter to go over both his points and rebounds, and I prefer the over 13.5 points.
Mason Plumlee over 24.5 points + rebounds + assists (-105)
|Pistons at Magic||+3.5|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
Porter isn’t the only player our Props Tool is crushing on tonight. Our tool likes Plumlee’s over for points, rebounds, and assists, so we’re combining all three for one big Plumlee night.
The Plumlee signing got mocked this summer, and it certainly feels like he got a little more cash than expected, but Plumlee has quietly been pretty good for the Pistons. He’s started 28 games and is playing over 28 minutes a game, averaging 10.2 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in those games. Plumlee is a hard worker on the boards, and he has always been a nifty passer.
Don’t forget, this guy played on Team USA with much bigger superstar names. He’s always been talented, and now he’s getting a chance to play a bigger role and making it count.
And he’s been better than ever lately. Over his last six appearances, Plumlee is up to 35.2 minutes per game, and his production has increased to 12.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 5.8 assists. He’s had double-digit points and at least three assists in all of those games and even recorded a triple-double against the Pelicans.
We project Plumlee at 32.2 minutes, 12.2 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 4.6 assists tonight, all pretty close to his recent production. Detroit should actually have a chance to stay in this game against Orlando, and the Pistons will need big Plumlee minutes against Nikola Vucevic in the paint. That does mean the possibility of some foul trouble, but that’s a chance we’ll have to take.
If you can only play individual props at your book, I like over 8.5 rebounds the best. But Plumlee has shown that he will produce in all three stat columns if he’s out there, so we may as well play the PRA combo and hope for high minutes and another night filling up the box score. Plumlee has gone over this PRA line in seven of his last 11 games. I’ll play the over here to -135.
Are you looking for a safe, reliable, trustworthy sportsbook? Check out our ratings of the best sportsbooks and their current sign-up offers for new customers.