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3 MUST-BET NBA Player Props Bets & Picks Today: Lauri Markkanen & Bobby Portis 3/31/22

Henry John



Although there are only five NBA games scheduled for Thursday night, the matchups we do have pack a punch. Plenty of seeding implications as far as the postseason is concerned will be at stake tonight. With just one week remaining in the regular season, bettors are advised to keep the pedal to the metal. The NBA betting slates will soon be much more condensed. When it comes to making picks for Thursday’s games, you can easily enhance your NBA player props handicapping process further by including the redesigned OddsShopper as well as NBA betting tips today. Thanks to this tremendous tool, finding the best NBA player props bets today is as simple as three quick steps: Filter, sort, bet.

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With help from OddsShopper, the following article highlights three must-bet NBA player props for Thursday’s action.

Best NBA Player Prop Bets & Expert Betting Picks Today

With OddsShopper, finding the best NBA player props betting odds is fast and simple. All users have to do is filter the prop selections, sort the page and find the best pick to bet. The process is extremely quick and highly effective. Try out the tool for yourself tonight with the three featured prop bets below!

Bobby Portis Over 5.5 Rebounds (+115, Caesars)

Over the past few games, Milwaukee Bucks center Bobby Portis has had his minutes squeezed. The fairly recent return of Brook Lopez has certainly changed how minutes are dispersed at the position. Foul trouble has also negatively impacted Portis. The trend of declining minutes reached a new low on Tuesday. Portis only played 14 minutes, which equates to half of his season average. Although he only scored three points during that time on the floor, he did manage to still record five total rebounds.

Fast-forward to Thursday night’s game against the Brooklyn Nets and bettors can almost certainly expect Portis to receive more playing time. Knowing this, a bet on him to go over the NBA player props line of 5.5 boards becomes quite appealing. After all, this is a line that Portis has eclipsed in nine of the Bucks’ last ten games overall. The only time he didn’t was on Tuesday. That was also the only game during that stretch in which he played less than 21 minutes. The intrigue for this NBA props prediction is only heightened by the fact that OddsShopper lists a favorable plus-money price.

The fact that both the Bucks and Nets play at quick tempos should lead to more shots and available rebounds in tonight’s game. Furthermore, Brooklyn is simply average when it comes to Rebound Rate this season. Even with a modest projection of 6.34 rebounds, Awesemo still expects Portis to sail over this NBA betting total. While the win probability for this over prediction sits at 61%, the optimal +115 odds help to bump the expected ROI up to a massive 30% value. 

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Lauri Markkanen Under 6.5 Rebounds (-125, PointsBet)

Those who read this column daily might be experiencing a bit of deja vu from yesterday’s piece. As the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Lauri Markkanen cashed a +100 ticket by falling short of 6.5 rebounds yesterday. Across 33 minutes of game action, he only managed to corral six total boards. The under hit despite the fact that the Cleveland Cavaliers were playing without rookie forward Evan Mobley. While Mobley will remain sidelined for tonight’s contest, there is still good reason to bet Markkanen under the same NBA player props rebounding total.

In his first season with the Cavs, Markkanen has averaged 5.6 rebounds per game. Considering how deep the Cavs’ frontcourt was for the majority of the season, it’s impressive to see Markkanen provide such stable production. However, this per-game average is still nearly one full board below the NBA betting props line for today’s game. He has been alternating big rebounding performances with duds in the stat column recently. In his last nine games played, Markkanen has fallen short of this prop total five times. Furthermore, in two of the games where he surpassed the mark, he saw an abnormally large 40+ minutes of playing time.

In terms of opponent, the Atlanta Hawks are actually a better rebounding team than the Dallas outfit that Cleveland faced yesterday. Thus, despite OddsShopper showing that bettors actually need to lay juice to bet this prop under tonight, there is still value to be had. Awesemo projects Markkanen for 5.91 rebounds. While this does exceed his season average, it also falls well short of the seven needed to top the NBA player props total. Even with the -125 odds, this pick still offers a 12% expected ROI value.

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Austin Reaves Over 7.5 Points (-105, Caesars) 

On Tuesday night, Malik Monk caught fire for the shorthanded Los Angeles Lakers. While he was busy leading the team with 28 points across 32 minutes, Austin Reaves hardly played. His 17 minutes of game action marked only the second time in the last ten games that the rookie played fewer than 20 minutes. For the most part, Reaves has been logging upwards of 25 minutes a night. Although he doesn’t possess much shooting volume, he has managed to exceed today’s NBA player props total of 7.5 points five times over that span. 

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If there was ever a game in which Reaves could see a higher number of shot attempts, tonight could be the one. After all, the Lakers will remain without both LeBron James and Anthony Davis due to injuries. Unless Monk steals the show again, Reaves will undoubtedly see more playing time and opportunities to contribute. There is also the possibility of ample garbage time this evening as L.A. faces a fully healthy Utah Jazz team that is in dire need of a statement victory. Taking advantage of a shorthanded and reeling Lakers team could lead to things getting out of hand early on.

Another thing to note for this NBA props prediction is the price variance displayed by OddsShopper in the betting market. Depending on the sportsbook, one might find Reaves’ scoring prop juiced to the over or the under. Currently, optimal -105 odds for him to clear the points threshold are up to 13 cents cheaper than those listed at other shops. Awesemo’s projections assign this over prediction a 7% ROI to go along with a total of 8.22 points scored.

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