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5 MUST BET NBA Player Props for MLK Day | Nikola Vucevic & Scottie Barnes 1/17/22

Henry John



There is a massive 12-game NBA slate on deck for Monday as the league celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The action spans from lunchtime on the east coast until the wee hours of Tuesday morning. Needless to say, there is a massive window for bettors to take part in some NBA prop betting action. 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 player props and bets is as simple as three quick steps: Filter, sort, bet.

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With help from OddsShopper, the following article highlights not three but FIVE must-bet prop predictions for the loaded MLK Day NBA schedule.

Best MLK Day NBA Player Prop Bets & Expert Betting Picks

With OddsShopper, finding the best NBA betting player props 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 today with the five featured prop bets below!

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James Harden Under 11.5 Assists (-128, FanDuel)

With the Brooklyn Nets playing on the road this afternoon against the Cleveland Cavaliers, this means that Kyrie Irving will be able to play. As a result, it is somewhat surprising to see fellow Nets star James Harden with such a high assist total for this game. OddsShopper currently shows the entire NBA player props market has Harden’s over/under set at a whopping 11.5 assists. While he has in fact exceeded that mark in three of the last four games including a 15-assist effort on Saturday, Harden is averaging 1.5 fewer assists per game on the season. While his 10.0 assists per contest are certainly impressive, keep in mind that Irving has not been on the floor for the majority of Brooklyn’s games this season.

Another key factor to note when evaluating this NBA betting prop prediction is that OddsShopper has the odds juiced to the under at every major sportsbook. This clearly indicates that it is the more likely outcome, and Awesemo’s projections certainly agree. In fact, they peg Harden to come up just shy of his per-game average, projecting him for 9.98 assists. Considering that the Cavaliers are one of the top defensive teams in the league, this prediction is certainly justified. At the optimal price of -128, bettors can score a solid 28% expected ROI on this under play.

Nikola Vucevic Under 19.5 Points (-110, SugarHouse)

The mid-afternoon matchup OddsShopper the Chicago Bulls and Memphis Grizzlies is easily one of the best games on the MLK Day schedule. Despite the fact that Nikola Vucevic scored 27 points in the Bulls’ most recent game on Saturday, OddsShopper is leaning heavily towards the under on 19.5 total points today. Chicago will notably be shorthanded in the backcourt, as each of Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso are all sidelined for various reasons. However, the current NBA player props line sits over 3 points higher than the 16.4 Vucevic has averaged on a per-game basis this season. Will the depleted state of the Bulls’ roster around him be enough to make up that hefty difference?

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Vucevic saw an extremely high usage rate in Saturday’s game. He attempted a whopping 20 field goals and converted on 12 of them to post the 27-point performance. However, that marked only the third time in the last ten games in which the Montenegro native surpassed tonight’s NBA betting line. The Grizzlies are not exactly a pushover on defense either. Memphis enters Monday’s matchup ranked seventh in overall defensive efficiency. Awesemo officially projects Vucevic to score 17.32 points this afternoon. While that mark fittingly tops his scoring average, it also comes in over 2 points below the prop total. The optimal -110 price displayed by OddsShopper offers up to 15 cents better value than competing odds in the market. This prop is given a 19% expected ROI when bet at the preferred price point.

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De’Andre Hunter Under 3.5 Rebounds (-110, DraftKings)

After the Atlanta Hawks dealt Cam Reddish away via trade last week, the now healthy De’Andre Hunter is firmly the top small forward on the team’s depth chart. While he has only played in 14 games so far this season due to injuries, Hunter has seen 30+ minutes of game action in each of Atlanta’s last two contests. Despite the stable playing time, he has not made any sort of significant impact on the glass. The three rebounds he corralled on Saturday exceeded his per-game average of 2.4 by a solid margin. Considering that Hunter has only grabbed four boards total in the three games since rejoining the lineup last week, he would have to at least match that total in tonight’s game to top the NBA player props line of 3.5.

Needless to say, Awesemo is not confident that Hunter’s statistics and rebounding contributions to date add up to the current NBA betting total. In fact, a projection of 3.20 boards falls on the high side based on previous results. It still affords a 61% win probability for the under on this prop bet tonight. On top of the previous points, the opposing Milwaukee Bucks rank among the top-three teams in rebounding this season. OddsShopper shows that favorable -110 odds offer up to 17 cents in value over alternative prices. This under prediction is given a 16% ROI at the preferred price.

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Scottie Barnes Over 5.5 Rebounds (-141, Caesars)

Contrary to the pick above, Awesemo is bullish on playing over 5.5 rebounds for Toronto Raptors rookie forward Scottie Barnes this evening. Although he has been in and out of the lineup recently, Barnes has shown a knack for consistently impacting games on the glass. He has finished with no fewer than six boards in four of his last five games played. On the season, the No. 4 overall draft pick is now averaging 7.9 rebounds per game. In what figures to be a defensive-minded affair against the Miami Heat tonight, there will presumably be plenty of missed shots and opportunities to pad rebounding numbers.

While the Raptors are the healthiest they have been in a long while, they will still likely be without both Gary Trent Jr. and Khem Birch in this MLK Day matchup. As the starter at the 4-spot, Barnes will continue to be counted on to contribute on the boards. Awesemo’s projection of 7.22 rebounds for the former Florida State standout dwarfs the NBA player props line by nearly three full boards. OddsShopper shows that the betting market is juiced to the over across the board. While -141 odds offer over 30 cents in value relative to other price points, one sportsbook even lists Barnes’ rebounding total at 6.5. Even with the required juice, this prop bet has been given a healthy expected ROI of 25%.

Malik Monk Under 17.5 Points (-106, SugarHouse)

Rounding out our MLK Day NBA betting picks is a bearish selection on the scoring total for Malik Monk. For regular readers of this column, this prop bet should look all too familiar. Monk came nowhere close to the NBA player props line of 17.5 points in the Los Angeles Lakers‘ game on Saturday. He only attempted five shots across 25 minutes of action. The 4 points scored equated to a rocking chair win for under bettors. Awesemo is once again back on the under for his scoring prop tonight.

During his recent hot scoring stretch, Monk has been shooting at an unsustainable clip from three-point range. While he has surpassed 17.5 points in three of the last five games, he shot better than 50% from beyond the arc in each of those contests. He will be hard-pressed to have that kind of shooting success against the stingy Utah Jazz defense this evening. Awesemo’s official projection of 14.72 points comes in nearly three below the betting total. OddsShopper reveals varying degrees of juice on either side of this prop across the market. As a result, the favorable -106 odds are as much as 20 cents lower than competing prices. Bettors can place this prop bet confidently knowing that the under carries a 31% ROI and a 67% win probability.

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