Thursday’s 1-1 day of NBA betting picks saw Matisse Thybulle thieve away seven rebounds to stiff our even-money pick on Tobias Harris‘ 7.5 rebound over (he had six rebounds), while R.J. Barrett got to the +140 payout late after 2 1/2 quarters of one-assist basketball, bagging another five assists against the Wizards in the slim 106-102 victory for New York. Friday provides an 11-game slate heading into the weekend, where we’ll turn to narrow our betting picks on the day. With plentiful value, we’ll navigate the player props on OddsShopper while cross-referencing relevant player stats, rotations and team trends to identify the best values on this robust Friday slate. This evening the focus is on Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier.
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The 21-23 Celtics are hanging onto their playoff ticket by a thread (although given some breathing room due to the new play-in round), having gone 6-6 in their past 12 games yet dropping six of their past eight. Despite the ho-hum acquisition of Evan Fournier, the Celtics will have to buckle down in the final month and a half, and that starts with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Tonight Brown has a prop of 3.5 assists with a surprising +125 on the over. Considering what Brown has been producing these days, the plus-money odds are a surprising value.
Despite the team’s current tumultuous treading, Brown has been having a career-best season in relation to scoring thus far, averaging his most minutes (34.2), points (24.7) and assists (3.9) with a 29.3% usage rate. Averaging nearly two more assists per game compared to last season’s 2.1, Brown’s assist rate has skyrocketed over the past year, up to 19% from a 9.5% assist rate in 2019-20. Although it is unclear if Fournier will complement or cannibalize Brown’s production, four assists should be accessible regardless. As frame of reference, here are Brown’s assist totals since the All-Star break: 6, 0, 7, 4, 3, 3, 5 and 2.
Facing the Bucks will not be an easy challenge by any means, but if there’s a category that the Bucks have shown some forgiveness with, then assists would qualify; Milwaukee has allowed 25 assists per game to opposing teams (18th). With Milwaukee also running at a 102.50 pace (third), the added benefit of possessions gained for the Celtics should provide the necessary leeway for Brown to get four assists. The significant plus-money odds only add to the solid value considering Brown’s increase in assist rate this season.
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The Hornets welcome a new-look Heat team to Spectrum Center, where it is yet to be determined whether freshly acquired Victor Oladipo will join the roster tonight. Terry Rozier has been rejoined by Devonte’ Graham following LaMelo Ball‘s unfortunate season-ending wrist surgery, and Rozier has been leading the charge with a flurry of 3’s. Tonight he has prop of 3.5 3-pointers made with +120 odds attached to the over.
Not only is Rozier posting his career-best scoring season (20.3 points per game), he’s racking up a slew of 3-point attempts in the process. He is leading the Hornets in 3-point attempts (7.9 per game) and has averaged 3.3 shots made from beyond the arc. A whopping 52.3% of his shot distribution and 48.9% of his total points are coming from extra-point range, and he is making a career-best 42% of his shots from said range.
Although Miami has been on the up and coming since regaining health and making big roster moves, the truth is they have been weak against the 3-pointer all season. The Heat rank 28th in the league against the 3, allowing 14.8 3-pointers per game to opposing teams. Additionally, 4.3 of those come from shooting guards. Despite tightening things up a bit since the break (trimming opponent 3-point percentage to 36.8%), Miami poses an excellent matchup for Rozier’s chances to make four 3’s.
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