While the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft will be garnering the vast majority of attention in the sports world tonight, bettors should by no means sleep on other opportunities at their disposal. The six matchups on tonight’s slate are bound to provide some worthwhile NBA betting picks. Thursday’s featured player props and predictions include picks for Theo Maledon, Kevin Porter Jr. and Kent Bazemore.
Yesterday’s NBA Player Props Recap
Well, Wednesday was a dud. Trevor Ariza stayed true to form, just in the wrong way for those who felt he was capable of going over his points total. Norman Powell decided to go out and exceed his season assists per game average by two. Then there was Royce O’Neale, who wound up only playing 23 minutes as the opponent Kings forgot to show up altogether. Let’s aim to steady the ship tonight.
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Oklahoma City managed to stun the Celtics in their last time out on Tuesday, snapping a 14-game losing streak in the process. It was just the second win for the team in the last 19 games. No wonder the Thunder are power rated well below the rest of the NBA when it comes to handicapping matchups. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander may not play again this season. With George Hill now in Philadelphia, the point guard duties belong to Maledon and backup Ty Jerome.
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Maledon has proven to be as inconsistent a scorer as anyone on the young Thunder roster. He is averaging 12.9 points per game on the season. While that mark is above tonight’s NBA betting line of 11.5, it is also one that Maledon has failed to hit regularly in recent games. In fact, only twice in the last 10 games has he scored more than 11 points. He has only hit double figures four times in that same span. Of even more concern ahead of tonight’s game is the even minutes split he shared with Jerome in Tuesday’s win. In one more minute of action, Jerome scored 15 points to Maledon’s 6. There is no guarantee that Maledon will see more than 25 minutes tonight, which only bolsters a play to the under.
At first glance, the NBA betting line for total Porter’s assists tonight may look like a dead stayaway. The Rockets point guard is averaging 6.5 assists per game on the season, the exact same total as the NBA player props over/under line. It is also a number that he has only exceeded once in Houston’s last five games. However, bettors are advised to look closer at the associated odds for this NBA prediction.
The Awesemo NBA Betting Player Props Tool loves a wager on Porter to exceed 6.5 assists against the Bucks this evening. Even though the numbers may suggest otherwise, the situation and betting value make this a clutch pick. With John Wall going down for the remainder of the season, Porter is truly the man at point guard for the Rockets. In theory, he should have a slightly higher assist rate going forward. But the real kicker here is the +125 odds that bettors can find on this prop. Even if Wall were still in the lineup, a plus-money bet of that magnitude on Porter to simply exceed his per-game average would be plenty appealing. Add in the state of the Rockets lineup, and this one is too good not to play.
When Bazemore last played in an NBA game, he stuffed the stat sheet with 19 points, nine rebounds, six steals, three assists and two blocks. That was a whole eight days ago, as Bazemore has missed the Warriors’ last three games with an injury. Not only is he set to return to the lineup tonight against the Timberwolves, but teammate Kelly Oubre is listed as doubtful. It is hard to imagine Bazemore not stepping right back in and play big minutes considering the Golden State injury report.
Of course, the NBA betting line of 11.5 points is roughly two more than Bazemore has averaged per game this season. But given his fluctuation in both minutes and usage, he isn’t really a player that allows bettors to rely upon season-long averages when handicapping a single game. In the last six games that he did play prior to missing time, Bazemore exceeded 11.5 points four times. Furthermore, the Timberwolves rank 28th in scoring defense on the season. Minnesota does come into this game hot, but there figures to be ample scoring opportunities for those Warriors players who are available, including Bazemore.
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