After a lengthy hiatus because of the All-Star break, we finally have a busy NBA slate with nine games on the schedule Friday. That leaves us with a ton of NBA player prop bets to wade through, so let’s try to narrow down the field. Here are my four favorites that stand out among the crowd. All odds were obtained from the DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Celtics have turned over the reins to Tatum and he has emerged in a big way. With usage-rate monster Kyrie Irving no longer in town, Tatum has become the primary scorer for the Celtics. In fact, his 28.1 percent usage rate ranks inside the top-25 in the league. That has enabled him to average career highs in points (22.4) and three-pointers (2.6) per game.
While Tatum’s overall scoring numbers are impressive, he’s been even more potent of late. He has averaged 28.3 points across his last seven games. And he has scored at least 25 points in all but one of those contests. This is a great spot for him to hit the over, with the Timberwolves playing at the seventh-fastest pace and allowing the fourth-most points per game. On top of that, Kemba Walker (knee) has already been ruled out. With even more scoring opportunities likely coming his way, Tatum could be in for a big evening.
Boston Celtics @ Minnesota Timberwolves: Gordon Hayward Over 29.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists (-110)
Hayward’s tenure with the Celtics has been marred by injuries. He played just one game during his first season with the team before missing the rest of the season because of injury. And he missed 10 contests last season, as well. He has been limited to 37 games during their current campaign, but he is finally healthy right now. The Celtics lean on him to log a lot of minutes when he can play. This has resulted in him averaging 36 minutes across his last 13 games.
With such a heavy workload, Hayward has averaged 19.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 4.3 assists during the aforementioned 13-game stretch. With Walker out for this game, Hayward will be tasked with helping to facilitate the offense more, leaving him with the possibility for more assists. He has posted at least 30 combined points, rebounds, and assists in eight of his last 10 games, so I’ll take him to hit the over here given Walker’s absence and the Timberwolves’ defensive struggles.
The Raptors have suffered a ton of injuries this season and are currently playing without Marc Gasol (hamstring) and Norman Powell (finger). However, that hasn’t slowed them down considering they are currently occupying the second seed in the Eastern Conference. Lowry has missed some games himself, but he has spent a lot of time on the floor when healthy, averaging 37 minutes a night.
Lowry’s scoring numbers have increased significantly with Kawhi Leonard no longer in town, but his assists haven’t been hurt that much since he is still averaging 7.6 dimes a night. He has been even better in that department lately, totaling at least 10 assists in four straight games. The Suns have played at the ninth-fastest pace, which should afford Lowry with significant opportunities to hit the over here.
Randle was the Knicks’ prized offseason acquisition, which says a lot about how poorly they faired in that regard. He’s not a bad player, but he’s nowhere near the star that they needed in order to get themselves out of the cellar in the Eastern Conference. He has struggled with his efficiency. But he has still been productive with averages of 19.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game.
This might not seem like a great wager considering Randle only has two double-doubles across his last five games. However, the Pacers are not the best defensive team upfront, which has helped Randle thrive against them in two previous meetings. Back in December, he finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds in a one-point loss at home. He followed that up with 16 points and 18 rebounds during a seven-point win in Indiana earlier this month. With his heavy dose of playing time and high usage rate, I expect him to come away with yet another double-double against them.