By Scott Kacsmar
The NBA continues this Friday with a big 11-game slate, including a doubleheader on ESPN with Nets-Pelicans and Heat-Suns. We are looking at some of our favorite over/under props grouped by the markets for points, rebounds, assists, and three-point field goals.
Points – Over/Unders
Bam Adebayo (Heat) – Over 21.5 Points vs. Suns
Adebayo has seven 30-point games this season, but three of them are his last three games as he was incredible on the tail end of this long road trip.
Adebayo played the Suns in November and had his first 30-point game of the season in that one, a 113-112 win where Adebayo scored the team’s final 4 points and won the game with two go-ahead shots in the final minute.
He has gone over 21.5 points in 17-of-35 games this year, so close to 50/50, but Adebayo has increased his scoring by nearly 6.0 points per game ever since that big game against the Suns.
The Suns are a reeling team with a 1-7 record in the last eight games, playing mediocre defense in the process. Adebayo is playing great and the game should be a competitive one. We’ll take the over in scoring for the player who has gone over 21.5 points in 7-of-8 games coming into this one.
LeBron James (Lakers) – Over 33.5 Points vs. Hawks
What does the fresh 38-year-old have as an encore against Atlanta at home after a game off? LeBron turned 38 last week and scored 47 points for his birthday in a win over the Hawks.
If that was not spectacular enough, he came back the next game and scored 43 points in a win over the Hornets. James is thriving during Anthony Davis’s latest injury situation, and the Lakers are finally starting to win games again.
This should be another good showdown with Atlanta’s Trae Young, but we are going to bank on LeBron coming through with another big scoring game to hit his over.
Nikola Jokic (Nuggets) – Over 25.5 Points vs. Cavaliers
The Nuggets are playing a back-to-back, but they made such short work of the Clippers on Thursday night that they should be rested for this game too. The Nuggets led 32-15 after one quarter and 66-32 at halftime before winning 122-91.
Nikola Jokic only played 24 minutes and he still had 12 points, six rebounds, and nine assists. Expect a lot more scoring out of the reigning back-to-back MVP who is averaging 28.2 points per game in his last 16 games with four 40-point games in the last month.
It looks like Cleveland is going to give Donovan Mitchell a rest game just two games after his 71-point performance. The Nuggets are a 6.5-point favorite, but Cleveland is still good enough to make this a more competitive game than what the Nuggets breezed through last night with the Clippers. Look for Jokic to flirt with another 30-point game here.
Rebounds – Over/Unders
Kevin Durant (Nets) – Under 6.5 Rebounds vs. Pelicans
Go figure, Kevin Durant had one of his most prolific games of the season with 44 points and the Nets snapped their 12-game winning streak with a loss to the Bulls.
But it was also the third game in a row where Durant did not exceed five rebounds. Durant has gone over 6.5 rebounds in 18-of-37 games this season, so it is about a 50/50 proposition for him this year.
When Durant met the Pelicans in the first game of the season, he had a season-low 3 rebounds, a number he has hit two more times this year.
The Pelicans are of course missing a key rebounder in Zion Williamson, but this is a top 10 rebounding team on the season. The Nets are 29th in Offensive Rebound Rate and 24th in Defensive Rebound Rate. We’ll take the under for Durant’s boards in this one as he gets back to scoring often.
Assists – Over/Unders
Kyle Kuzma (Wizards) – Over 4.5 Assists vs. Thunder
When these teams met in mid-November, Kuzma’s teammates were 9-for-9 on his potential assists according to NBA.com. If you look at repeat opponents in his season, he does a fairly good job of coming close to the same assist numbers in each matchup.
One notable exception to that is a back-to-back he just played in Milwaukee. Kuzma had 11 assists in the first matchup as his teammates were on fire (11-of-13 on his potential assists). But he was much more passive in the rematch two days later, and his teammates were 2-of-3 on assists. The Wizards also went from a 23-point win to a 10-point loss.
Kuzma was one assist shy of a triple-double against the Thunder last time. He likely won’t get nine assists again, but it is reasonable to believe this will be an over game for him in assists.
James Harden (76ers) – Under 10.5 Assists vs. Bulls
The 76ers will be without Joel Embiid (foot) again on Friday night, so that takes away a dominant scoring option for James Harden to rack up assists with.
We have not seen many games this year for the 76ers with Harden and without Embiid. When Harden had his own 14-game injury absence, Embiid also missed several of those games.
Embiid missed Wednesday’s game with Indiana where Harden was able to up his scoring again with 26 points. But he also had eight assists for the second game in a row and has been under 10.5 assists in three straight games.
These teams met in late October and Harden finished with 11 assists on 15 potential assists according to NBA.com. The Bulls allow the 10th-fewest assists per game to point guards according to FantasyPros.
Harden had his worst shooting game of the season against the Bulls (2-for-13) last time. Normally, you’d say he’ll focus more on his passing and getting other people involved, but that is harder to do without Embiid’s dominant scoring. We’ll take the under in assists for Harden in this one. He was the only Philadelphia player to score 20 points against Indiana two days ago. He may need to be a scorer in this matchup instead.
Three-Point Field Goals – Over/Unders
OG Anunoby (Raptors) – Over 1.5 Threes Made vs. Knicks
These teams met a little over two weeks ago and it was one of the worst three-point shooting nights of the season for Anunoby, who finished 1-for-6.
He bounced back immediately with a 6-of-9 game two days later, so there’s another victory for regression to the mean. The six made threes are two more than any other game he’s had this year. But the main point is that in the six games since the New York game, Anunoby has gone over 1.5 made threes.
On the season, Anunoby has gone over 1.5 made threes in 20-of-34 games for a solid hit rate of 58.8%. The eight games where Anunoby shot under 20% from three, all but one was on the road.
He should be a good bet at home to hit multiple threes in this one.
LaMelo Ball (Hornets) – Over 3.5 Threes Made vs. Bucks
Ball made a season-high eight threes in one game against the Bucks last season. He was over 3.5 made threes in 3-of-4 games against the Bucks a year ago. He missed the first meeting this season as did Giannis Antetokounmpo on the other side. Both are back and ready to compete this Friday night.
Ball is not shooting the three ball better than he has in the past, but he is shooting it more frequently than ever with 11.3 attempts per game, up from 7.5 last season.
In betting his overs, you have to respect the volume and opportunity he provides. Ball has gone over 3.5 made threes in 12-of-15 games (80%) this season.