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There are so many player props that it can be overwhelming. How are you supposed to know exactly how many rebounds, points, or 3s a player will make? This is why I’m here, to do all of that research, so you have a better idea of where to put your money. I was running red hot, but Wednesday was the fire extinguisher day for me as I went a dismal 1-4. The only positive there was that I did hit Ayton more points than Porter Jr for +186. This puts my player prop picks at an even .500 at 13-13 with a +186, +400, and +152 sprinkled in there.
76ers vs. Hawks 7:40 p.m. ET
I still hate Trae Young for ripping my heart out after the Hawks smoked my Knicks. When I first saw this pick, my hatred ignited, but I looked into the stats, and I was able to put away my hatred and look at this with a level head. Trae scored 35 points in Game One, 21 in Game Two, and 28 in Game Three. Trae averaged 25.3 points per game during the regular season, compared to the playoffs, where he has stepped up his game, averaging 28.8 points. Doc Rivers finally realized that he has two amazing defenders to try and stop Trae: Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle. Simmons finished 2nd in defensive player of the year, and even though I think that Simmons is a great defender, he’s not even the best defender on his team. Thybulle has been a bull on the defensive side of the ball since his college days when he won the Naismith Defensive player of the year award in 2019. With Danny Green out, Doc is forced to play Simmons and Thybulle on Trae. In Game One, Simmons guarded Trae on only 8 plays compared to Game Two, where he guarded him on 31 plays. Thybulle, in Game One, guarded Trae on 14 plays. In Game Two, he guarded him on 29 plays. Simmons and Thybulle will shut down Trae tonight as the 76ers look to take a dominant 3-1 lead on the Hawks.
I talked about how Simmons needs to be the primary defender on Trae, and with him putting out that much energy on the defensive side of the ball, his scoring will diminish. In Game One, he had 17 points, Game Two, 4 points, and in Game Three had 18 points. His scoring has been consistent in the regular season and playoffs since he averaged 14.3 points in the regular season and 14.1 points in the playoffs. Simmons’ entire offense relies on him having the energy to fly up the court and get in the paint. So with him having more responsibilities on the defensive side, I don’t think he’ll score as much.
With Danny Green out, the 76ers are going to miss his 9.5 points per game. 9.5 points isn’t a lot, but that scoring could move to Seth. Seth is one of the best three-point shooters in the entire league since he shot 45% on 4.9 attempts. Seth has gone 5-9, 5-6, and 2-5 from deep in this series. Seth averaged 2.2 threes during the regular season, and in the playoffs, he has averaged 2.8 threes. If you love this bet, FanDuel is also offering over 4.5 made threes at +470 odds. That bet would’ve hit 2/3 games already in this series.
Jazz vs. Clippers 10:00 p.m. ET
I have taken this bet before, and Kawhi has let me down, but I’m playing the numbers. Kawhi has been amazing this entire playoffs, averaging 30.3 points compared to the regular season, where he averaged 24.8 points. During this series, he has scored 23, 21, and 34 points. During the Mavericks series, when the Clippers tried to tie up the series 2-2 in Game Four, Kawhi finished with 29 points. When the Clippers need Kawhi, he delivers just like he has done for the Raptors and Spurs.
This isn’t a win or go home game, so Paul George will look like a superstar. This entire series, Paul George has gotten better with every game since he scored 20 points in the first game, and then 27 and 31 points in the next two games. During the regular season, he averaged 23.3 points, and Playoff P has scored only a little more in the playoffs with 24.3 points per game. In Game Four against the Mavericks, Paul George scored 20 points, but I think this Game Four will be different.
Like Doc Rivers, Ty Lue figured out that he has an amazing defender to put on Donovan Mitchell: Kawhi Leonard. On Pardon My Take, NBA analyst Kirk Goldsberry said how Kawhi’s defense is a break in an emergency, and Ty Lue had broken into that case just like Nick Nurse did when Kawhi needed to shut down Giannis. Mitchell has been amazing this series since scoring 45, 37, and 30 points. These entire playoffs, he’s been amazing, averaging 32.3 points compared to the regular season, where he has averaged 26.4 points. In Game Three, Mitchell left with an ankle injury; with the combination of Kawhi’s defense and an ankle injury, I don’t see him scoring over 30.
13.5 rebounds is a lot of rebounds, but Gobert cleans up on the boards. In the regular season, he averaged 13.5 rebounds, and during the playoffs, he is averaging 13.4 rebounds. This bet in this series would’ve gone 2/3 as Gobert had gotten 12, 20, and 10 rebounds. The Clippers are playing super small ball with Nicolas Batum at the center. Batum is 6’8″ and has played shooting guard and small forward most of his career. They are pulling Gobert away from the rim, and his chances of getting rebounds are getting less.