Best NBA Player Props Today

Best NBA Player Props Today

Prop bet #1: Embiid unleashed

Given how awesome he is as a player, a depressing amount of dialogue around the Philadelphia 76ers is not about Joel Embiid. With James Harden finally off to greener pastures, hopefully, the focus can return to the reigning MVP, who is off to another strong start this season.

Embiid is an unusual talent. He’s a traditional big man in many ways, but his scoring profile also makes him the spiritual successor to Kobe Bryant. The midrange fadeaway that Embiid goes to as his signature shot is so clearly modeled after the late Bryant, but it’s jarring to see because Embiid is 7-foot tall and 280 lbs. Humans his size don’t move like that.

Embiid has become a nearly unstoppable scorer, but there are a few teams that have had success against him. Players who can match him with size and speed, like Al Horford, are the best bet. 

The problem is that there are few players in the NBA who meet this criteria. Even defensive stalwarts like Giannis Antetokounmpo don’t have much success containing Embiid one-on-one. 

The Phoenix Suns certainly don’t have anyone that fits the bill. The Suns just allowed 132 points to the Spurs — including 75 in the first half — who they had all the motivation in the world to beat.

And Embiid routinely dominates Jusuf Nurkic and Drew Eubanks. Nurkic has not provided the defensive backline the Suns were hoping for to start this season. 

Phoenix is also still gelling as a team. That’s a polite way of saying they’re disorganized.

And disorganized teams tend to foul a lot. When a player gets caught out of position or sealed around the hoop against Embiid, it’s game over. Embiid is almost automatic from the charity stripe, where he’s a career 81.9% free throw shooter. He averages nearly 10 trips a game.

Thus, we're targeting Joel Embiid odds for this matinee. Embiid is averaging 30.3 points so far this season, and that’s despite some anomalous shooting performances from the foul line and from around the hoop. He can hit this prop in his sleep.

Joel Embiid prop: Over 29.5 points (-111 at 888sport)

Prop bet #2: Max Tyrese

Tyrese Maxey is the clubhouse leader for Most Improved Player odds. 

His stats, counting and advanced, are game-breakingly good. Right now, he looks like a 2K scoring guard with every dial turned to 99. 

He’s averaging career highs in every relevant category: 27.3 points per game, 5.3 rebounds, and 5.8 assists on 48.6/50/92.6 shooting splits. Those are real numbers from actual NBA games. His shot-making has clearly taken a leap, as has his finishing, and right now he’s the complete package as a scorer.

Far from missing Harden’s playmaking, Maxey is thriving as both the 76ers' lead creator on the perimeter as well as their preferred play finisher. Maxey has always been quick, but now he’s leveraging his speed to create easy shots in the halfcourt as well as in transition. 

The Suns don’t have strong guard defenders, and the rim protection is non-existent when Nurkic is in the game (Eubanks is only a slight improvement). They’re particularly vulnerable to a guard like Maxey who can go from 0-60 in two seconds flat.

Maxey is just routinely beating guys down the court and his teammates are working to get him the ball on the move. Every Suns player is going to be so worried about Embiid that Maxey just need to make one hard cut and he’s at the rim for a layup.

Just like the San Antonio Spurs guards got whatever they wanted against the Suns, Tyrese Maxey odds have plenty of value in this market.

Tyrese Maxey prop: Over 22.5 points (-125 at 888sport)

Prop bet #3: Problem Paolo?

Paolo Banchero won Rookie of the Year last season and earned a lot of praise for his play in the FIBA World Cup. But his season for the Orlando Magic is off to a rocky start.

Paolo is averaging just 16 points on a grisly 52.6% true shooting, and his efficiency puts him in the 31st percentile among all bigs per Cleaning the Glass. While it would be tempting to consider this a mere shooting slump, Paolo was never efficient in his first season either.

Rookies are rarely judged on more than their counting stats, but it was troubling the degree to which Paolo was unable to generate efficient offense despite being one of only a handful of rookies ever to earn 7.4 trips to the foul line for a season.

Paolo’s outside shot has not shown signs of improvement (27.3% so far this year), which means he’s going to have to do his work inside to earn these points. That’s a problem on Saturday, as he’s facing off against Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers. Paolo scored just nine points on 4-14 shooting when the Magic played Los Angeles on Monday.

Davis was the best defender in the playoffs last season, and when healthy is a game-changing defensive presence inside the arc. While Paolo and AD might not traditionally be matched up with one another, the Magic’s starting center Wendell Carter Jr. broke his hand during their last game. 

While it’s possible Orlando starts Mo Wagner at the five, Paolo is going to see more time at center in this game than he usually would. With the limited spacing the rest of the Magic rotation provides, I’m bearish on Paolo Banchero odds to go Over this prop.

Paolo Banchero prop: Under 17.5 points (-115 at bet365)