After two game tip-off last night, the NBA season is in full swing with the 12-game slate this evening. The board is littered with plentiful options to make great player props bets.
Let’s take a look at my favorite ways to attack the player prop board to make more winning NBA picks.
Denver Nuggets vs. Utah Jazz
Wednesday, October 19, 2022 – 09:00 PM EDT at Vivint Arena
Nuggets Prop Bet: Nikola Jokic
- Over 25.5 Points
Nikola Jokic was the highest Fantasy Points per minute player in the NBA last season. Tonight he faces the Utah Jazz team that traded away their defensive stalwart, center Rudy Gobert. This means Jokic will get a match up either again a veteran nowhere near the caliber of Gobert, Kelly Olynyk, or rookie Walker Kessler. Either of those will be an advantageous matchup for Jokic and his Denver team eager to start the season right.
Nikola Jokic has won back-to-back MVPs and the offense in Denver runs through him. After Utah's overhaul last season they should be playing a faster-paced game, and this should lead to more overs in their matchups.
Last season Jokic averaged 27.1 points per game in just 33.5 minutes. He's shot an incredibly efficient 58.3% for the field. I expect him to pick up right where he left off with an explosive opening night performance.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Wednesday, October 19, 2022 - 08:00 PM EDT at Target Center
Timberwolves Prop Bet: Anthony Edwards
- Over 22.5 Points
One of the main reasons that Minnesota made their “win now” move for Rudy Gobert was Anthony Edwards. Anthony Edwards has consistently improved since he came into the league and many observers such as myself and the Timberwolves believe he is ready to make the leap to become a top 10 player in the NBA.
Edwards's emergence as a true dominating forward facilitated the need to make this a win-now roster; to jettison key role players and future assets for one of the best defenders in the NBA. Tonight Edwards begins to show everybody why this faith in him was not unfounded.
Edwards is an incredible athlete and showed the ability to get to the rim from the second he stepped into the NBA. He is a hard worker, he has consistently worked on his mid-range and 3-point shot to make him a versatile scoring weapon. After another summer of development, the hard-working Edwards is poised to make that leap.
In his first season in the league, Edwards averaged 19.3 points per game on 41.7% shooting. Last season he improved that to 21.3 points per game on a 44.1% field goal percentage. I expect this upward trend in scoring and efficiency to continue.
During my "Five Teams to Fade" column we talked about the Oklahoma City Thunder, and how they had one more year of tanking. This roster simply is not built to compete right now and the coaches are prioritizing player development over winning.
The Timberwolves will be able to take advantage of the fact that they are in win-now mode against a developmental team.
Minnesota is going to make a big leap up the standings this year and that starts tonight with a statement performance from Anthony Edwards.
NBA Prop Pick: Anthony Edwards Over 22.5 Points (-120) at BetOnline
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Toronto Raptors
Wednesday, October 19, 2022 - 07:30 PM EDT at Scotiabank Arena
Raptors Prop Bet: Pascal Siakam
- Under 23.5 Points
The Raptors have one of the deepest teams in the league, and plenty of scoring options. Tonight they face a Cleveland team that should be excellent defensively against bigs, with a combination of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley.
Mobley was an all-defense caliber player in his rookie season and most players make a leap from year one to year two when they possess this type of potential. I expect Mobley to be even better on the defensive end and he has a great shot-blocking presence behind him in Jarrett Allen.
Last season Cleveland was 6th in defensive efficiency and first in defensive rating. This team has made a commitment on the defensive end, which allowed them to leap out of the lottery and be a serious force in the East. There is no reason to believe this team can't be even better this season on the defensive end.
Victim of Strong Cavaliers' Defense
Toronto plays smart and knows not to force things against their opponents' best defenders. They will be better served by trying and get mismatches on smaller guards and letting players like Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., and OG Anunoby work on the perimeter against smaller guards.
The Toronto Raptors consistently use the smart game plan and the smart game plan will be to use Siakam as the decoy against Mobley tonight, in order to free up his teammates.
In what should be a close, exciting battle, I think that other players will shine while we see Siakam do the dirty work.
NBA Prop Pick: Pascal Siakam Under 23.5 Points (-106) at BetOnline
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.