NBA Player Props Best Bets: Too Many Points for Paolo

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Paolo Banchero #5 of the Orlando Magic drives to the basket during the first half against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena. Todd Kirkland/Getty Images/AFP

I love it when a plan comes together. Even the specter of overtime couldn’t stop us from cashing in last Saturday’s Luka Doncic prop. Doncic ended with 31 points (Under 31.5) as the Dallas Mavericks lost 116-108 to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

We also earned a healthy +170 payday when Miami Heat SF Caleb Martin grabbed two steals (Over 1.5) in their 119-113 loss to the Sacramento Kings. Sadly, Bam Adebayo’s six rebounds (Under 8.5) prevented us from sweeping our NBA picks, but these things happen.

Let’s see what we’ve got on the menu for this Saturday’s NBA props. In order to achieve maximum value, we prefer to jump on the earliest lines here at the home office, so we’re focusing specifically on the one afternoon game that’s on the board at press time.

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Sacramento Kings vs. Orlando Magic

Saturday, November 5, 2022 – 05:00 PM EDT at Amway Center

You know how much we love to bet the Under on these props – and just about anything on the NBA odds board. Here’s a matchup where we can take advantage of the same thing that cost us with that Adebayo prop: Sacramento’s defensive rebounding.

It’s one of their hidden features. The Kings only rank No. 25 overall in defensive efficiency at 113.0 points allowed per 100 possessions, but that’s despite leading the league in defensive rebound rate at 80.8%, with center Domantas Sabonis (9.8 defensive boards per game) and several others providing the Windex.

In theory, we can take advantage of this by hammering the Under on the top scorers in Orlando’s frontcourt. Here are the three gentlemen we’ll be targeting, along with their point totals as I write this:

  • Paolo Banchero: 21.5
  • Franz Wagner: 18.5
  • Wendell Carter Jr: 16.5

All three of those totals are pretty close to what each player has scored per game this year. But they might have trouble reaching those numbers with Sabonis up in their grill.

Paolo Banchero

Banchero is the closest thing the Magic have to Luka Doncic, so maybe we can get some value fading his hot start for Orlando. The rookie power forward leads the team at 21.8 points per game, right in line with his total for Saturday’s matchup. But that might be too many points – if the projections at FantasyData hold up. They’ve got Banchero scoring just 13.31 points against Sacramento.

It isn’t just Sabonis (and Richaun Holmes, and Harrison Barnes, and Trey Lyles) that poses a problem for Banchero’s box score: Points should be even harder to come by now that PG Cole Anthony has been ruled out until Thanksgiving with an oblique injury.

This is a serious blow to Orlando’s offense. Jalen Suggs does lead the team in assist rate (26.1%), but Anthony (22.0%) is second, and well ahead of otherwise impressive sophomore R.J. Hampton (11.3%).

It should be Hampton and two-way contract guard Kevon Harris (6.2%) who soak up most of Anthony’s missing minutes this Saturday. That means fewer dimes heading Banchero’s way.

NBA Pick: Paolo Banchero Under 22.5 Points (-115) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Paolo Banchero Under 22.5 Points (-115)
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Franz Wagner

Wagner is another of Orlando’s popular young prospects – for a regional market, that is. He’s second on the team at 16.1 points per game, up from 15.2 as a rookie last year, but that masks a serious drop in efficiency, and a drop in shooting performance from both 3-point range and the foul line.

FantasyData project Wagner to score 14.38 points this Saturday, which doesn’t give us quite the same margin as the Banchero prop, as you might expect given the way Banchero has taken over the headlines in Orlando. It’s still plenty low enough to give us the confidence to make a reasonably sized bet.

NBA Pick: Franz Wagner Under 18.5 Points (-115) at Bovada

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Franz Wagner Under 18.5 Points (-115)
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Wendell Carter Jr.

We wrap things up with Carter, and go figure, the gap between his total and projection is even smaller. The former Dukie is No. 3 on the Magic scoring charts at 15.9 points per game; FantasyData have him at 14.38 points for Saturday’s contest.

The pattern makes sense. The further down the scoring list, the less attention a player will receive from the betting public, which means they’ll be less likely to see their totals get inflated.

Carter is also trying to shake off all the bad juju he picked up in two-plus seasons with the Chicago Bulls. He’s taken big steps since landing in Orlando, but let’s hit that Under anyway – for a small sum this time, and may the sphere be with you.

NBA Pick: Wendell Carter Jr. Under 16.5 Points (-120) at Bovada

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Wendell Carter Jr. Under 16.5 Points (-120)
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*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.