With an 11-game NBA slate Wednesday night, choosing your props can be an overwhelming experience. Where do you take risks? Where do you play it safe? Do you target the big-name players or focus on some who fill supporting roles?

We’ve got you covered. Below, you’ll find a mix of low- and high-risk options with which to build your lineups.

*All stats current as of Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. ET.

Embed from Getty Images

James Harden
6.5 Assists @ Indiana — OVER (85 PTS)

Forgive the lack of true analysis, but it’s simply unwise to bet the under here. Harden is averaging 10.8 assists over four games, with a season-high 17 inflating that total just a bit. He’s averaging 8.7 assists in his other three games.

Beyond remedial season averages, the advanced metrics back up picking the over. Harden is Houston’s primary ball-handler and ranks fourth in the NBA with a usage rate of 34.8. Of players in the top 10 in usage rate, Harden’s assist rate of 27 percent is second behind Russell Westbrook. (Yes, Harden’s assist rate is hardly glamorous when viewing the NBA as a whole, but few players handle the ball and use possessions more frequently then he does.)

The Over is a safe play.

Mike Conley
20.5 Points + Rebounds @ New York — UNDER (100 PTS)

When analyzing props that combine multiple statistical categories, a smart practice is to comb through the NBA’s pace of play stats. Pace is self-explanatory — it’s the number of possessions a team uses per game.

Mike Conley is averaging 20.3 points and 4.3 rebounds over six games, but both are buoyed by outliers (33 points against the Clippers and 10 rebounds against the Thunder). Don’t rely on counting stats early in the regular season. Look at the advanced metrics.

In terms of pace of play, the Knicks rank toward the bottom of the league. With 100.8 possessions per game, they’re tied with the Mavericks for 25th in the NBA. Fewer possessions means fewer shot attempts for Conley, and it also means fewer chances to gather rebounds. Take the Under.

Julius Randle
12.5 Rebounds + Assists vs. Utah — OVER (85 PTS)

After taking the over on Harden, this might be the safest prop of the evening. Over his last five games, Julius Randle is averaging 12.8 rebounds per game — enough to hit the over on its own.

But factor in assists, of which he’s bound to have at least a few, Randle should easily make the over. After all, he’s had five assists or more in six of seven games thus far.

Is the ease with which Randle should reach the over reflective in the point total associated with that choice? Of course it is. But hedging your risky plays with a few safe ones is how you build a money-making lineup.

For more sports opinions and other rants about things you probably don’t care about, follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter.

Leave a Reply