Prop bet #1: Gafford inspires Luka magic
Luka Doncic is trading with a total of 9.5 assists against the Washington Wizards with increased juice on the Over (-135). Initially, this bet doesn’t immediately stand out because of that. However, with Daniel Gafford now wearing a Dallas Mavericks jersey instead of a Wizards one, this Doncic prop grabs my attention.
The Wizards have lacked rim protection all season, allowing potential assists to be converted more easily against them in the paint. This was evident when Gafford was their starting center, as they had no other support around him. Now that Gafford has been traded to the Mavericks and the Wizards have started Kyle Kuzma and Marvin Bagley III at center in his absence, their interior defense remains weakened.
Not only will the Wizards lack rim protection on the interior without Gafford, but he will also be their opponent tonight. His presence on the Mavericks provides a significant boost for someone like Doncic and his assists prop. Gafford is a lob threat who can help Doncic rack up assists rather quickly, especially against his old team, as Luka will likely make an effort to find him for some dunks.
They also added P.J. Washington from the Charlotte Hornets, further enhancing Doncic’s offensive options. With these two weapons in place, Doncic is well-positioned to convert potential assists, especially against a Wizards defense likely to deploy a ton of help defense toward him.
Doncic is projected to have 10.8 assists against the Wizards, allowing us to price the Over 9.5 assists at -170, but it is available at bet365 at -135.
Luka Doncic prop: Over 9.5 assists (-135 at bet365)
Prop bet #2: Show’s not over, Caruso
This is my favorite prop on the board tonight, and I would be very surprised if we didn’t see this line steam up to 9.5 with similar juice to what we are seeing on the 8.5.
When you think of Alex Caruso, you think of his defense and not necessarily a scoring prop, and you’re not wrong. The Chicago Bulls guard is one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA, but he is also a solid 3-point shooter. The 3-point attempts will be there for Caruso, but a matchup against the Hawks brings another element I believe could push his points prop over the top.
We’ve seen the Atlanta Hawks defense turn into a layup line several times this season, and when you have a player like Caruso who can drive the lane — even if his points primarily come from beyond the arc — an extra couple of layups can go a long way toward clearing the point total.
Not only should we see Caruso get a couple of easy buckets against the Hawks, but we should also see his usage on offense increase. Trae Young should be the primary defender on Caruso, which means the Bulls will involve Caruso in a ton of actions to either have Caruso attack Young or try and initiate a switch onto Coby White or DeMar DeRozan.
When it comes to projecting Caruso’s minutes, they should also be elevated because of the matchup. The Hawks backcourt, featuring Young and Dejounte Murray, makes this offense go, so Caruso will see heavy minutes as the Bulls use him to disrupt the offense.
Caruso is projected to score 11.4 points, which allows us to price the Over 8.5 points at -220, but it is trading at Caesars at -125.
Alex Caruso prop: Over 8.5 points (-125 at Caesars)
Prop bet #3: McCollum like I see ’em
This is a buy-low spot for CJ McCollum, who has gone Under on his assists prop in 9 of his last 10 games for the New Orleans Pelicans. The Under streak is the reason for the probability gap in the odds and why we can snag a +130 price point on the Over 4.5 assists tonight.
Not only was McCollum going Under his total for several games in a row, but his potential assists were also down. That hasn’t been the case in the last two games, as McCollum has had nine and 11 potential assists. A matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies is also a spot where we can attack this prop.
McCollum has played the Grizzlies three times this season, and he is averaging nine potential assists per game against them. The key part of this statistic is that Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram also played all three of these games against Memphis. These numbers would be less meaningful if McCollum racked up these potential assists in the absence of Williamson or Ingram because his usage rate was higher without them on the floor.
The Grizzlies are beat up across the board, and their two best defenders, Vince Williams and Jaren Jackson Jr., will be occupied by Ingram and Williamson. This will leave McCollum with an offensive advantage all night, and the Pelicans should be looking to exploit his matchups and allow him to create for his teammates. We’ve recently seen other lead guards for opposing teams generate a ton of assists against the Grizzlies and blitz their totals, like Coby White (eight) and Tre Mann (nine).
McCollum is projected to finish with five assists, which allows us to price the Over 4.5 assists at -118, but it is trading at +130 at bet365.
CJ McCollum prop: Over 4.5 assists (+130 at bet365)