Prop bet #1: Haliburton’s helpers
Tyrese Haliburton is perhaps the breakout player of the season, but a nagging hamstring injury has slowed the Pacers superstar’s rise in recent weeks.
Prior to the hamstring issue, Tyrese was racking up assists at a historic rate. In the 32 games he played before his injury, Haliburton was averaging a cool 12.7 assists per game. He had nine or more in 28 of those 32 games.
This is a bet banking on Haliburton’s return to form, which has been coming on for a few games now. Haliburton was previously limited to 20 minutes a game but it’s apparent that number is now closer to 30 minutes and these Tyrese Haliburton odds haven’t readjusted.
It’s also a bet against what remains of the New York Knicks perimeter defense. Losing all three of Quentin Grimes, Immanuel Quickley, and RJ Barrett reduced their defensive guard depth substantially. That wouldn’t matter so much if OG Anunoby was in action and able to hawk Tyrese on the ball, but he’s out at least three more weeks after surgery to remove a bone spur in his elbow.
The Knicks are a skeleton crew right now, and newcomers Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic are likely to play big minutes. New York’s level of cohesion is simply not likely to be very high.
The cutting, whirring, and constant movement of the Pacers offense is a rough baptism by fire. I believe Haliburton is going to have success picking apart the motley crew of Knicks new and old on Saturday.
Tyrese Haliburton prop: Over 8.5 assists (+100 at SIA)
Prop bet #2: Down on Duren
When the Detroit Pistons played the Los Angeles Clippers about a week ago, they kept things remarkably close despite the disparity in their record and overall team quality.
But a week is an awfully long time in basketball, particularly when it contains the NBA Trade Deadline. The deadline saw the Pistons retool their team in a major way, saying goodbye to both Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic.
It was the hot shooting of Bogdanovic that kept the Pistons in contact throughout the game and thus ensured Jalen Duren had ample time on the court. Without the spacing provided by Bogdanovic and Burks, the Pistons can be ruthlessly exploited by L.A. Given that this is a road game as well, I could see the Pistons getting off to a slow start and never recovering.
That’s a major reason I’m taking the Under on these Jalen Duren odds. I don’t think the Pistons can keep this game competitive enough to give Duren enough bites at the apple on offense.
The other is that the Clippers have a solid interior defense. While the Clippers don’t have a star player at the five spot, they have solid options to rotate through depending on the opposition with the trio of Ivica Zubac, Mason Plumlee, and Daniel Theis.
Duren is likely going to be squaring off against a traditional center in all of his minutes, veterans who know the value of boxing out on the defensive glass and who won’t allow him easy pick and roll runs to the rim.
Duren is averaging 13.8 points over his last 10 games and has only scored 16 or more in three of those 10 contests. I don’t see any reason to value him above his average in this matchup.
Jalen Duren prop: Under 15.5 points (+100 at SIA)
Prop bet #3: Winning Williams
The Oklahoma City Thunder have their big three of the future. While Shai-Gilgeous Alexander and Chet Holmgren are in the running for MVP and Rookie of the Year respectively, don’t underestimate the meteoric rise of Jalen Williams.
The Thunder coaching staff clearly know what they have as well. Williams’ on-ball responsibilities have steadily risen over the course of the year, supplanting Josh Giddey in many cases. Williams is not a flashy offensive player, but he is an effective one, set up by elite scoring touch at all three levels.
And I do mean elite. Per Cleaning the Glass, Williams is in the 97th percentile as a 3-point shooter, 95th percentile as a midrange shooter, and shoots just a hair below 70% at the rim. He can pull up in transition, attack off the catch, or create with a live dribble. For a second-year player he plays with the polish of a seasoned pro.
The Dallas Mavericks are a Bottom-10 defensive team this season, prone to getting beat in transition as well, where Williams thrives. As Shai always draws the opposing top defensive option, Williams usually has a matchup advantage.
Dallas is not one of the few teams with multiple credible wing defenders capable of guarding both, and while the Mavericks are crowing about the addition of PJ Washington at the deadline, Grant Williams was a much better on-ball defender than PJ.
Williams is averaging 21 points over his last 10 games, and he’s had 20 or more in seven of those. Two of the times he didn’t were Thunder blowout wins. I think This version of Dallas should be able to keep things competitive, which is in part why I like the value of these Jalen Williams odds.
Jalen Williams prop: Over 19.5 points (-105 at SIA)