Best NBA Player Props: Jalen Brunson, Kawhi Leonard Tuesday Night

Written By Josh Lander on April 17, 2023 - Last Updated on April 18, 2023
nba player props

Three more NBA Playoff games will fill the slate on Tuesday night, April 18. Let’s keep the NBA player props heater going. First up is Celtics vs. Hawks, followed by Cavaliers vs. Knicks, and then Suns vs. Clippers. In the first of two Eastern Conference games on the night, Atlanta will try to even its series in Boston at 7:00 p.m. ET. The Hawks are a underdog in the game, which features a point total set at . Next up, Jalen Brunson and the Knicks are back in Cleveland with a 1-0 lead and Game 2 set to tip-off at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Knicks are underdogs with a point total set at . Finally, Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers look to repeat their Game 1 victory in Phoenix at 10:00 p.m. E.T. Los Angeles is a underdog with a point total set at .

Let’s dive into why I like both Brunson and Kawhi to shoulder the bulk of their teams’ scoring duties on Tuesday night. Find NBA odds here and use our player props search tool to find the best odds for NBA props on your favorite players.

Josh Lander is 40-17 and up 24+ units betting NBA player props over the last month. Check out the NBA Coast 2 Coast podcast each and every weekday with co-host Nate Weitzer and give him a follow on Twitter, @jlboogy. Click on the odds below to bet now.

Editor’s Note

Knicks At Cavaliers NBA Player Props

Below are the available NBA player props for the game between the Knicks at Cavs.

Jalen Brunson Over 24.5 Points (-115 BetMGM | 1u)

Here are Brunson’s core points, rebounds, and assists props for the game against the Cavs:

  • Points: Over/Under /
  • Rebounds: Over/Under /
  • Assists: /

Game 1 was a back-and-forth affair between the Knicks and Cavs. After sitting out the majority of the first half with three fouls, Jalen Brunson eventually led a Knicks’ comeback victory with 21 second-half points.

Brunson was sensational when he was on the floor, outshining Donovan Mitchell’s 38-point performance by getting the win for his team. It was his third-straight win over a Mitchell-led team in what has become a thrilling rivalry between the two guards. These two players are incredible entertainment because they defend each other, providing the type of true 1-on-1 matchup we basketball fans so desire.

Brunson is a fierce competitor who thrives in that style of play. Plus, the Knicks’ regular season leading scorer, Julius Randle is still nursing a bum ankle. I’m going back to the Brunson Well and taking the over for his points prop in Game 2.

Jalen vs. Donovan

Brunson has now played four playoff games in his career without Luka Dôncic on the floor, including Saturday’s Game 1 against Cleveland. Coincidentally, he’s matched up with Mitchell in all four, including last season when Luka sat out three games in the Mavericks’ first-round series with the Utah Jazz, Mitchell’s team at the time.

In those four games without Luka and against Mitchell’s teams, Brunson has averaged 30.8 points and 4.5 assists per contest in nearly 40 minutes. In fact, over his last 10 games against a Mitchell-led team with or without Luka on the floor, Brunson has put up 27 points per game with a 31% usage rate.

To be fair to Mitchell, he didn’t spend that much time as the primary defender on Brunson last Saturday. That responsibility fell to a combination of Cedi Osman and Isaac Okoro and Brunson cooked them both for 14 points in six minutes.

Expect More Jalen

It was a frustrating half for Brunson in Game 1, managing just six points in nine minutes after picking up three early fouls. He took his frustrations out in the second half with 21 points on a 44% usage rate. In the fourth quarter alone he had a 47% usage rate, meaning he basically took half of his team’s shots.

Cleveland may boast one of the best defenses in the league, but it’s most vulnerable to opposing point guards. Over the last 15 games of the season, the Cavs allowed the third-most points to Brunson’s position. Even if Knicks big man, Julius Randle wasn’t hobbling around on an injured ankle, Brunson would still be the focal point of the offense in this series.

Before he injured his ankle against Miami three weeks ago, Randle’s shooting had already started to decline as well. Over his last 10 games including the playoffs, Randle’s shooting splits dipped down from 46% FG/35% 3PT to 42% from the field and 29% from deep.

Randle’s struggles are a huge reason the Knicks shot 40% from the floor when Brunson was on the bench in Game 1.

Josh Hart Factor

It can’t be stated enough just how important Josh Hart’s presence has been to Jalen Brunson and the Knicks as a whole. Hart and Brunson were teammates at Villanova where the duo won two championships in three years.

Hart is incredibly cerebral and the perfect compliment to a scoring guard like Brunson. In 15 games since Hart joined the Knicks via a trade from Portland, Brunson has averaged 27.5 points a night, three more than his season average before Hart’s arrival.

In their first playoff game together, Hart and Brunson spent 18 minutes on the floor at the same time. They would’ve played together more but Brunson had to miss time in the first half with three fouls. In those 18 minutes, the Knicks put up an offensive rating of 138.7 and outscored the Cavs by six points. I’m betting on that stability of success to continue on Tuesday night.

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Clippers At Suns NBA Player Props

Kawhi Leonard Over 36.5 Points and Rebounds Combined (-102 FanDuel | 1u)

Here are Leonard’s core points, rebounds and assists props for the game against the Suns:

  • Points: Over/Under /
  • Rebounds: Over/Under /
  • Assists: Over/Under /

Maybe we shouldn’t have been surprised by Kawhi Leonard’s dominating performance in the Clippers’ Game 1 victory over the Phoenix Suns. Kawhi missed thirty regular season games, many of those coming without much of an explanation for why. Perhaps the explanation was so that he could play 41 minutes in a playoff game with enough stamina to drop 38 points, both of which he achieved on Sunday.

Leonard essentially began prepping for the playoffs over the Clippers’ final five games of the regular season when he averaged 31 points in 38 minutes per game. LA needed to win three of its last five to avoid the Play-In Tournament and did so via a three-game win streak to close everything out.

With Kawhi fully engaged and playing 40 minutes a night, there are few who can stop his combination of size and skill and none of those players are on the Phoenix Suns roster for this series. Give me the over on Kawhi’s points and rebounds prop for Game 2 in Phoenix.

Playoff Kawhi vs. KD

Though he does have two Defensive Player of the Year awards, Kawhi’s legacy will be defined by his playoff resume. Since 2017 when he assumed the role as the number one option for the Spurs in San Antonio, Kawhi has played in 61 postseason games. In 38.6 minutes per game, he’s averaged 30 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and nearly one block, all with nearly 50/40/90 shooting splits from the floor.

Now, “Playoff Kawhi” is facing off with an equally freakish specimen in Kevin Durant. Much like Brunson and Mitchell, the Kawhi vs. KD battle is so much fun because both players are able to guard each other. And like Brunson, Leonard relishes the competition with a worth adversary.

In his last five games against Durant he’s averaged 32 points and eight boards in just 30 minutes per game.

While Durant spent about five minutes of Game 1 as the primary defender on Kawhi, Torry Craig spent the most time on him. In the seven minutes that Craig attempted to slow down Kawhi, Leonard dropped 18 points. The Clippers as a team put up 40 points in those seven minutes with a 142 offensive rating.

It’ll be interesting to see how Suns coach Monty Williams tries to deal with Leonard on Tuesday night. Does he risk tiring Durant by putting him on Kawhi? Or will he continue to suffer through watching Craig do his best and hope Durant and Booker can outscore Kawhi, rather than try to slow him down? I’m banking on the latter.

Still No Sign Of Paul George

Clippers’ star Paul George has been injured since March 21 and has already been ruled out for Tuesday night’s game. George did travel with the team to Phoenix for Games 1 and 2, but was never expected to play in either of those two games.

Which means he and his 32% usage rate won’t be available to carve into Kawhi’s usage rate. In 14 games without George this season, Leonard posted a 29% usage rate, compared to 25% when PG is in the lineup.

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