The NBA playoffs roll on with two more games on Tuesday night. In New York, the Knicks and Heat matchup for Game 2, followed by Game 1 in the Bay Area between the Warriors and Lakers. With a ton of uncertainty around key players in the Knicks and Heat game (Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson and Jimmy Butler listed questionable), I’m focusing my NBA player props picks on the game out West.
James Harden’s masterpiece on Monday night drove us to 1-2, but I’m still fading him moving forward. Plays are listed in order of my confidence. But, make sure to also note the amount of units I’m wagering on each bet as another indicator.
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Lakers At Warriors NBA Player Props
The Lakers are listed as underdogs in the game, with a point total set at .
LeBron James and company haven’t played since last Friday when they closed out the Grizzlies in six. Golden State, on the other hand, was forced to grind through Game 7 on the road just two days ago. Both of these rosters were among the oldest in the league this season, heightening the importance of resting between game action.
LA’s players and staff also had the benefit of studying their opponent while the Dubs were forced to concentrate on the Kings for a few more days. LeBron knows all of this and will be looking to make a statement while stealing home-court advantage for the Lakers. I’m going over on his points prop and sprinkling a bit on a parlay with his points and a Lakers’ victory.
LeBron James Over 26.5 Points (+100 DraftKings | 1u) // 30+ Points/Lakers ML (+430 FanDuel | .25u)
Here are James’ core points, rebounds, and assists props for the game against the Warriors:
- Points: Over/Under /
- Rebounds: Over/Under /
- Assists: /
Picking His Spots
At the ripe age of 38, James knows he must pick and choose when he turns on overdrive. Teams play nearly every other night during the playoffs. It’s unreasonable to expect James, who has played more NBA playoff games than anyone in the history of the league, to have the same level of stamina night in and night out.
With such a distinct rest advantage over Golden State, this is the perfect time for James to assert his will over the Warriors. We saw this scenario play out in the Lakers’ last series against the Grizzlies, when he had 5 days of rest beforehand. While James didn’t score 30 points in Game 1 in Memphis during a 16-point blowout win, he looked more spry than he had in a few months. Plus, he figured out early on he didn’t really need to do as much, only attempting 16 shots the entire game.
He also has a much better track record of scoring against the Warriors. Over his last five games against the defending champs, James has averaged 32 points, 12 boards and nearly seven assists. Much better numbers than the 22/10/5 he put up versus Memphis this past season and postseason combined.
Josh Lander is 57-34 and up 25+ units betting NBA player props over the last two months. 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
Klay Thompson Under 22.5 Pts (-105 DK | 1u) OR 23.5 Pts (-125 FD | 1u)
- Points: Over/Under /
- Rebounds: /
- Assists: Over/Under /
Not The Same Klay
I’ve been following Klay’s playoff performances very closely since fading him in the first two games of the team’s last series with the Kings. I got ahead of his first good game in the series, taking over his points prop for Game 3 when he scored 25 points. He followed that up with another 26 points in Game 5, wrapping up the only two instances he would get more than 22 versus Sacramento.
It’s time to go back to fading Klay for the start of this series as well. At this point in his playoff career, he just isn’t the same player he was during the first three Warriors championships. In his last 29 games in the playoffs dating back to last season, he’s averaging 19.4 points on 42% shooting. That’s all in 36 minutes with a hearty usage rate of 23%. He’s also only gone over 22 points seven times, meaning less than a quarter of his playoff games.
Much like James Harden in his series with Boston, I know Klay will have a game or two in which he puts up a good scoring night. Also like Harden, however, the numbers have shown 22 points is around his ceiling when the playoffs arrive these days. I plan to continue going under both players’ points props during the conference semifinals.
Heat At Knicks NBA Player Props
Both the Knicks and Heat are playing coy with their injury reports ahead of Game 2 in New York. The three best players in the series are all listed as questionable, making the outcome much harder to predict. I’m staying on these injury reports to see how things shape up before placing any bets.