Wednesday NBA On ESPN Player Props: Heat At Celtics, Suns At Warriors

Written By Mo Nuwwarah on March 30, 2022
ESPN NBA player props

Wednesday night brings a couple of premium NBA matchups of high playoff seeds. Miami and Boston battle to remain atop the East, and then Phoenix heads to Golden State. What do ESPN NBA player props have to say about tonight’s national TV games?

Each week throughout the season, TheLines will look at some matchups try to figure if there are any ESPN NBA player prop bets worth a look. You can search ESPN NBA player props using our tool below and click on the odds anywhere in this post to bet now. 

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Miami Heat At Boston Celtics

Boston has continued its rampage through the East and now ranks as the No. 1 defense by efficiency metrics. They continue to look like a juggernaut, with the “last two weeks” ratings on Cleaning The Glass having them top-two on both ends of the floor with a +20 differential.

Unfortunately, they have run into some adversity in the form of injury. Robert Williams III tore his meniscus and it’s not known when (more likely a question of if) he’ll be back. While Williams might not pop into your head as the most important Celtic, he’s had a notably positive impact on the team. The defense goes from awesome to merely very good (77th percentile per CTG) without him and the team’s differential overall drops from +6.8 to +3.1.

Miami is dealing with its own issues, highlighted by a well-publicized sideline ruckus in which team bedrock Udonis Haslem threatened to start throwing hands at franchise star Jimmy Butler.

Overall, these teams mirror each other in terms of strengths and style, preferring to play slow and lean on half court defense while protecting the glass.

Bam Adebayo And Tyler Herro Props

Tyler Herro actually has the highest usage rate on the Heat despite coming off the bench in the majority of his appearances.

Facing off against an elite Boston defense that does tremendous work on forcing opponents to shoot from the mid range, Herro may be the Heat player most up to the challenge. According to Cleaning The Glass, he’s shooting from the mid range at a high volume (84th percentile) while canning an above-average number of attempts.

While Butler and Bam Adebayo are also pretty frequent mid-range gunners, neither has quite been as efficient as Herro. Furthermore, both of those players rely more heavily on foul shots to rack up their points. Boston does a pretty good job limiting freebies, with the eighth-best free throw rate allowed.

Speaking of Adebayo, if you’re thinking of taking advantage of Williams’ absence by pouncing on an over for Adebayo’s rebounding, this probably isn’t the spot. While Williams is an ace offensive rebounder, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford actually both snag a greater proportion of defensive rebounds due to the team’s scheme frequently placing Williams on the perimeter.

 

Jayson Tatum And Jaylen Brown Props

The easiest way to score on Miami is to bomb away from the perimeter. They have a clear defensive game plan: protect the paint at all costs and do their best to contest from the outside. As far as limiting attempts, nobody has done worse this season.

Both Brown and Tatum shoot pretty similar percentages on similar volume from deep. Tatum takes about one more attempt per game but they wind up in similar high-volume territory.

If you’re looking to ride the hot hand, that certainly points to Tatum. He has shot a scorching 46.6% on 3s this month. The Heat should give up attempts aplenty to both players.

 

Phoenix Suns At Golden State Warriors

This could have been one of the games of the year, two inner circle title contenders vying for the No. 1 seed. Instead, the Suns ran away with that well before Stephen Curry went down injured, but Curry’s absence really puts a damper on expectations. That has turned the team into a lottery squad this year (-5.4 per 100 possessions).

Golden State has been taking a select few “punt” games to rest basically all of their top guys, but they should play at full strength here after letting the Grizzlies flatten them on Monday.

Phoenix finds itself in the opposite scenario. Chris Paul returned to the team last week and has already ramped up to a normal minutes load. Getting their star guard and his +4 net rating back should boost the Suns considerably down the stretch.

Like the previous game, watch for two elite defense to control things in the half court. These teams are practically deadlocked behind the Celtics for the second-best defenses according to ESPN.

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Deandre Ayton And Devin Booker Props

Like Miami, Golden State has clearly focused its defense on guarding the rim, not minding if they give up a few extra deep looking in the process.

That could spell some troubles for Deandre Ayton, who does a lot of work in the mid range as well but especially shines on the block, where he converts 77% of the time at the basket. Golden State leads the league in preventing shots from in close. They also rebound at a borderline top-five rate, which could serve to keep Ayton under an undoubtedly high rebounding total.

Devin Booker absolutely thrives in the mid range, taking top-of-the-league volume and pouring points in at an elite rate. But he’s been slapped with some pretty hefty scoring totals around 28 late and that could be an inflated number against an elite defense here.

If anything, the market may underrate Golden State’s defense since the season-long numbers reflect the absence of Draymond Green for a considerable chunk of the season.

 

Jordan Poole Props

When Curry got hurt, we recommended a look at Jordan Poole’s scoring overs for the near future. Hopefully you followed that advice, as while the market attempted to adjust by hanging some numbers around 23.5, Poole has scored at least 24 in each game. He has averaged 26.9 points while jacking a whopping 11 triples per game.

Unfortunately, this may finally be the spot where Poole’s streak ends and a number around 24 looks appropriate. The Suns bring elite defense and have a long-limbed menace in Mikal Bridges to stick on Poole.

They also defend the 3-point line well, which has been a big driver of Poole’s success. In a low-scoring affair, it’s probably a good time to stay away from the hot hand or even consider playing an under to take advantage of a potentially inflated number.

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Mo Nuwwarah

Mo Nuwwarah got his start in gambling early, making his first sports bet on his beloved Fab Five against the UNC Tar Heels in the 1993 NCAA tournament. He lost $5 to his dad and got back into sports betting years later during a 15-year run in the poker industry. A 2011 journalism graduate from Nebraska-Omaha, he combines those skills with his love of sports and statistics to help bettors make more informed decisions with a focus on pro football, baseball and basketball.

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