Wednesday NBA On ESPN Player Props: Hornets Vs. Celtics, Clippers Vs. Nuggets

Written By Mo Nuwwarah on January 19, 2022
ESPN NBA player props Nikola Jokic Jayson Tatum

The journey towards the NBA Finals continues tonight with two more national TV games on ESPN as the Hornets face the Celtics in Boston, and the Clippers take on the Nuggets in Denver. Each week throughout the season, TheLines will look at some matchups for the televised slates and try to figure if there are any ESPN NBA player props worth a look.

You can also search ESPN NBA player props using our tool below. Click on the odds anywhere in this post to bet now. If prop markets are not open yet for those players, the player tiles will show futures markets. Check back later if this is the case.

ESPN NBA player props tool: Find the best odds

Charlotte Hornets at Boston Celtics

In many ways, these two teams couldn’t be more different from one another.

The Celtics play at a slow pace and rely on a regular dose of big men, with three among their top seven players in terms of minutes. They excel on defense and on the boards, as you’d expect.

Meanwhile, the Hornets play at one of the fastest paces and often have 6-foot-6 Miles Bridges and 6-foot-7 PJ Washington masquerading as bigs. They’re among the worst rebounding teams and have a below average defense but rank sixth in offensive efficiency.

One injury to watch for here is the impact of another potential Marcus Smart absence for Boston. He has missed several games running and looks to make a material difference for them. The team has a -1 net rating without him and +3.9 — almost double their season-long rating — with him, per Cleaning The Glass.

In other words, make sure Boston isn’t overvalued on the game line here, assuming Smart sits again.

Gordon Hayward Props

One player to watch for the Hornets is Gordon Hayward (revenge game!). Boston has done an excellent job this season directing opposing shooters into the mid-range.

However, Hayward thrives in that area, ranking as an elite shooter on a high volume for long 2s. He may do better than the market thinks here, despite the team being in an overall poor spot to put up big stats.

Miles Bridges Props

Bridges, meanwhile, might find his numbers inflated after a career day where he dropped 38 on just 20 shots against the Knicks. Especially if Ball sits — he missed the New York game with a non-COVID illness — see if the market posts props that are overinflated for Bridges. It’s a tough matchup for him against Boston’s sound wing defenders.

Jaylen Brown And Jayson Tatum Props

On the Boston side, all of the focus for prop betting typically falls on Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Rightfully so since they have monster usage rates around 30% and may take as many as half of the team’s field goals.

You can expect the market to nudge some of their stuff upward, but the rebounding in particular might merit a look. They could collect some extra boards playing way up in pace against a poor rebounding team.

Scoring-wise, Brown might have the best chance to rack up points. He finishes at the rim with much better efficiency than Tatum — 73% to 62% — and the Hornets aren’t strong in preventing attacks there.

LA Clippers at Denver Nuggets

Big picture, expect market prices to reflect seasonal averages very closely for this one. The Clippers play down in pace but against a weak defense in the Nuggets, while the Nuggets play up in pace but against a strong LA defense.

Among current playoff teams, the Clippers are trotting out the most anonymous group of players. Any time the likes of Amir Coffey and Brandon Boston Jr. are regular members of your rotation, you’re scraping the barrel.

They’ve managed to defend but what they haven’t managed to do is rebound, where they rank second-worst in ratio of securing misses. That’s particularly true without Paul George, who remains out after tearing an elbow ligament. He’s one of the team’s best rebounders.

Nikola Jokic Props

Well, the Nuggets have a big man from Serbia by the name of Nikola Jokic you might have heard of who happens to gobble up defensive rebounds at a 99th percentile rate, per Cleaning The Glass. He’s above average on the offensive boards too.

And he should absolutely feast here against an undersized Clippers front. Oh, and he also has extra motivation to dominate against a team that employs one of the Morris brothers.

Look for the back-to-back MVP hopeful to post a big number in the rebounding column.

Marcus Morris And Reggie Jackson Props

The Nuggets have one major weakness and that’s preventing scorers from converting at the rim. They’re dead last for the second year running in that stat.

The problem for the Clippers is they don’t really have any high-quality rim attackers on their team.

The two highest-volume shooters currently getting clock for them are Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris. Both are quite averse to ventures into the paint, preferring to settle for 3s and mid-range looks.

Expect the Nuggets to contain the top Clips options. They’ll likely have a tough time reaching their market prices unless some pretty low numbers find their way onto the board.

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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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