NBA Player Prop Bets For Thursday: Jonas Valanciunas, Jalen Williams

Written By Josh Lander on March 23, 2023
nba player props

The NBA player props for Thursday night include games with the Pelicans vs. Hornets and Thunder vs. Clippers. Jonas Valanciunas and the New Orleans will seek a third-straight win when they host Charlotte at 7 p.m. CDT / 8 p.m. EDT. The Pelicans are favorites in the game with a point total set at . In Los Angeles, Jalen Williams and Oklahoma City play their second game in three nights against LA at 10:30 p.m. EDT / 7:30 p.m. PDT. The Thunder is a underdog in the game, which features a point total set at .

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Pelicans At Hornets Player Props

Jonas Valanciunas Over 28.5 Points and Rebounds

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

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

The Pelicans have handled business against lesser competition over their last two games, beating up on the Rockets and Spurs. Center Jonas Valanciunas has shouldered a large portion of the load, dropping 40 points and grabbing 27 rebounds in the team’s wins.

On Thursday, Valanciunas will welcome a Charlotte Hornets team that he has absolutely dominated the past few seasons. Despite a relatively high total for his points and rebounds combo prop, I’m taking the over on Pelicans’ starting center.

Josh Lander is 10-5 and up 4+ units betting NBA player props since last week. 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

Editor’s Note

Charlotte’s Big Troubles

Fading Charlotte against opposing centers has worked well all season. The Hornets allow the most points and rebounds to the other team’s center and they’ve only gotten worse since trading Mason Plumlee at the deadline.

In the last 15 games, Charlotte is coughing up the fourth-most rebounds to its opponents.

Few have enjoyed taking advantage of the Hornets’ abysmal defense down low as much as JoVal. In his last 5 matchups with Charlotte he’s averaging 18 points and 14 rebounds. Narrow that down to the last two games and those numbers jump to 27 and 18.

Play The Man

New Orleans is clearly making a push for a spot in the Play-In Tournament. Coach Willie Green has already begun implementing his playoff rotations, playing his veterans 30-35 minutes and pushing the players at the end of the bench off the floor entirely.

JoVal injured his calf on March 1, causing him to miss a few games before returning. He gradually worked his way back into the rotation, averaging just 17 minutes a game in his first three games back.

Compare that to his last three games and he’s been on the floor for 31 minutes a night, averaging 21 points and 15 rebounds.

Thunder At Clippers

Jalen Williams Over 15.5 Points

Here are Williams’ core points, rebounds and assists props for the game against the Clippers:

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

The Thunder and Clippers are back at Arena on Thursday night for a rematch of Tuesday night’s one-point win for Oklahoma City. Adding injury to the loss, LA’s All-Star forward Paul George is going to miss Thursday’s game and likely the rest of the regular season.

Meanwhile, Rookie Jalen Williams had a monster night, putting up 20 points and eight boards. I’m banking on a repeat performance from J-Will and taking the over on his points prop.

J-Will Is For Real

Williams has had an incredible rookie season. It only got better once coach Mark Daigneault realized the crime he was committing by bringing Williams off the bench and only playing him 25 minutes a game.

Daigneault inserted his rookie forward into the starting lineup on December 5 and Williams has gotten better every month since then.

Over his last 10 games he’s averaging 20.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 5.0 assists in 34 minutes. Over an entire season, those numbers are worthy of All-NBA consideration. More importantly, he’s hit tonight’s scoring prop in eight of those 10 games.

In the only two games he failed to score more than 16 points, he played less than 30 minutes while his team got blown out by the Toronto Raptors and Phoenix Suns.

Barring an unlikely blowout loss to the short-handed Clippers on Thursday, Williams should see plenty of run. He spent the majority of his 37 minutes on Tuesday night guarding Kawhi Leonard and you can expect the same strategy tonight.

On the other side of the floor, don’t expect Kawhi to expend too much effort when guarding J-Will. Kawhi has spent most of his effort on offense these days, not defense. It’s a major reason the Clippers allow the fourth-most points to opposing power forwards on the season.

Rookie Of The Year

We can’t talk about Jalen Williams without at least mentioning the Rookie of the Year race between he and Paolo Banchero. After opening the season at +3800 to win, Williams (and all other rookies not named Paolo) saw his odds plummet due to Banchero’s incredible play.

J-Will’s ridiculous second half, however, has opened a legitimate chance for him to take home the award.

Let’s look more closely at the numbers since February 1. For the last seven weeks, Banchero is averaging 18.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists. His shooting splits are pretty awful, making just 41% of his shots and 19% of his 3-pointers.

Williams, on the other hand, is putting up 17.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 4.3 assists. He’s making 52.7% of his field goals and 42.4% from deep, meaning his 3-point percentage is better than Banchero’s overall field goal percentage.

At to win ROY, we should at least give a thought to placing fractional units on J-Will. After all, he’s the second-best player on a team that could make the Playoffs and should at least make the Play-In Tournament. Banchero, at -5000, may well have already locked it up, but his Magic are back in the lottery. Will voters weight that?

Best of luck betting tonight’s NBA player props

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