3 Underdog NBA Picks & Predictions For NBA On TNT Thursday Night

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Written By Josh Lander | Last Updated
underdog nba picks

NBA odds and player prop markets are available on sports betting sites and fantasy apps like Underdog and Sleeper for Thursday night’s six-game slate. I compared the best available prices to fish out three player props I’ll be playing from three separate matchups. All three plays provide us with good value as straight bets and as Underdog NBA picks. Let’s dive into why I’m backing Celtics guard Derrick White, Rockets guard Jalen Green, and superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo on the Bucks.

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NBA Player Prop Bet: Derrick white Over assists (1 unit)

Underdog NBA Picks: Higher or Lower Than 5.0 Assists

We already know Boston’s starting center, Kristaps Porzingis, won’t suit up for this heavyweight battle between the Celtics and the Phoenix Suns. Celtics forward Jaylen Brown is listed as questionable, but it appears as though he’s going to play after two full days of rest. Brown’s presence, coupled with Porizingis’s absence should elevate Derrick White’s assist opportunities.

These two teams faced each other less than a week ago, with Kristaps out and Brown in. White amassed nine assists in that one on 15 potential assists. Over his last three games as a Celtic against the Suns, the savvy point guard has averaged 5.3 APG, recording at least six dimes twice. The Suns have had trouble defending PGs all season, but especially over their last seven games. Since returning from the All-Star break, Phoenix has allowed the seventh-most assists to the position.

When Porzingis plays, the Celtics run him as the pick-and-roll man, with Jayson Tatum acting as the primary ball handler. When Porzingis sits, White steps in as the main ball handler to run the play, with Tatum or Brown setting the screens. As a result, White averages one more assist per game in these situations.

In the unlikely event that Brown misses Thursday’s tilt with the Suns, I would pivot to an over for White’s points prop. In 6 games without Jaylen Brown this season, he’s averaging 23 PPG alongside just 3.5 APG. It’s clear that when both Porzingis and Brown are out, the Celtics rely on White to score rather than assist within the offense.

Use our player props search tool to find the best odds for NBA props on your favorite players. If you’re interested in betting spreads, discuss betting angles with other NBA bettors in our free Discord.

Editor’s Note

NBA Player Prop Bet: Jalen Green over PoinTS (1 unit)

Underdog NBA Picks: Higher or Lower Than 23.0 Points

Houston Rockets shooting guard Jalen Green has stepped up his offense and his aggressiveness over the last few weeks. He’s taking more shots at the rim and getting out into transition more frequently than before the All-Star break. This trend should continue when you consider that the Rockets will be without electric rookie Cam Whitmore and starting center Alperen Sengün for the foreseeable future.

Whitmore was leading the team in possessions in transition up until Green began to up his individual pace on the floor. The third-year guard has the highest pace of any starting Rocket by a wide margin. He’s been getting out into the fast break more than four times per game over his last 10 affairs, adding an extra transition possession to his previous average.

As Houston’s starting center, Sengün leads Houston in field goal attempts around the rim this season. Before his injury, Green was a close second on the team, averaging nearly five attempts inside of five feet. In the two games Sengun has missed, that number jumped to an average of 8.5 per game.

The Wizards head to Houston with one of the worst interior defenses. Since trading away center Daniel Gafford, Washington has unsurprisingly allowed the most made field goals at the rim on the second-highest percentage. To make matters even worse, current starting center Marvin Bagley III is set to miss his fifth straight game.

NBA Player Prop bet: giannis antetokounmpo over rebounds (1 unit)

Underdog NBA Picks: Higher or Lower Than 11.5 Rebounds

Before its recent road trip, Milwaukee was quickly establishing itself as one of the best defensive teams in the league. With new head coach Doc Rivers at the helm, the Bucks commandeered the third-best defensive rating during the month of February.

Then came March and a nasty stretch of games against four of the best offenses in the Western Conference. Their last four games have all been on the road against the Warriors, Lakers, Kings, and Clippers. In that time, they’ve owned the second-worst defensive rating, going 1-3.

It’s safe to say the Bucks are glad to be back home on Thursday with a chance to welcome one of the worst offenses in the league into their building in the Philadelphia 76ers. Joel Embiid will miss his 20th straight game, meaning Philly should remain one of the worst rebounding teams in the league. Since losing their big man on Jan. 30, the 76ers rank 24th in rebound percentage. That’s at least in part due to their abysmal effective field goal percentage, which ranks dead last.

I expect a big game from Giannis in a classic bounce-back scenario for Milwaukee. With plenty of missed shots most likely coming from Philadelphia’s offense, let’s bank on Antetokounmpo pulling down at least 12 of those rebound chances.

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