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NBA Player Prop Picks (4/12/23)
The final set of play-in games occurs tonight between the nine and ten seeds from each conference. NBA player props for tonight’s play-in games featuring Bulls vs. Raptors and Thunder vs. Pelicans are below. Also, be sure to utilize the time-saving player prop tool above in order to find the best odds across multiple books.
DeMar DeRozan Under 21.5 Points (-111)
This prop has hit in 15 of DeMar DeRozan’s last 25 games. In three games versus the Raptors this season. DeMar scored 13, 9, and 20 points with a high of 11 FGA.
Toronto owns a stable of elite forward defenders that possess immense length. OG Anunoby is an All-Defensive caliber player, Scottie Barnes can neutralize elite scorers, and Jakob Poeltl protects the rim at a high level. In addition, Pascal Siakam is a disruptive defender at times. The Raptors wreak havoc inside the arc because their length allows them to play fantastic help defense.
As a result, they allow the fewest midrange FGA per game, which is where DeRozan thrives. Not only will DeMar struggle to be efficient, but he likely has trouble even getting shots off – he failed to crack 10 FGA in two of three games against Toronto this season.
Both teams play at a slow, grinding pace. DeMar won’t receive the luxury of extra possessions here, which is detrimental to scoring potential. In addition, Milwaukee constantly trapped DeRozan last postseason and forced him to constantly pass. Even if Chicago managed to find him later in the shot clock, he didn’t have the time to set up his midrange move. The Raptors may copy Milwaukee’s strategy and double DeRozan.
Gary Trent Jr. Over 1.5 3PM (-139)
Trent Jr has hit over 1.5 3PM in 21 of his last 30 games. He’s played nine career games versus Chicago with 5+ minutes played, and Trent Jr made at least two threes in eight of them (he was 1/5 in the sole miss). To say that Trent Jr thrives from deep versus Chicago is an understatement.
Chicago ranks 29th defending the three-point line in terms of opponent shot quality and allows the third highest 3PA%. Essentially, the Bulls profusely bleed quality threes – a great sign for Raptors three-point shooters. Outside of Fred VanVleet and Trent Jr, Toronto doesn’t roster a single reliable guard. Therefore, the Raptors will likely play Trent Jr 20-25 minutes because his spacing will be a weapon and they don’t have anyone else. Can he drain two threes in that many minutes? Definitely.
Jalen Williams Over 15.5 Points (-105)
Over his last 26 games, Williams hit this 16 times and averaged 18.6 PPG. In the last two matchups between these teams, he scored 17 and 22 points.
Jalen excels at getting to the basket, and his efficiency across the board is excellent; the only guards who had a higher 2PT% this season were Luka Doncic and De’Aaron Fox. New Orleans allows the highest opponent FG% in the restricted area because Jonas Valanciunas struggles with rim protection. The Pelicans also rank 29th defending finishes at the rim and 20th defending the midrange in terms of opponent shot quality (per ShotQuality).
In other words, New Orleans’ defensive weaknesses coincide with Jalen Williams’ offensive strengths. The Pelicans also eagerly doubled Shai Gilgeous-Alexander this season and forced others to make plays. Look for Williams to step up here and carry a large offensive load. Finally, the Thunder own the third fastest pace, so Williams should receive plenty of possessions too.