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NBA Player Prop Picks (4/15/23)
The 2023 NBA Playoffs are finally here, and there is no better way to kick them off than with a few of our favorite player props and best bets for the Saturday, April 15, 2023, slate, which features Golden State versus Sacramento, Atlanta versus Boston, New York versus Cleveland, and Brooklyn versus Philadelphia.
Steph Curry Alt. o5.5 Threes (+220)
It is a playoff game, meaning Sacramento should tighten up its often loose defense, especially to set the tone in Game 1; however, Steph Curry will still get looks from behind the arc. This is a solid matchup for Curry, too, as Sacramento ranks in the bottom ten in the NBA in three-pointers allowed to opposing points guards.
In four games against Sacramento this season, Curry has averaged five 3PM per game, hitting seven three-pointers in two of those. Further, he has been shooting the lights out recently, knocking down six or more 3s in three of his past six games. During that stretch, he is shooting at a 44.3% clip from deep.
Even more promising is that he only played an average of 33 minutes per game in that span. Golden State is fighting an uphill battle this postseason, and it can’t afford to rest Curry nearly as much as it did in the regular season. We can expect 38+ minutes from Steph in this one.
Jalen Brunson o25.5 Points (-110)
Does anyone remember Brunson’s playoff performance last season that did much more than “flash” his All-Star potential? Brunson averaged 21.6 points on roughly 47% shooting from the field and 35% from deep; he has only gotten better since then, too.
This season, Brunson has increased his shooting numbers substantially, with a shooting split of 49/42/83. These are comparable numbers to guys who are considered elite shooters, and he was even able to accomplish all of that with a significant increase in shooting volume.
Further, Brunson (6-foot-1) has about as solid of a matchup as exists in the NBA; he is going against an equally-sized Darius Garland, who he should be able to post up quite a bit.
The Cavaliers’ backcourt is widely considered undersized and is not the best part of their defense, evidenced by Brunson’s massive 48-point game in their last matchup. They allow opponents to shoot just shy of 37% from deep, a bottom-seven mark in the NBA this season.
Lastly, Julius Randle’s difficult frontcourt matchup against defensive prodigy Evan Mobley is far from ideal, especially given that he is fresh off an ankle injury. It would not be shocking to see Brunson be heavily relied upon to score the ball on the road in Game 1.
Andrew Wiggins u1.5 Threes (-128)
The rim looks completely different than usual when stepping right into a playoff environment on the road after not playing in over two months. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. While Wiggins should still be in decent shape, he has not been in a game in a significant amount of time, and that fact is amplified by this being a playoff game.
Additionally, Wiggins will likely come off the bench and log 20-25 minutes, substantially below his usual 32-34 minutes per game. It can be challenging for long-time starters to come off the bench and maintain the momentum they usually have because it is different than what has become usual for them.
Wiggins’ primary focus in Game 1 should be defending and rebounding at a high level, so don’t bet on him to have a big offensive outing.