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NBA Player Prop Picks (4/17/23)
After the conclusion of Game 1s for all teams in the 2023 NBA Playoffs, we learned one thing: no team is safe. The No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks got run over at home by Miami, while Memphis dropped a game to Los Angeles. In four of the eight games, the road teams came out on top. Now, Golden State and Brooklyn will try to grab road wins of their own in Game 2.
Check out a few of our player props and best bets below for the Warriors versus the Kings and the Nets versus the Sixers.
Steph Curry Leading Scorer of the Game (-125)
It isn’t necessarily a “must-win” game for the Golden State Warriors, but going down 0-2 without having home-court advantage is certainly an uphill climb, even for the defending champions.
Curry finished the last game with 30 points on 11-20 shooting and 6-14 from behind the arc; he has been highly efficient all season against the Sacramento Kings. In four games against Sacramento during the regular season, Curry averaged 33 points on a 58/50/92 shooting split. Sacramento cannot guard him.
Ultimately, the success of this prop lies in Curry’s volume, which should be pretty substantial in Game 2. The rest of the Warriors shot merely 10-36 from behind the arc in Game 1; this should force Curry to shoot more, as he can’t rely on Green or Wiggins to hit from deep.
Further, Jordan Poole’s status for Game 2 is in question. Even if he can play, it is difficult to say whether he will be as effective as usual. If Poole misses this game, Curry might have to play 40 minutes and shoot more.
The last key point surrounding the efficacy of this prop is Golden State’s inevitable defensive adjustments. While Golden State defended Domantas Sabonis quite well, it struggled to contain De’Aaron Fox, who took over in the fourth quarter to help propel the Kings to victory.
The Warriors have championship pedigree and a coach who does not lose playoff series; they are used to making adjustments and should contain Fox at least a bit more than in Game 1. Don’t expect Malik Monk to go for 32 points again either, as his last game with more than 30 points came in February.
Andrew Wiggins o21.5 PRA (-115)
Andrew Wiggins had moments in his first game back in over two months, despite shooting just 1-8 from behind the arc. Wiggins still posted 17 points and got up 16 shots in just 28 minutes of play. Regarding conditioning, Wiggins is world-class; he could easily play 30 minutes tonight if Steve Kerr allows him to. He may not have a choice if Jordan Poole can’t play, as the Dubs won’t want to dig too far into their bench during a critical game.
Another reason this prop pops out is that Wiggins came up just short of this line in Game 1, despite only grabbing three rebounds. Wiggins always ratchets up his rebounding in the playoffs, as he averaged just shy of eight per game in 22 games of last season’s championship run.
Golden State will prioritize getting Wiggins looks in these early games to build his confidence back up. Even if he isn’t getting many great catch-and-shoot looks, his ability to cut in front of and behind defenders for easy buckets or get offensive rebound putbacks gives this prop great value.