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NBA Player Prop Picks (4/18/23)
The first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs is in action, and we have already seen a ton of chaos involving various injuries, road underdog upsets, and unexpected outbursts from role players.
Wednesday’s slate features the New York Knicks versus Cleveland Cavaliers, the Los Angeles Clippers versus the Phoenix Suns, and the Atlanta Hawks versus Boston Celtics, three massive, potentially series-changing Game 2s. Check out our three best bets/props below for an analysis of these players and their respective matchups.
Donovan Mitchell u32.5 Points (-120): $10 Bet wins $8.33
It pains me to fade Donovan Mitchell in a playoff game. Few players have the power to combust in the playoffs like Mitchell, but 44 minutes per game in the first round is hardly sustainable.
Mitchell posted a game-high 38 points on 30 shot attempts; he went 14-30 from the floor and 6-16 from behind the arc. Expect Mitchell’s volume to take a step or two back in this game, though. Essentially, no one else put together a remotely respectable offensive game, but the rest of the Cavs will show up in a must-win Game 2 or face a very early elimination.
In last year’s playoffs, Mitchell only posted an average of 25.5 points per game, according to Statmuse, and that was on a much faster Utah team that could score in bunches. Cleveland is a much slower team and the Knicks will force the ball out of Mitchell’s hands in Game 2.
Malcolm Brogdon o11.5 Points (-120): $10 Bet wins $8.33
While Malcolm Brogdon was not listed on the Celtics’ injury report leading into Game 1 of the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, he still only played 21 minutes, which is over five minutes fewer than his season average. Further, he only took six shots in that span, the fewest shot attempts he has had in a game since February.
Further, Brogdon has scored at least 12 points in ten of his past 11 games, not including the first playoff game. There is no reason to believe that Brogdon’s prior back injury that kept him out of the team’s final two regular season games is still lingering.
His lack of minutes and offensive opportunities had much more to do with Derrick White’s offensive explosion and a blowout game where the C’s were probably trying to buy Brogdon a bit more rest than anything. Don’t worry; the C’s won’t keep the Sixth Man of the Year finalist on the bench for most of the game again.
Russell Westbrook o16.5 Points (-125): $10 Bet wins $8.00
If one thing was made abundantly clear to viewers in Game 1 of the Clippers versus the Suns, it was that Russell Westbrook will not stop shooting, no matter how many shots he has missed prior. Of course, this has been known about Westbrook for a while, and his unwavering confidence is one of the reasons that fans love him. Will he have another abysmal shooting performance in Game 2, though?
Who cares? His percentages don’t matter. What matters is whether he will get to 17 points or not. We believe he will. When Paul George wasn’t in the lineup during the regular season for the Clippers, Westbrook averaged 19.2 points per game on a 52/46/63 shooting split. His last game was rough, but he remains the No. 2 scoring option behind Kawhi Leonard for LA.