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NBA Player Prop Picks (4/30/23)
NBA fans should be thrilled for this two-game Sunday slate, which includes Game 1 of the Miami Heat versus the New York Knicks and Game 7 of the Golden State Warriors versus the Sacramento Kings. Intense defense should be featured early and often in the Miami and New York series, while you can expect an abundance of offense in the matchup between Sacramento and Golden State. See below which games we are targeting for our best player props below and why we believe there is substantial value in a few of these!
Steph Curry o5.5 Assists (-135)
Obviously, we don’t love the fact that this prop is at -135, but the hit rate on this is insane. In 11 elimination games throughout Steph Curry’s NBA career, he has recorded at least six assists in ten of them and, further, in all four road games. While he has not been in an elimination game in quite some time, history is certainly on our side.
Interestingly enough, Curry has not been distributing the ball nearly as much as usual in this series against the Kings, only surpassing this line twice out of six games; however, he should receive a significant amount of attention from the Kings’ defense here, forcing the ball out of his hands. The last thing Sacramento wants is a nuclear explosion from Curry in Game 7 at home. Even though Curry has not racked up as many assists as usual, he does average 6.3 on the season. Additionally, Sacramento allows the eight-most assists to opposing point guards.
Klay Thompson o4.5 Threes (-105)
This bet goes hand in hand with the Curry assists bet, as he should be looking for Klay consistently. Thompson has been one of the most effective Warriors players on the road in this series (42.9% from deep), so he will definitely get his looks.
We are all familiar with “Game 6 Klay,” but can he put together a big performance in Game 7 on the road against the high-octane Kings? In all three road games against Sacramento during this series, Klay has hit five three-pointers on substantial volume. Thompson’s 3PAs in those games were 10, 11, and 14, giving him a lot of opportunities to knock down threes. Lastly, Klay has hit at least five 3s in four of his past seven elimination games; he has a history of showing up in big moments, and we should see another one here.
Jimmy Butler u42.5 PRA (-120)
Jimmy Butler has been nothing short of spectacular so far in the 2023 postseason, so why on Earth are we fading him in this spot? There are a few reasons, but the primary one is that the New York Knicks are not going to get punked as Milwaukee did. The Bucks got dominated from the beginning of the series and continued to refuse putting Giannis on Jimmy Butler as they should have; it was downright nonsense.
New York has a number of perimeter defenders who can make life at least a little tougher on Butler, including Josh Hart and Quentin Grimes. Even R.J. Barrett can use his athleticism, size, and length to disrupt Butler. Further, New York’s defense has boasted an impressive 105.1 defensive rating in the playoffs thus far, so Butler will have to work hard for every point. Milwaukee’s defensive rating was just shy of 120, an awful number for any game, let alone a playoff game. The Heat’s offense has also been reliable all season long; it would be a surprise to see them continue to have immense success on that end of the floor.
Lastly, the Knicks had a pace of 89.6 in their past five games, while Milwaukee was playing at a pace of 101.7; there will be fewer opportunities for fast breaks and easy baskets for Butler in this series. Miami will face an intense and disciplined Knicks defense, which will focus most of its attention on “Playoff Jimmy.” All things considered, this line seems a bit inflated due to Butler absolutely decimating it in his last two games. However, don’t expect that to continue, as teams will adjust.