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NBA Player Prop Picks (5/1/23)
It will be yet another exciting slate of NBA games on Monday, May 1, 2023, when the Philadelphia 76ers head to Boston to take on the Celtics for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, and the Denver Nuggets continue their series with the Phoenix Suns in a crucial Game 2. See below the players we are targeting in these games and why their respective props have value!
James Harden Double-Double (+100)
With Joel Embiid likely to be sidelined for at least Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Boston Celtics, James Harden will experience a massive increase in his usage rate on the offensive end of the floor. Even if Harden does not score at the rate he used to back in his Rockets days, he will have the ball in his hands a lot, giving him a ton of opportunities to pick up assists.
Embiid’s absence will also force Harden to crash the glass harder than normal, giving him another chance to pick up the double-double if he doesn’t rack up enough assists. There are multiple ways he can pick this double-double up, giving this plus odds bet some value, especially considering he averaged one this season. Lastly, Philadelphia is going to have to lean on Harden a lot in terms of minutes, too, so expect him to be on the floor for at least 40 minutes in this one.
Al Horford o1.5 Steals + Blocks (-175)
As far as offensive output goes, Al Horford has not contributed much in the 2023 playoffs; that is not really his role on this Boston Celtics team, anyway. However, on the other end of the floor, Horford has been a huge plus, utilizing his combination of anticipation, quick hands, strength, and size to rack up blocks and steals.
As a matter of fact, Horford has hit the over on this line in five of the six playoff games for Boston thus far. Further, in the one game that Horford came up short, he only played 28 minutes. Even so, Horford still averaged 2.2 blocks and 1.2 steals in the Celtics’ opening series, crushing this line on several occasions.
Since Embiid should miss Game 1, Horford will be defending weaker frontcourt players that don’t have nearly as much talent or athleticism as him. There will be plenty of opportunities for Horford to get his hands on errant passes, strip frontcourt players, and block penetrators.
Jamal Murray o36.5 PRA (-110)
Somehow, we are still getting Jamal Murray points, rebounds, and assists at 36.5, despite his massive past two games, in which he nearly eclipsed the line with solely his point totals. When looking at his PRAs from Game 1 (48) of this series against Phoenix and Game 5 against Minnesota (44), it is easy to see why this prop is attractive.
Murray has been stepping up in the playoffs, providing Jokic the necessary help when teams focus their defense on him. Expect that to continue at home, where he has been absolutely magnificent. Actually, in the four home games that Denver has had in the 2023 playoffs, Murray has hit the over on this line every time. And he hasn’t just hit it, he has pummeled it; his PRA total has never been less than 40 in those games.
It would also not be a bad idea to take a look at Murray’s three-point props for Game 2 versus Phoenix, as he has hit at least four three-pointers in every one of his four games at home. He also was able to hit six 3s in two of those four games, giving his alt line of 6+ serious value here.