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NBA Player Prop Picks (5/7/23)
We are blessed with another two-game slate on Sunday, featuring Boston versus Philadelphia and Denver versus Phoenix. The Suns and Sixers will hope to even up the series before heading back on the road, while the C’s and Nuggets will want to steal one on the road so they have an opportunity to close the door in their respective Game 5s.
Check out our favorite player props from this dynamite slate below, including our in-depth analysis and reasoning for our picks!
Nikola Jokic o50.5 PRA (-110)
After posting an unfathomable 30/17/17 line in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals against Phoenix, it is challenging to think that Nikola Jokic won’t find similar success in Game 4.
Deandre Ayton has proven to not be much of an impact defender on Jokic through the first few games of this series; Phoenix is going to continue to struggle to contain him defensively. Jokic has slaughtered this line in his past two games, even with Jamal Murray having a big scoring output in one of them; there is enough to go around for everyone.
As a matter of fact, Joker’s usage rate in his last game was only 27.6%, which is only just above his normal rate this season. If Denver prioritizes playing through Jokic to try and steal Game 4 on the road and put itself in a great position to close this series out in Game 5, he should be seeing the ball early and often.
Joel Embiid o27.5 Points (-120)
After a frustrating Game 3 loss, Joel Embiid seemed to call out his team, saying that “players have to show up.” Embiid certainly showed up in that game, posting 30 points and 13 rebounds while racking up an impressive four blocked shots.
However, his postseason performance has not been nearly as impactful or efficient as he was during the regular season. Some of that can be attributed to a knee injury that he is playing through now, but that can’t be the reason for all of it. As a matter of fact, Game 3 was the only game in the 2023 Playoffs that Embiid eclipsed this 27.5 line.
Still, Embiid’s chances of having another 30+ point outing are solid; the Sixers need this win to even the series back up at 2-2 and cannot afford to drop another one, with Game 5 being back in Boston.
The Celtics don’t have a great matchup against Embiid, but they were being extremely physical, finding his body before he could even establish a position in the half-court. Expect a much more aggressive Joel Embiid in Game 4; he will create the contact and get to his spots. You could even consider alt-ing his points to 35+ or 40+ if you feel like taking the risk.
Deandre Ayton u14.5 Points (-125)
There seems to be some turmoil in Phoenix between Deandre Ayton and the rest of the team. Ayton’s body language at times has shown frustration; it is difficult to say exactly what the problem is but it clearly has become somewhat of a distraction.
With Devin Booker and Kevin Durant pulling the majority of the offensive weight, Ayton’s opportunities to score will be limited, especially against a Denver team that has grabbed the fourth-most defensive rebounds per game in the playoffs so far. Chris Paul’s absence also hurts Ayton, as they have chemistry together in the pick-and-roll, where Ayton does most of his damage.
Lastly, for all the criticism that Nikola Jokic gets about his defense, he sure has played well on that end of the floor this postseason at times. Jokic is fresh off holding Ayton to just four points on 2-6 shooting from the field; Ayton has failed to reach 15 points in three consecutive games, all of which were against Denver.