NBA Player Prop Picks & Odds (5/9/23): Sixers vs. Celtics & Suns vs. Nuggets

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NBA Player Prop Picks (5/9/23)

The Tuesday slate features a Game 5 for both the Philadelphia versus Boston and Phoenix versus Denver series. Historically, teams that own a 3-2 lead go on to win the series 84% of the time. Therefore, it’s absolutely crucial for all four teams to secure a victory here.

Check out our favorite player props from this dynamite slate below, including our in-depth analysis and reasoning for our picks!

Joel Embiid First Basket (+320)

The 76ers are favored to win the tip-off; Embiid is 3-0 versus Horford this series. During the regular season, Embiid took Philly’s First FGA 40.9% of the time – one of the highest rates across the entire NBA. In his three games this series, Embiid has taken Philly’s First FGA twice and Philly’s Second FGA three times. It seems as if no defense can deter the 76ers from opening up the game with Embiid shots. He’s also a superb, efficient scorer that operates around the basket, so it’s likely he’s able to convert should he get the first attempt. 

It’s also worth noting that Philly’s Second FGA has been an Embiid 3PA in all three games, and Embiid First Basket 3PT can be found at +6000 on FD. He did miss all of those attempts though, and he’s struggled this season (33 3PT%) from behind the arc.

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SGP – Jaylen Brown 20+ PTS, Joel Embiid 25+ PTS, Malcolm Brogdon 1+ 3PM (-118)

Brown has shredded the 76ers and consistently broken the twenty-point barrier. So far, he’s scored 23, 25, 23, and 23 points despite Boston puzzlingly turning away from him in the 4th quarter. He voiced his frustrations after Game 4 about him needing to be more aggressive demanding the ball, and I expect the Celtics to respond by emphasizing his volume here. In addition, his return to Boston only means he’s in a far more comfortable atmosphere, which is conducive to scoring. 

After a rusty Game 2 where conditioning was a problem, Embiid bounced back in the following two games by scoring 30 and 34 points. He remains Philly’s top scorer and offensive option, and Boston hasn’t doubled him to the degree that Brooklyn did. It’s allowed him plenty of isolation opportunities and more offensive rebound potential. Plus, Embiid’s knack for drawing free throws (11.7 FTA for series) is a stable source of offense should his shot not fall. 

Finally, Brogdon obliterated opponents from deep this season to the tune of a 44.4 3PT% on 4.4 attempts per game. Against the 76ers, he’s 2/6, 6/10, 3/6, and 5/8 from three. Considering Philadelphia ranks 26th defending threes in terms of opponent shot quality (per ShotQuality), look for Brogdon to continue his success. It would be shocking if he failed to score one three given his 30 MPG this series.

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Nikola Jokic Over 9.5 Assists (+106)

Against the Suns, Jokic is averaging 112.5 touches and 75.3 passes made – both marks would have led the league. His absurd usage combined with his ability to make any pass means Jokic is a threat to breach 10 assists every night. He’s hit the over in the last two games, and I expect him to once again achieve this feat tonight. The Nuggets are back in their arena, and role players tend to shoot far better at home compared to on the road; this will convert some of his missed potential assists into actual assists. We saw this occur during the regular season: Jokic averaged 11.1 APG and 17.1 potential APG at home versus 8.5 APG and 15.6 potential APG on the road. 

The Suns may also try to force Jokic to pass more given that he just dropped 53 points on 20/30 shooting without any of the attempts appearing to be difficult.

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2021-22 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs about analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions and NBA Analysis Network.

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