NBA Player Prop Picks & Odds for Nuggets vs. Lakers (5/22/23): Best Props for Nikola Jokic & Austin Reaves

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NBA Player Prop Picks (5/22/23)

The Monday slate features a must-win Game 4 for the Los Angeles versus Denver series. The Nuggets lead 3-0, and it’s worth noting that a team has never come back from down 0-3. Can LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Los Angeles Lakers pull off this miracle for the first time in history?

Check out my favorite player props for this vital Game 4, including in-depth analysis and reasoning for the picks!

Kentavious Caldwell Pope Over 1.5 3PM (-150)

Caldwell-Pope has hit this in all three playoff games versus Los Angeles, and he’s done so in five of seven games this year including the regular season matchups. It’s not as if he’s shooting 2/3 and barely clearing the line either; these are his totals from deep in this series: 4/7, 2/5, 3/8. That’s an average of 6.6 3PA, so converting two of them shouldn’t be difficult for a 42.3 3PT% shooter with superb shot quality. Is the volume sustainable though? I believe so since it’s rooted in Los Angeles’ defensive scheme. 

The Lakers are frequently doubling Jokic in the post and hard hedging when Jokic and Murray run a high pick and roll. It’s reducing isolation opportunities for the duo but resulting in Denver swinging the ball for an open corner three. Plus, Jokic is also skipping the swing and simply throwing a dart to the corner. Los Angeles seems content allowing spot up shooters to hoard the volume instead of Jokic around the basket or Murray dancing on the perimeter. I expect this to continue, which means Caldwell-Pope receiving 5-8 3PA is reasonable here. 

Don’t be afraid of the juice. This exploitable line (o1.5, -150) shouldn’t exist, so take advantage of this long-term cash cow.

DraftKings Promo Code

Nikola Jokic Triple Double (+100)

Barring injury, it’s unimaginable that the points portion fails to hit. The last time he scored fewer than ten points while playing 30+ minutes was March 7th, 2020. Adjust that to 38 minutes (his lowest total this series), and it’s never happened. 

Next, he’s averaging 14.7 rebounds and 23.3 rebound chances this series. His size, positioning, and aggression on the offensive glass compose a perfect mixture for racking up rebounds. And given the fast pace of these games and Los Angeles’ often inefficient shooting, Jokic has a crystal clear path to 10 rebounds – he could do this in the first half alone. 

Finally, Jokic is averaging 116.3 touches, 88.3 passes, 19.7 potential assists, and 11.3 assists this series. He always looks for the extra pass rather than forcing a shot, and his ability to make any throw means all options are available. Denver also surrounds him with superb shooters (Murray, Caldwell-Pope, Porter Jr, Brown) and a cutting savant (Gordon), so his teammates should convert attempts at a high rate. Overall, +100 is excellent value given his ability to easily hit all aspects.

Caesars Promo Code

Austin Reaves First Basket Exact 3PM (+2800)

The Lakers are decently favored to win the tip-off (probably around 60-65% of the time), and Reaves ranks 3rd in Team First FGA%. A Reaves 3PA has been the Lakers First, Second, and Sixth FGA in the first three games of the series, respectively, so he’s been getting great first basket usage from deep. Of 40 Reaves’ FGA this series, 23 have been 3PA, and he’s made 13 of them. That’s a 0.575 3PA rate with a 56.5 3PT%. 

For +2800 to hold a positive expected value, this prop must hit at least 3.45% of the time. Given all of these trends and results, that assuredly is the case here. Therefore, Reaves 3PM is an excellent line to take because the long-term value is there.

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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