Prop bet #1: Rocket launcher
At first glance, this price looks a little high for Sengun with his assists prop trading at 5.5. Alperen Sengun odds usually grab my attention when trading at 4.5, but there are multiple reasons for this, and the price of 5.5 (+112) actually should be shorter.
The Houston Rockets will be without Fred VanVleet on Friday against the Toronto Raptors, and VanVleet is a ball-dominant, high-assist type of player. Not only should we see more touches for Sengun with VanVleet out and the offense running through him, but I also love what adding Amen Thompson to the lineup does for Sengun’s assists prop.
When Sengun makes a pass to VanVleet, the potential assist is usually for a jump shot. Thompson, on the other hand, is a player who will make cuts to the basket and play above the rim. A dunk converts at a much higher clip than a 3-point shot. Another reason that I think this price should be shorter than the +112 that we’re able to bet on at FanDuel is specifically tied to the matchup with the Raptors.
Jakob Poeltl loves to play a deep drop on defense. This means regardless of who handles the ball in the pick and roll, the Rockets will be able to hit Sengun on the pocket pass going towards the rim, and he will either be able to score or create for his teammates. Sengun consistently catching this pocket pass against the Raptors’ defense should open the door to plenty of high-value potential assists at the rim.
Sengun is projected to have 6.2 assists on Friday against the Raptors, which allows us to price the Over 5.5 assists at -130, but it is available at FanDuel at +112. Based on this projection, this bet is showing a positive expected value of 20%.
Alperen Sengun prop: Over 5.5 assists (+112 at FanDuel)
Prop bet #2: Locksmith
With VanVleet out and the Rockets playing against the Raptors, Jabari Smith Jr. odds should not be trading with a total of 12.5 points. This number should be higher than normal for Smith given the injury to VanVleet and the matchup with the Raptors, but we’re seeing the opposite for Smith. That’s fine; we will gladly bet this into place for the sportsbooks.
When you look at Smith’s recent box scores, I think we’re seeing some recent blowouts affecting his points total and keeping it at a number that we have an edge on.
Smith missed four games in a row, and since coming back, in three of the five games, he’s played sub-24 minutes and went way Under his points prop in those games. This recent statistical output by Smith is keeping his points total down at 12.5, but Smith’s minutes weren’t down because he was playing like Jordan Poole; all of these games were 20-plus point blowouts. The Rockets’ game on Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers was very competitive, and Smith played 40 minutes and scored 20 points on 15 attempts from the field.
With VanVleet out of the lineup, the Rockets will look to lean on Smith even more for his scoring. VanVleet is a high-assist player, but he can also shoot. His replacement, Thompson, is much more strictly someone who creates offense for others and will be looking to create open jumpers for Smith.
Smith is projected to score 14.7 points on Friday against the Raptors, which allows us to price the Over 12.5 points at -160, but it is trading at -115 at FanDuel. I’ll be shocked if this line doesn’t get to 13.5 throughout the day on Friday. Our same projection of 14.7 points prices the Over 13.5 at -124.
Jabari Smith Jr. prop: Over 12.5 points (-115 at FanDuel)
Prop bet #3: Young money
Let’s face it, convincing everyone to bet on an Over for Young’s assists prop is pretty easy. Young is one of the league leaders, averaging 10.9 assists per game, and is elite at creating shots for his Hawks teammates. So why are we playing the Over against the 76ers, and why is the 10.5 (+105) a price point we should be attacking?
Who on the 76ers is going to meet Young at the point of attack and slow him down from penetrating the lane and creating for his teammates? De’Anthony Melton is still injured, and the 76ers just traded Patrick Beverley and Jaden Springer at the trade deadline. Young could have a field day getting to wherever he wants on the court against the 76ers, but the advantages don’t stop there.
With no Joel Embiid protecting the rim, and Young playing alongside Onyeka Okongwu and Jalen Johnson, who can play above the rim and are lob threats, the potential assists for Young against the 76ers could begin to convert at a really high rate.
In the two games that Young has played against the 76ers this season, he is averaging 20 potential assists per game and 12 assists per game. Now eliminate some of the best 76ers defenders from the equation, and the 10.5 (+105) begins to look very enticing for Young.
I also think Dejounte Murray has an advantage with his assists prop for the same reasons that Young does, but Murray strikes me as someone who might turn this into more shots than passes against the 76ers defense. Where I could see Young just having a blast setting up dunk after dunk for Okongwu and Johnson.
Young is projected to drop 11.3 dimes on Friday against the 76ers, which allows us to price the Over 10.5 assists at -130, but it is trading at +105 at BetMGM. Based on this projection, these Trae Young odds show a positive expected value of 16%.
Trae Young prop: Over 10.5 assists (+105 at BetMGM)