NBA Odds: Most Valuable Players To Place Prop Bets On

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 3:58 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 29, 2016 3:58 PM UTC

SBR introduced a new article series about NBA picks & prop bets. This is not a topic your average basketball bettor will spend much time on & the sportsbooks know it.

Most bettors will focus on the side and total, which is where the odds makers spend most of their time. On the day of the game, sportsbooks will release  NBA odds on various proposition wagers, always starting with team related numbers like first quarter and first half spreads, along with Over/Under's on first half points for teams and the game along with other more exotic wagers.

This is followed a bit later by player props where hoops bettors can place wagers on some of the biggest names in the sport and make NBA picks on totals for elements like points, rebounds and assists and often a combination of the three.

I have inquired with experts on both sides of the counter in Las Vegas about why the player props come out last and it is basically split on some saying players props are not as popular as team one's or the books want to limit exposure by time and shorten the window.

Whatever the reason, if you have been following our articles, we have had very good success on all fronts with prop recommendations. Today we would like to share some of the best players to follow for these bets, what strategy to consider and have you understand what oddsmakers are doing.


Best Players to Follow (One Person's Opinion)
This can be a very broad topic of discussion, but we have size restraints and will act accordingly. If you are looking at prop wagers on points, rebounds or assists individually, the players you would be looking at should be among the best at those skills.

For scoring, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins and Damian Lillard is a great place to start. Of course this is where sportsbooks will also focus, thus to gain any edge, you want the total to be at least 205 points, preferably higher, which lends itself to more scoring and likely more chances for these individual players based on possessions and attempts.

You also want to review the players scoring average in his last five to 10 games and compare those with the Over/Under release. If the odds makers has Curry set at 32.5 or 33 points and his scoring average is 30, you would either pass or bet Under, because the number is likely inflated.

Betting assists and rebounds is more challenging, because the numbers are almost always going to be set at season averages and can be more affected by foul trouble or a weaker opponent where Rajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook or John Wall might not be dealing as many dimes if they are sitting out most of the fourth quarter, with the same true of outstanding rebounders has Andre Drummond, DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard. You most certainly would take a look at any of these players for NBA prop wagers in their specialties and just make sure of current form.


Best Players for Best Wager, With Odds Often in Your Favor
The one wager that give you the best chance to win with the right players is the prop - Points-Rebounds -Assists. Here we have modest flexibility and if one segment is a little off, it can recovered by another. For this you need players with multi-dimensional skills, who have the right variety to win such wagers. My personal hot list is listed below in no particular order.

Stephen Curry
DeMarcus Cousins
Damian Lillard
Russell Westbrook
Kevin Durant
Klay Thompson
Draymond Green

Each player excels in two areas and is quite capable in a third. The top six are all very capable scorers. Curry and Thompson both are excellent as passers and can pick off rebounds with their quickness. Westbrook and Lillard regularly assemble strong games in all three departments, while Cousins and Durant are point producers and hit the glass from various positions on the floor. Green is the most versatile performer of this group will often have a lower total because he averages less than 14 points a game, but can put up big numbers a lot of night because of rebounding and assists.

Also, the vast majority of sportsbooks work off season averages to assemble this prop, thus, it is incumbent on you to find numbers on players last 10 games and drill down further to past five and find where the real number should be and take advantage of accordingly.

Because the books spend less time with these numbers, if you want to make more money, spend more time like I and many other sharp bettors do and focus your efforts where the cash can be made following certain players for NBA props.

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