We got knocked down yesterday thanks to Kyle Lowry fouling out, but we are still 15-7-1 in our last 23 prop NBA picks. Here we are due for two more winning tickets tonight.
Russell Westbrook O/U 10.5 assists
The Thunder head back into San Antonio for a huge Game 5 against the Spurs, and Russell Westbrook is going to have to continue his recent dominance if the Thunder want to win this game on the road. Their loan road win in San Antonio was heaped with controversy during Game 2, but one constant this season no matter if the Thunder win or lose has been Westbrook’s ability to set up his teammates.
Westbrook is averaging just under 11 assists per game during the postseason, which leads all players here in 2016. He dropped 15 dimes on the NBA odds in the Game 4 win, and a pattern is starting to emerge with Westbrook and his assists. Not only is he averaging more assists per game on the road than at home this season, but in games the Thunder have lost this postseason, Westbrook is averaging eight assists per game, and in games the Thunder have won, he is averaging 12.5 assists.
If the Thunder want to win this game, they need Westbrook to be a double-threat on offense. Not only does he need to be setting up Kevin Durant and other teammates with shots of their own, he needs to keep the Spurs defense guessing. He needs to be able to attack the rim and fake the shot and make a pass to keep them honest. He did this in Game 4 where he only had 14 points. Even though his shot wasn’t falling, the Spurs still had to respect him driving to the basket, and this has led to Westbrook leading the rest of the league in the playoffs in assists rate
Assist Percentage is a measure of how many field goals a certain player assists on while he is on the floor. Westbrook leads the rest of the playoffs with an assists rate of 53.8, which means that one out of every two Thunder field goals have Westbrook assisting them. As you can tell, it’s been even higher in their wins, so if the Thunder want to win in this one, they need Westbrook to dish the ball more than he shoots. Westbrook is averaging just under 40 minutes per game in this series, and if he is on the floor for 40 minutes tonight he should get above 10 assists.
My NBA Pick: OVER 10.5 (+100) at Bet365
Tony Parker O/U 21.5 points, rebounds and assists
Handicapping Spurs props is kind of like getting behind the wheel of a 20 year-old car and pushing it to 100 miles per hour. It might work great, or it might break down and make you crash to a fiery death. That’s life with Gregg Popovich as the head coach. However, Tony Parker has actually been running like a jewel over the last two games. He is averaging more than 30 minutes per game for the first time in the playoffs, and he has responded averaging over 20 points per game with four assists and four rebounds per game in his last two.
If he can keep that going here tonight at home, and if Popovich decides to give him above 30 minutes again, Parker’s aggression on offense is similarly important to the Spurs as Westbrook’s is to the Thunder. When Parker is a double-threat on offense for the Spurs, it usually leads to good things. He doesn’t shoot threes much, but he does get into the paint and to the line.
He also has the ability to go for double-digit assists at any time, and at home he has shown that. Parker is averaging an assist about every four minutes at home this postseason, and if he is getting the minutes, his scoring should easily be up there as well. His rebounding is nothing to get excited when selecting your NBA picks, but a couple of those along with his presumed output on offense should be enough to cash the over if he can keep up the scoring he has been putting up over the last two games.
My NBA Pick: OVER 21.5 (-120) at bet365