We have 4 hard working teams in the NBA tonight that are star-filled.The Houston Rockets vs. the Los Angeles Clippers and the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Chicago Bulls are all tied at 1-1 and have major motivation. Let's take advantage of that motivation with our player prop picks.
I'm focused on the two best players in these games in LeBron James and James Harden. If you recall, in my last article, I stated that James would go off and make a statement being down 1-0 and he did. Now, we're also focused on Matt Barnes comments about James Harden's mother. I expect Harden to take his anger out on the court.
Total Points For James Harden?
Over 28.5 -135
Under 28.5 +105
Harden has two things to be mad about. He lost the league MVP Award to Stephen Curry and Matt Barnes talking about his mother. Harden isn't very vocal, but he expressed is displeasure with the comments by Barnes. Normally, I scrutinize the statistics, but there's nothing to examine here. Motivation will elevate Harden's game into a 30 plus point effort.
NBA Playoffs Props Pick- Over 28.5 -135
Total Rebounds For James Harden
Over 5 -115
Under 5 -115
Harden hasn't been a big rebounder in the last couple of series. In his last 7 games, he's had 7 rebounds or less in each game. Although super-motivated to stick it to L.A. I have to stick with this trend and take the under with my NBA picks. Worst case scenario is a push.
NBA Playoffs Props Pick- Under 5 -115
Total Rebounds + Assists + Points For James Harden
Over 41.5 -135
Under 41.5 +105
It simply doesn't matter if Harden doesn't dominate on the boards. His point total alone will make up for the lack of rebounds and he needs his teammates to play well also and will get them involved. Over is the easy bet for this prop as Harden isn't afraid to pass up a shot if it benefits the team.
NBA Playoffs Props Pick- Over 41.5 -135
Will LeBron James Record a Double Double?
Of course it will be close, but I like the value as James vowed to be more aggressive last game and did just that. It's simple; when LeBron James looks for his offense, the Cavs are more apt to be successful. I expect him to look to score. In return, his rebounding and assists will be slightly less. LebBron will come up just short of a double double while having another high point output.
NBA Playoffs Props Pick- No +160
Total Points For Derrick Rose
Over 19.5 -150
Under 19.5 +120
I'm very surprised by these NBA odds as I see Rose as an unmotivated, underachiever that really doesn't want to play basketball. Rose has all of the talent in the world, but injuries have affected him mentally along with physically. He's managed 15 points or less in 4 out of his last 5 games. This appears to be an easy under with a great price when Chicago has other sources of offense such as Jimmy Butler and Pau Gasol. Under is the play.
NBA Playoffs Props Pick- Under 19.5 +120 at Bovada