If you’re interested in NBA Player Props, check out our picks for the best bet to lead the league in points per game, as there are a number of candidates. As we handicap the odds, you may notice a key player missing.
1. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
NBA Odds: 11/4
In most seasons, you know which players are going to be at the top of the list when per-game scoring averages come up for discussion. LeBron James is at the head of the list. There is a devil’s advocate case to be made for LeBron in that the Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t going to struggle on offense the way the Miami Heat did at times last season. With Dwyane Wade being injured or resting for long periods of time, LeBron had to dominate the ball a lot more and therefore carry the Heat’s offense. This is not going to be the same situation in Cleveland, where the Cavaliers are in position to be a much more potent offensive team. Cleveland will be an offensive powerhouse, whereas the Heat always put their trust in a defensive approach. LeBron might defer to teammates, something he’s done before. He could allow Kevin Love to do a lot more scoring while he focuses on distributing the ball. Yet, who are we kidding? Cleveland’s going to score a ton of points, and LeBron will probably score most of them. That’s a lot.
2. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
NBA Odds: 2/1 at Bovada
This is the probable second choice for the coming season and this is so because Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder is going to miss about a month with an injury. It’s true that Durant’s per-game average might not be hurt that much in the games he winds up playing, but there’s probably going to be a period of at least a week, and maybe two weeks, in which Durant is not playing the way he should be playing. Those few weeks could be all it takes to leave Durant in third or fourth place while Carmelo Anthony rises to the second spot and makes a hard charge at the MVP award, much as he did in 2013. It’s going to be pointed out by many that the New York Knicks aren’t going to be great, just as they were in 2013. The team is not likely to win over 50 games. It’s not even likely to win 45 games. However, Melo could certainly toss in a lot of points as the Knicks adjust to a new offensive system and require someone to fill in the gap. Melo’s going to do what he always does, even if the specifics of this year’s Knicks team and coaching staff are going to be different.
3. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
NBA Odds: 25/1
The reality of Kevin Durant being a prime candidate does not change but Durant’s standing on the list might be fourth, with this player being third. Blake Griffin has been very impressive in the preseason. Although he’s never shot better than 38% from mid-range, he’s been dialed in – even hitting threes. He is shooting his medium-range jumper better than ever. He’s on a Los Angeles Clipper team that is energized and ready to put a lot of off-court distractions behind it as it chases a first conference title and a first franchise appearance in the NBA Finals, the goals of the organization this season. Griffin has Chris Paul with him in the backcourt, which means he’s going to get a lot of passes in good spots. He’s all set up to have a huge scoring season, and we are keeping our eye on him for future NBA picks.