Today we’re taking a look at the best NBA player props of the week. These props involve predictions regarding the NBA playoffs and I think we can find some value here. Different sportsbooks offer a variety of player props so let’s shop around and see what we can find.
Dennis Schroeder to Win 6th Man of the Year
While I don’t love Schroeder’s price at -220, I think this is an absolute lock. First of all, before I state the case for Schroeder, let’s look at the competition. Montrezl Harrell is second in terms of price at +190 with Lou Williams at +450 in third place. While both Harrell and Williams are both worthy nominees, they essentially cancel each other out. They’ve both excellent players, if the Clippers lost either one of them, they’d still be a playoff team.
I’m not sure you can say the same about the Thunder. I believe that Schroeder is one of many reasons they’ve exceeded their preseason expectations. Going into the season, not many people were high on the Thunder or Schroeder for that matter. After being given the reigns in Atlanta as a youngster, his career has been trending down with last year probably being his worst season.
Instead, Schroeder who is still only 26, put the basketball world on notice that he is still a force to be reckoned with. For those of you that think I’m exaggerating the fact that OKC probably wouldn’t be a playoff team without Schroeder, please keep in mind that he leads the team in field goal attempts. In the past, that might have been a problem considering he is a career 43% shooter coming off a season last year where his field goal percentage was 41% (his lowest since his rookie year). Instead he is shooting a career high 47% despite the fact that this is taking the 2nd most shots per game of his career. He is having career highs this year in field goal percentage, 3-point percentage, and rebounds.
Chris Paul made the western conference All-Star team this season. If you look at their numbers, they play the same amount of minutes yet Schroeder averages more points. The point that I’m trying to make is no 6th man in the NBA is as crucial to his team’s success as Dennis Schroeder. When you combine that with the fact that the Thunder were expected to be a lottery team, Schroeder’s contributions this season will see him walk away with the 6th Man of the Year trophy which is why I’ll take it even at -220 over at Bovada.
NBA Most Improved Player
The leading candidate for NBA Most Improved Player is Bam Adebayo at the moment but he will have some competition. I think Brandon Ingram has value at +250 over at Bovada. Other than the fact that Adebayo is not an overwhelming favorite, there is a scenario where the Heat don’t perform that well when play restarts while the Pelicans could still make the playoffs. If Brandom Ingram goes on a tear in these last 8 games, I think the decision by voters will be a lot more difficult than some may think.
When the Pelicans got Brandon Ingram as part of the Anthony Davis trade, there were quite a few people that thought the Lakers kept their best young player in the process. Fast forward a year later and it is clear that Brandon Ingram is better than Kyle Kuzma. Not to say that Kuzma has hit his ceiling and can’t improve. All you have to do is imaging Ingram on the Lakers instead of Kuzma and you begin to realize that they would be overwhelming favorites if that were the case.
Remember, last year Ingram averaged 18 pts per game on 49% shooting. The big difference for him this year is the outside shooting. In three seasons as a Laker, Ingram took 2 threes a game and shot 33%. In his one year in New Orleans, he took 6.3 a game and shot 39% from long range. That saw his average shoot up from 18 to 24 per game which was good enough to earn him a spot on the western conference All-Star team.
Make no mistake about it, Zion might get most of the attention but on offense, this team is built around Ingram. The best part for the Pelicans is that Zion is probably ok with that for now. His game is far from complete and it will be easier to figure out who he is as a player while letting Ingram shoulder the offensive load. This is a 1-2 punch that has a ton of potential moving forward. In the present tense, Ingram has what it takes to pass Bam Adebayo and win NBA Most Improved Player. While time might not be on Ingram’s side, I still like the price at +250.