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NBA Player Props For Play-In Tournament | Apr. 19


Thomas Snodgrass

Updated: Apr 19, 2024

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There are two pivotal matchups in the NBA tonight, with the Chicago Bulls facing the Miami Heat and the Sacramento Kings visiting the New Orleans Pelicans.

Each game is a win-and-in scenario, with both winners clinching the No. 8 seed in their respective conference.

Chicago squared up against Miami four times in the regular season, and the four games were split, each club winning two games.

The Heat lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first Play-In game, but they may have suffered an even bigger loss in the injury to small forward Jimmy Butler.

The Bulls kept their playoff hopes alive with a 15-point win over the Atlanta Hawks in their first playoff contest, with Coby White stealing the show with his 42-point performance.

For a Chicago team that went 39-43 in the regular season, the Eastern Conference No. 8 seed is within reach.

In the Western Conference, the Pelicans defeated the Kings in all five of their regular season meetings.

New Orleans’ power forward Zion Williamson appeared in four of those five contests and averaged 23 points; scoring 25+ in three of those games.

The Pelicans will be without Williamson tonight, so the offensive focus must shift to other trusted scorers.

With a few big injuries opening up opportunities in these critical Play-In matchups, which players will step up?

Let’s take a look at some player props in these two NBA Play-In games, with the best odds as well.

Coby White – PG, Chicago Bulls

I previously mentioned Coby White’s strong performance in the first Play-In game, with White collecting 42 points in a 131-116 Bulls’ victory over the Hawks.

But, White also picked up an impressive nine rebounds and six assists in that contest.

Against the Heat tonight, White should still be leaned on to fill up the stat sheet.

In Chicago’s four games against Miami this season, White averaged 20.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game (32 pts+rebs+asts per game), and that was with former-Heat point guard Kyle Lowry on the other end.

Lowry is now a Philadelphia 76er after being traded away, and Terry Rozier is not expected to play, so it looks like Tyler Herro will now be covering White.

Herro has started at point guard in each of the last five games for Miami, and opposing point guards are averaging 22 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 6.8 assists (35.4 pts+rebs+asts per game).

I’m going to back the hot hand for the Bulls here.

Pick: White – OVER 29.5 Points+Rebounds+Assists

Best Odds: (-115) bet365

Jaime Jaquez – SF, Miami Heat

Who will step up in Jimmy Butler’s absence?

The offensive workload will naturally increase for guys like Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo, but in the Jimmy-Butler-sized gap at small forward, Jaime Jaquez should fill in nicely.

Jaquez has been a promising young role player for the Heat, and nearly every time Miami faced Chicago earlier this year, Jaquez showed some of that promise.

Here’s how Jaquez has fared against the Bulls this season:

Jaquez vs. ChicagoPoints (Shots)Minutes
Nov. 18th6 (2-for-4)27
Nov. 20th19 (8-for-13)33
Dec. 14th22 (6-for-14)34
Dec. 16th18 (8-for-14)35

Jaquez is averaging 16.3 points per game against Chicago this season, and he’s shooting 53%, which is better than his season mark of 48.9%.

With 15 points in only 22 minutes against the Philadelphia 76ers in the previous Play-In game in Philly, Jaquez didn’t seem to be too concerned about the playoff atmosphere.

In front of the home crowd, I’d expect Jaquez to be even more comfortable.

An increase in shot volume should allow Jaquez to easily eclipse his point total.

Pick: Jaquez – OVER 13.5 Points

Best Odds: (-105) FanDuel

Domantas Sabonis – C, Sacramento Kings

As the NBA’s leader in triple-doubles in 2023-24, Sacramento Kings’ center Domantas Sabonis is no stranger to filling up the scoresheet, and tonight against the Pelicans in a do-or-die game, he may be called on for a boatload of minutes.

In New Orleans’ last seven games, they have allowed an average of 24 points and 16.81 rebounds per game to opposing centers, which is 40.8 points and rebounds combined per game.

Considering that Sabonis is one of the best centers in the NBA at dishing out assists, the Kings’ big man could be in for a night of eye-popping numbers.

For a player like Sabonis, the lines on his stat combos are always going to be high, and rightfully so, but with Sacramento’s playoff hopes on the line, I thought the line would be overinflated.

It doesn’t appear to be the case, so I’m willing to back Sabonis to keep doing it all for the Kings.

Williamson won’t be in the frontcourt for New Orleans either, and that should open up some scoring lanes for Sabonis, and for the teammates he’ll be passing to.

Pick: Sabonis – OVER 41.5 Points+Rebounds+Assists

Best Odds: (-104) Caesars

Jonas Valanciunas – C, New Orleans Pelicans

I know I said that Sabonis can do it all, but Sabonis can’t win opening tips very often, and that should give the Pelicans the first possession tonight.

Here’s a look at the opening tip data for the Kings vs. Pelicans game, courtesy of BestOdds EDGE:

New Orleans’ center Jonas Valanciunas has won three of five tips against Sabonis, and he’s won 21% more of his opening jumps.

Sacramento has allowed the highest rate of opposing first baskets to shooting guards (32%), but Pelicans’ shooting guard Herbert Jones is not exactly a prolific first basket scorer.

BestOdds EDGE provides key first basket data for New Orleans’ expected starting five.

Valanciunas and forward Brandon Ingram are tied with the team lead in first baskets made.

If we look past shooting guards, the second-highest scoring position in opposing first baskets against the Kings is centers, which makes Valanciunas an intriguing first basket bet.

Here’s a look at Valanciunas’ early shot data from BestOdds EDGE:

Valanciunas has tallied three first baskets in the last five games, and he can score in different ways, knocking them down from long range or picking up points in the paint.

With no Williamson on the floor tonight, Valanciunas will be the big presence under the rim for the Pelicans, and Valanciunas could make that presence felt early with a high-conversion bucket in the paint to put the first points on the board.

Pick: Valanciunas – To Score the First Basket

Best Odds: (+600) Unibet


About the author

A fan of both the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, which is rare! Thomas provides sports betting content with the intent to educate and enter...

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