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NBA Player Props For Play-In Tournament | Apr. 16


Thomas Snodgrass

Updated: Apr 16, 2024

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The NBA Play-In Tournament starts tonight, with the No. 7 New Orleans Pelicans hosting the No. 8 Los Angeles Lakers and the No. 7 Sacramento Kings hosting the No. 8 Golden State Warriors.

Each team that finished No. 1 through No. 6 in their conference standings are guaranteed a playoff spot, but the clubs that settled at No. 7 through No. 10 must duke it out in a Play-In Tournament.

For those that are wondering how the Play-In Tournament works, it works like this:

  • In each conference, the No. 7 seed will host the No. 8 seed, with the winner of this contest receiving the official No. 7 spot in the playoff picture. The loser of this contest will have another shot to clinch a spot in the playoff picture.
  • Then, the No. 9 seeds will host the No. 10 seeds, with the winner moving on to face the loser of the No. 7 vs. No. 8 matches. The losers are eliminated.
  • Finally, the losers of the No. 7 vs. No. 8 matchups will host the winners of the No. 9 vs. No. 10 matchups. The winners of these final contests will clinch the official No. 8 seeds for their respective conference, while the loser is eliminated.

So, for tonight’s matches, neither loser will be eliminated, but it’s certainly not how any club would like to begin their NBA playoff journey.

For these four squads taking the floor tonight, a chance to extend their playoff hopes should be more than enough motivation for players to step up their game.

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

Anthony Davis – C, Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers and Pelicans just went head-to-head down in the Big Easy on April 14th, the final day of the regular season, and these two will kick off the Play-In Tournament on Tuesday night.

Los Angeles won that final regular season contest, 124-108, and in doing so, Lakers’ center Anthony Davis tallied a team-high 30 points and 11 rebounds.

I’m expecting another strong showing from the former Pelican big man in this matchup, too.

Here’s how opposing centers have fared against New Orleans over the final eight games in April:

Pelicans’ Final 8 GamesOpposing CenterCenters’ Results
Apr. 1 vs. PHXJusuf Nurkic19 pts, 19 rebs
Apr. 3 vs. ORLWendell Carter Jr.14 pts, 11 rebs
Apr. 5 vs. SASVictor Wembanyama17 pts, 12 rebs
Apr. 7 vs. PHXJusuf Nurkic6 pts, 10 rebs
Apr. 9 vs. PORDeAndre Ayton30 pts, 13 rebs
Apr. 11 vs. SACDomantas Sabonis18 pts, 10 rebs
Apr. 12 vs. GSTrayce Jackson-Davis10 pts, 11 rebs
Apr. 14 vs. LALAnthony Davis30 pts, 11 rebs

That’s seven double-doubles in eight games from opposing centers, with an average of 18 points and 12.1 rebounds per game.

In total, that equates to 30.1 points and rebounds combined per game.

Davis has the ability to go for 30+ points alone, so eclipsing 37.5 points and rebounds combined doesn’t seem all that far-fetched for Los Angeles’ center.

Pick: Davis – OVER 37.5 Points+Rebounds

Best Odds: (-112) DraftKings

CJ McCollum – PG, New Orleans Pelicans

Pelicans’ point guard CJ McCollum averaged just 4.6 assists per game this season, so many may not consider him a great passer, but he’s passed the ball well in a few contests against the Lakers earlier this year, including a seven-assist game in the regular season finale and a nine-assist night against Los Angeles on New Year’s Eve.

He may not have Tyrese Haliburton’s assist numbers, but McCollum knows how to move the ball around pretty well.

In each of the Lakers’ final four games of the season, they allowed at least six or more assists from each of their opposing point guards, including Scotty Pippen Jr. of the Memphis Grizzlies collecting six dimes.

If Pippen Jr. can find the open man on the floor that many times against LA, then I believe McCollum can assist the Pelicans offense in this first Play-In game.

Pick: McCollum – OVER 5.5 Assists

Best Odds: (+128) FanDuel

Domantas Sabonis – C, Sacramento Kings

Domantas Sabonis has been a double-double machine this season, recently ending a 61-game double-double streak.

Tonight, against the Golden State Warriors, Sabonis will have the extra motivation of a Play-In contest to push his game to the next level.

If Sabonis can take his game up a notch, then I believe he’s got an opportunity at a triple-double.

Fun Fact: Sabonis led the NBA in triple-doubles this season with 26.

Golden State has allowed 23.74 points, 14.43 rebounds and 4.83 assists per game this season to opposing centers; the 4.83 assists were the most allowed to centers in the NBA.

Sabonis collecting at least 10 points and 10 rebounds is certainly within reach. The biggest stretch may be totaling 10 or more assists.

Of all centers in the NBA, Sabonis averaged 8.2 assists per game, with only Nikola Jokic of the Nuggets picking up more dimes (9.0 apg).

So, maybe Sabonis dishing out 10 assists isn’t much of a stretch after all? 

Pick: Sabonis – To Record a Triple-Double

Best Odds: (+210) BetMGM

Klay Thompson – SG, Golden State Warriors

Although I just mentioned that Domantas Sabonis can do a lot on the court, he can’t really win opening tips.

Sabonis has won an abysmal 28% of his opening tips this season.

Sabonis could go up against one of those inflatable tube men from a car dealership at midcourt and somehow the inflatable tube man could win the tip.

If the Warriors can gain control of the first possession, as I suspect they might, Klay Thompson could be an interesting option for a first basket bet.

The defensive first basket data at BestOdds EDGE shows us that opposing shooting guards have been more likely to knock down the first basket against the Kings than any other position on the floor.

Sacramento’s 31% first basket percentage allowed to shooting guards was the highest such mark in the NBA.

Of the five or so players that could be in Steve Kerr’s starting lineup tonight, Thompson actually holds the second-highest percentage of first field goal attempts.

Small forward Andrew Wiggins’ 37% first FGA% is No. 1 on the Warriors.

Wiggins may have taken a bunch of early shots in the regular season, but I have a hunch that says the offensive workload will fall heavily on both Thompson and Steph Curry, possibly as early as the first minute.

The winner of this game gets the No. 7 seed, and I expect that pressure to be applied to Golden State’s top scorers.

Thompson has taken plenty of first shots, but he has mostly attempted three-pointers, which naturally has a lower chance of conversion.

As we can see from BestOdds EDGE, those early shots keep on coming, and it’s just a matter of time before Thompson puts the first points on the board once again.

The Kings’ defense had a 38.7% opponent three-point percentage, the second-worst in the NBA (Utah was the worst, 39.5% opp. 3pt%).

Tonight’s the night for Klay to get the Warriors the first basket.

Pick: Thompson – To Score the First Basket

Best Odds: (+775) BetMGM


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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