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NBA Player Props: Fading Totals for Four Stars

Our last NBA Player Props piece went bust. That’s what happens when you predict the arbitrary stats of role players. Going back to star players, we can easily guess what they’ll contribute. Though the stars do most of the heavy lifting, they can’t do it all.

The NBA betting lines continue to set lofty stats for several star players. Bank on them not living up to some of these.

Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets shoots against the Portland Trail Blazers
Steph Chambers/Getty Images/AFP

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Tobias Harris: Cooling Off

Tobias Harris has consistently been the second-best player on the Philadelphia 76ers. He’s averaging 23.9 points and 9.4 rebounds while shooting 52.7% from the field. Against Atlanta, he’s shot 59.4% despite making just one of his five 3-point attempts.

Like most non-superstars in the league, his play dips a bit when he’s away from home. Harris’s overall shooting declines from a 61% true shooting percent (TS%) at home to 58.6% on the road as does his scoring a bit. He’s overdue for a subpar game and Atlanta will help make that happen.

Pick: Tobias Harris (PHI) Total Points – Under 20½ Points (-115)

Bogdan Bogdanovic: Shoot First

The Serbian is many things: a scorer, a playmaker, but most of all, a shooter. As the Hawks’ main shooter outside of Trae Young, that’s what he’ll be focusing on. He’s averaging 3.7 assists overall but was averaging 4.8 assists in the last four games prior to Game 2.

A lot of the Hawks’ success depends on how well Bogdanovic can go in handling secondary playmaking duties. But he’s overachieved in that category and should stick to his roots in this one: shooting the rock and helping the Hawks notch their most emphatic win of the series.

Pick: Bogdan Bogdanovic (ATL) Total Assists – Under 3½ Assists (-135)

Chris Paul: Good Things Must Come to an End

The public is betting on Chris Paul to finally cool off following his unbelievable three-game streak of averaging double-digit assists and one or fewer turnovers. Prior to this, Paul averaged just 6.8 assists and had three games where he had six or fewer dimes.

Paul is actually averaging more assists on the road (9.2) than at home (8.6). Denver also plays slightly better defense at home and the hot shooting from Phoenix could freeze. Expect Paul and Phoenix to still maintain their efficient offense, but Paul’s assist totals will finally come back to earth.

Pick: Chris Paul (PHX) Total Assists – Under 10½ Assists (-140)

Nikola Jokic: Beast Mode

Here’s a surprising stat: Nikola Jokic is only averaging 4.5 assists in the playoffs. Considering he averaged 6.5 assists in the final 15 games of the regular season, it’s not crazy. The newly minted NBA MVP has transitioned from a playmaker to a scorer partly due to his running mate, Jamal Murray’s injury.

What’s been inspiring has been his scoring dominance. Jokic is averaging 30.5 points with a 516/419/905 shooting line. With his team down 0-2 with few reliable scoring options outside of Michael Porter Jr., bet on Jokic to keep looking to score first.

Pick: Nikola Jokic (DEN) Total Assists – Under 6½ Assists (+105)

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