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Thursday’s Best NBA Player Prop Bets: Bank on Giannis

The NBA In-Season Tournament has been great to this point. Even Kevin Durant had great things to say following the Phoenix Suns’ exit. Durant spoke to the media after Tuesday’s loss, saying he “wasn’t a fan” of the idea when it was announced, but he is now a “huge fan,” noting the tournament provided a mid-season playoff atmosphere.

The quarterfinals concluded Tuesday night with the Milwaukee Bucks running the New York Knicks out of the gym. Followed by the Los Angeles Lakers defeating the aforementioned Suns and Durant in a thriller. According to the latest odds, the Milwaukee Bucks are the current favorites to win the In-Season Tournament as we head into the semifinals on Thursday night in Las Vegas. We have two semifinal matchups set to tip off on Thursday, and I’m back to deliver the NBA betting picks for them.

Thursday’s Best NBA Player Prop Bets: Bank on Giannis
Thursday’s Best NBA Player Prop Bets: Bank on Giannis

We are nearly a quarter of the way into the season, so we have some solid trends developing from every team we can get behind. Some teams surprised us early on, and some have struggled more than we expected. There are plenty of player props to select from.

The matchups to decide who will appear in the Final of the In-Season Tournament this Saturday feature the Milwaukee Bucks against the Indiana Pacers, followed by the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans.

The doubleheader tips off early at 5 p.m. ET, where the Bucks (15-6) are 5-point favorites over the Pacers (11-8). The Bucks are riding a nine-game winning streak at home and the first time these two faced off this season, Indiana won a close battle 126-124.

The second game features the Lakers (13-9) against the hungry Pelicans (12-10) at 9 p.m. ET. Los Angeles is currently a 2-point favorite, and this will mark the first meeting between these two teams this season. Last season, the Lakers went 3-1 versus New Orleans, winning both games at home.

The NBA and Adam Silver could not have scripted the tournament much better to this point. LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers are front and center, along with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard. Two franchises that have been stalwarts of elite competition of late will both be challenged by a pair of young, exciting teams.

You may be familiar with my NFL picks, and I handicap the NBA player prop market similarly. My research will always back up the reasoning behind my best NBA bets for tonight. Now that the stage is set let’s dive into Thursday’s best NBA player prop bets. Best of luck if you tail!

Thursday’s Best NBA Player Props

Giannis Antetokounmpo

This line appears astronomically high at first glance, but it isn’t. We have backed the Greek Freak twice this season, and both times he came through for us. I’m confident he will again on Thursday night. He is pretty well rested coming into Thursday’s semifinal as the Bucks blew out the Knicks and he only played 34 minutes. Antetokounmpo finished with 35 points in the win, and I expect a similar performance in a win-or-go-home spot.

The matchup with Indiana is a match made in heaven for the former MVP. The Pacers have allowed the fewest 3-pointers in the NBA, but they have allowed the most points in the paint, and that’s where Antetokounmpo lives. He dropped 54 points in the first meeting between these two teams. The point total for this game is all the way up to 257, and the Bucks and Pacers are both inside the top five in pace.

Antetokounmpo has exceeded this line in three of his last five games, and I expect him to feast against the Pacers’ poor interior defense. Indiana hasn’t shown a lick of effort on the defensive end this season, but I expect the Packers to turn up the intensity just a tiny bit with a trip to the first-ever In-Season Tournament Championship on the line.

If they do, Antetokounmpo will have no issues getting to the free-throw line and rack up some points. He has gone over this line in four of his last five matchups against the Pacers, and it will be five of his last six after to Thursday night. Fire up the birthday boy!

NBA Player Prop: Giannis Antetokounmpo Over 32.5 Points (-193)

CJ McCollum

The Lakers have done an excellent job early on this season keeping opponents out of the paint, mainly due to Anthony Davis protecting the area. Los Angeles also allows the fewest free throw attempts per game. This has led to the Lakers allowing more outside shots and 3-point attempts. The Lakers have allowed the fifth-most three-point attempts per game.

Pelicans veteran point guard CJ McCollum has hit this line in six of nine games this season. The Lakers are allowing the seventh-most points per game to opposing point guards. Since joining the Pelicans, McCollum has hit this line in six of seven matchups versus the Lakers. I expect Los Angeles to key in defensively on Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, which will open the door for McCollum.

NBA Player Prop: CJ McCollum Over 17.5 Points (-130)



Questions Of The Day

Can the Pacers Contain Giannis Antetokounmpo and Deliver a Betting Value Win?

The Pacers’ defense is arguably the worst in the NBA so far this season. It is unlikely they will contain Giannis.

Will LeBron James Reverse His Recent Struggles Against the Pelicans?

LeBron James is in a good position to be the lead facilitator in tonight’s Semifinal. His assists prop line is enticing at its current number.


The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.

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