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Thursday’s Best NBA Player Props: Conley, Lillard Top Picks

If you thought the NFL season flew by, just wait until you learn that the NBA season is two-thirds of the way through and it’s already time for NBA All-Star weekend. Thursday is the final day before the break. Teams will enjoy an entire week off before they return to complete the season’s final two months. The NBA title odds favor the Celtics, Nuggets and Clippers, but things could change drastically before the season’s end.

Wagering on player props the week heading into the break is tricky because some players are already thinking about Cancun. With that in mind, I’m back breaking down Thursday’s three-game slate and looking to cash a sweep with my best NBA props bets.

Thursday’s Best NBA Player Props: Conley, Lillard Top Picks
Thursday’s Best NBA Player Props: Conley, Lillard Top Picks


Wednesday’s NBA Recap

The Warriors and Clippers matchup did not disappoint. Paul George and the Clippers stormed back from a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat Golden State. Zion Williamson scored 36 points in the Pelicans’ win over the Wizards. The Suns’ surge continues as they coasted by the Pistons and are inching closer to the top four in the standings out West.

The Boston Celtics improved on their lead at the top of the East with a 136-86 win over the Nets. Boston owns the best record in the NBA with a 43-12 record.

Entering the break, we saw some surprising upsets. The Hornets beat down the Hawks. The undermanned Grizzlies defeated the Rockets and the Kings took down the defending champs 102-98 on the road.

A few other squads enter the break on a high note. Most notably, the Mavericks and the Lakers, who have won six of their last seven, including defeating the Spurs and Jazz, respectively, last night. Strong performances by Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis led the way.

Thursday night’s schedule has just three matchups on the calendar. The Memphis Grizzlies will host the Milwaukee Bucks on TNT. The Bucks are eager to get back on track and gain some momentum before the All-Star break. Meanwhile, we have two Western Conference matchups when Anthony Edwards leads the Minnesota Timberwolves against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Warriors and Jazz will make up their game from Jan. 17.

There are a handful of player props to select from for Thursday’s games, and I’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. Let’s get to the best NBA bets tonight.


Best NBA Player Props Today


1. Timberwolves PG Mike Conley Over 6½ Assists (-108)

This is one of those strange scheduling spots when teams face one another in back-to-back games without traveling. Minnesota owns the top spot in the standings out West, and I expect the Timberwolves to want to extend that lead with another win before the break. Mike Conley is the floor general for Minnesota. He’s averaging 6.5 assists and has at least six assists in six consecutive games. He’s recorded 6, 7, 9, 8, 9 and 9 assists over this span.

He has recorded 6, 10, 6 and 10 assists in his last four meetings with the Blazers. Portland is allowing the ninth-most assists per game. I like the odds we’re getting here. You can count on Conley.


2. Warriors PF Jonathan Kuminga Over 19½ Points (-115)

Golden State’s Jonathan Kuminga let us down the last time, but I will trust him again. In his third season, Kuminga is finally beginning to take flight. He has scored at least 20 points in 10 of his last 15 games. Utah is a very generous defense. The Jazz are allowing the third-most points per game to opposing power forwards (26.3) and the most fastbreak points per game (18.0). This is significant because Kuminga brings the athleticism that Golden State desperately needs and leads the team in fastbreak points per game.

This is a bad spot for Golden State, playing on the back end of a back-to-back with travel and in altitude. However, I think we can count on Kuminga with our NBA picks tonight because he has seen a 17% increase in usage over the last month. He’s the young gun in the starting lineup at just 21 years old, so he won’t have tired legs like some of the elder statesmen on the Warriors.


3. Bucks PG Damian Lillard Over 2 ½ Threes Made (-173)

This is the third game in four nights for the Milwaukee Bucks, and they have had to travel down to Memphis for Thursday’s matchup. The Bucks desperately need a win to go into the break on a positive after a bumpy season to this point. I believe this is a good buy-low spot on Lillard. He has failed to knock down more than two shots from beyond the arc in four consecutive games despite averaging seven 3-point attempts per game over this time.

This Grizzlies squad looks completely different right now because they are down a ton of bodies, but Lillard has a strong history against Memphis. He has knocked down at least three shots from downtown in four consecutive matchups with Memphis, including his last two times on the road. The Grizz are bottom-half in 3-pointers allowed per game and allow the seventh-highest 3-point percentage. The Bucks will be without Khris Middleton again, and Lillard is averaging 9.5 3-point attempts without him compared to 8.1 when Middleton is on the floor. I expect Lillard to light it up.



Questions Of The Day

Who will be the player of the game between the Warriors and Jazz?

Steph Curry has the best chance to be the player of the game in the matchup with the Jazz, who have struggled all season defending 3-pointers.

What is a value prop bet on Thursday night?

Take Minnesota PG Mike Conley over 6.5 assists.

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