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NBA Player Props: Houston, We Have a Christian Wood Problem

  • The first full-slate of the NBA player props is here, and I’ll tell you how play on Christian Wood’s Over/Under of 8.5 rebounds
  • He and the Houston Rockets open their season versus the Oklahoma City Thunder — tip-off at 8:00 PM ET
  • The Rockets are 7.5-point favorites in a game with a 225.5-point total

Tip-off is here, and we’re excited to bring you full slates of NBA player props daily, including this +EV angle on an up-and-coming big man. Houston returns to its past ways of using an actual center in their lineup, and Wood is going to flourish when given the opportunity. 

Let’s take a look at why his rebounding total is a little low. We got off on the right foot with a winner for you on opening night, so let’s make it two. 

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NBA Player Props for 12/23

Rockets Center Christian Wood

Over 8.5 Rebounds (-110 @ FanDuel)

Wood makes his Houston Rockets regular-season debut, and he screams Clint Capela 2.0 to me. Wood is a unique talent that will fill the center position out a little better than P.J. Tucker did last season.

Wood only played in one preseason game with Houston; here are a few highlights from his double-double — 27 points and 10 rebounds.

Oklahoma City has allowed 54.0 rebounds per game, the second-most in the preseason.

The Thunder are surely missing Steven Adams in the paint and allowed the third-most second-chance points in the preseason(17.7), putting Wood in-line for offensive boards and putbacks.

2019-2020 Rewind

With Detroit last year:

  • Wood played at least 30 minutes in 13 of his final 16 games
  • Averaged 6.3 rebounds on the season but 9.1 over his final 16 games
  • In his 12 starts, he averaged 9.4 rebounds per game

In two meetings with OKC, he averaged 28.0 points and 10.5 rebounds, going over his 8.5 rebound total in both contests. He was on a tear to finish the season, averaging 26.6 points and 9.4 rebounds in 37.0 minutes per game. 

Wood is an exceptional scorer too, but with the uncertainty around how much he can score alongside James Harden and John Wall, I’m more confident in his rebounding total. The Thunder will experience a drastic drop-off in rebounding after finishing 12th with 44.8 rebounds allowed per game and 42.9 themselves (23rd). 

Houston will start Tucker at power forward and Wood at center. Their listed backups are DeMarcus Cousins and Bruno Caboclo, so I’m expecting a ton of minutes from Wood, upwards of 35+ in his first game with Houston.

When he played 35 minutes in 2020, not 2019 with Detroit, he averaged 10.3 rebounds per game.

Conclusion

I’m expecting Wood to see enough minutes to hit the over and earn his first double-double with the Rockets.

The Thunder are rolling out Daris Bazley and Al Horford at power forward and center; expect Wood to use his athleticism and torment the 34-year-old Horford on the boards.

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