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3 Best NBA Prop Bets for Friday (3/1): Lauri Markkanen, Jrue Holiday, More

Tonight’s search for the best NBA prop bets brings us to an extremely fun seven-game slate.

I say fun because there should be lots of offense, with the lowest over/under currently sitting at 227.5.

We’re coming off a blowout winner on Bojan Bogdanovic, who put up a season-high 35 points and almost doubled his prop total of 18.5 points.

We have three picks for tonight’s slate, starting with rising star Lauri Markkanen, aka The Finnisher. As we’ve seen from previous plays, I love attacking the Hawks’ abysmal defense.

Bulls Power Forward Lauri Markkanen

Over 22.5 points (-114)

Recent Form

Lauri Markkanen turned into a offensive machine in the month of February. In 11 appearances, he averaged 26 points per game (PPG); his previous high in a month was 17.2 ppg.

In this span, he also attempted 18.1 shots in 36.3 minutes per game, which are all season highs. His previous high in shots for a month was 14.9 and for minutes, it was 32.4.

His usage rate (USG%) for the month of February was 26.8% which led the team.

Tonight’s Matchup

The Hawks present a golden opponent for Markkanen. Versus opposing Power Forwards (PFs), the Hawks:

  • Are 26th in defensive efficiency (DEFF)
  • Allow the fourth-most PPG
  • Let up the fifth-highest field goal percentage (FG%)
  • Surrender the eighth-highest three-point percentage (3P%)

On the season, Markkanen ranks 18th in the NBA with 6.6 three-point attempts per game.

Another huge positive for his outlook is that the Hawks starting PF, John Collins, is ranked dead last out 95 PFs in defensive real plus-minus (DRPM).

As a team, the Hawks are horrible on defense as well. They rank last in the league in DEFF and allow the most PPG at 118.3.

They also present us with a huge pace-up spot for Chicago — the Hawks are second in pace, while the Bulls are 21st in pace of play. The over/under for the game is currently at 229.5 and has a spread of two, so oddsmakers are projecting a tight, high-scoring affair.


In one game vs the Hawks this year, Markkanen put up 22 points on 8-16 shooting in 34 minutes, which is close to our mark of 22.5. However, in this game, with a slight boost to his shot attempts and minutes played, all signs point to the big Finn eclipsing his point total.

I’d play this up to 22.5/-130.

Pelicans PF/C Julius Randle

Over 21.5 Points (-118)

Shop around on this prop — some books have it at 21.5 (-114), while others have it at 22.5 (-125).

Over the past three games, Julius Randle is averaging 26 PPG on 19.7 shots in 37.3 minutes, so he comes into this matchup in great form. He’s also coming off a 35 point performance.

Tonight, he gets an awesome matchup vs the Suns. Phoenix allows:

  • The most PPG
  • 10th-highest FG%
  • And the most FTA per game, while rank 29th in DEFF to opposing centers

Randle will also matchup with DeAndre Ayton, who ranks 54th out of 65 Cs in DRPM.

Pelicans SG Jrue Holiday

Over 19.5 Points (-114)

Over his past three, Jrue Holiday is averaging 22.67 PPG on 17.7 shots in 34.3 minutes.

Just like his teammate, Julius Randle, Holiday has a stellar matchup against the Suns. To opposing shooting guards, the Suns allow:

  • The second-most PPG
  • The highest field goal percentage
  • The highest 3P%
  • And the third-most FTAs per game, while ranking last in DEFF

You’d be hard pressed to find a matchup better than that.

Randle and Holiday both scored close to tonight’s prop totals in their previous games against the Suns. However, that was when Anthony Davis was given a full allotment of minutes; he’s now on a 20-25 minute-per-game restriction, opening up value on our two guys.

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