- Our best NBA playoff props hail from Tuesday’s (8/18) four-game playoff slate
- We’ll break down the Over/Under line of 20.5 PRA for Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez
- We kicked off the playoffs with a 5-1 record in NBA props last night, including this free winner — join us here to get full daily slates of NBA player props
Our focus shifts towards a matchup between the Orlando Magic and Milwaukee Bucks. The Magic enter the series as heavy underdogs (+2000) against the Bucks (-10000), who are odds-on favorites to emerge from the Eastern Conference.
Although most expect the Bucks to dominate in their opening match, I’ve bucked the betting trend and identified a fade play on Milwaukee that appears to be great value for this game.
Since the restart, I’m 3-2 on article plays; overall, I’m 16-9 for our Bet the Prop clients. Follow me on Twitter and let’s get into today’s play.
NBA Props Predictions for Tonight (8/18)
Bucks Center Brook Lopez
Under 20.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists (-108 @ Fan Duel)
Alternate line: Under 21.5 PRA (-130 @ Pinnacle)
Lopez will enter his second playoff campaign in a Bucks uniform, following another great season in which he was able to put up consistent numbers across the board.
Coming in, he’s averaging 12.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.5 assists (18.1 PRA), in 26.7 minutes. He’s been hot during the restart, averaging 20.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 0.6 assists (26.7 PRA), in the bubble. On the back of this, the bookmakers have been quick to set his PRA line at 20.5.
However, I believe there is good reason to take the ‘under’ here.
Historically, Lopez has struggled against the ‘big-men’ of the Magic, who have had tremendous success smothering his output.
- Against opposition centers, the Magic rank 15th, 12th and 16th respectively for points, rebounds and assists allowed.
- In his four encounters against them this season, Lopez has averaged just 11.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 0.8 assists (15.1 PRA).
That’s a 19.9% drop-off compared to his numbers against all teams, and it was even worse last year, averaging 9.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 0.3 assists (12.9 PRA), across three games. Lopez failed to clear the line in any of those games, experiencing a 44.2% drop-off from his regular season PRA pace.
During last year’s playoff campaign, Lopez averaged 22.32 PRA per 36 minutes, 4.5% down from his regular season production of 23.32 PRA per 36 minutes.
The Magic also play at the sixth slowest pace. Given that the Bucks hold the fastest pace, I’d expect the Magic to do everything they can to turn this into a tight and low scoring grind, which could impact Lopez’s output.
Please note, Aaron Gordon, is listed as ‘questionable’ for this match – due to a hamstring injury. However, even if Gordon fails to get up, I still back the duo of Nikola Vucevic and Khem Birch to nullify Lopez in this contest.
I would play this down to 19.5 PRA, and at this line of 20.5, would pay as much as -130.