- Our best free NBA props for Tuesday (3/16) key in on a changing role for Kelly Olynyk
- He and the Miami Heat are home against Cleveland — tip-off at 8:00 PM ET
- The Heats are 9.5-point favorites in a game with a 208.5-point total
We’ve got more free NBA props on tap in what looks like could be a potential mismatch game between these Eastern Conference foes. The Heat have been surging recently after a slow start to the season, while the Cavaliers have been heading in the opposite direction after a surprising start to their season.
The sharpshooting big man has been inconsistent and could find things difficult tonight. My record at Bet the Prop is 9-5 after another free NBA prop article win last night.
Join Bet the Prop for nightly slates of NBA, MLB, NFL (and more!) player props altered to your device — including March Madness props!
Free NBA Props Tonight (3/16)
Heat Forward Kelly Olynyk
Under 19.5 PRA (-120 @ DraftKings)
Kelly Olynyk filled in admirably for Bam Adebayo, who missed four games due to knee tendinitis. Olynyk mustered respectable averages of 16 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists while playing 34 minutes a night as the Heat’s starting center. Bam will be returning to the lineup this evening and Olynyk will slide back to his natural position of power forward and his normal allotment of minutes between 22-26.
- Prior to assuming starting duties, Olynyk had failed to eclipse this total in six straight and only went over one time in his previous 11 games
- The Gonzaga alum averaged just 15.1 PRA over this stretch of games and only scored double digits in just two games
- Olynyk also only exceeded 30 minutes in four of those games
With Miami as healthy as they’ve been all season, it’s safe to assume that Kelly will hover in the low 20-minute range tonight.
He’s also struggled from an efficiency standpoint, averaging both a career-worst field goal percentage and three-point percentage. After connecting on over 40% of shots behind the arc last season, he’s made only 33.8% of his attempts this season, which is even under the NBA average of 36.8%.
Olynyk will face a Cavaliers team that ranks 23rd in defensive efficiency. Cleveland’s struggled to stop anyone, but it’s been opposing guards who have been wreaking the most havoc and taking advantage of the Cavaliers’ non-existent interior defense.
I’m banking on Olynyk being somewhat of an afterthought as Jimmy Butler and company should have no problem scoring inside at will.
Both teams play at a snail’s pace as the Heat rank 25th in possessions per game and the Cavaliers are 21st.
An additional angle I like is the blowout potential — with the Heat checking in as nearly double-digit favorites and Miami’s roster fully healthy and hitting its stride, I think there’s a solid chance they’re are able to put the Cavaliers away in the third quarter, relegating Olynyk to the bench and limiting his minutes.
Olynyk will have his work cut out for him and will be guarded by Larry Nance Jr, who is the Cavs’ best individual defender, ranking rank 14th overall in Defensive Box Plus-Minus. I like Nance to make things difficult on Olynyk and limit three-point attempts.
If Kelly decides to put the ball on the floor, he’ll risk having the ball stolen by the pesky Nance who averages the second-most steals in the league.
There are a lot of angles that I can see this total going under. Between the pace, blowout potential, minimal minutes, Larry Nance, and Olynyk struggling to shoot the ball, this total looks like an uphill climb. I have Olynyk penciled in around 16 PRA tonight.