- We’ve got Nikola Jokic props tonight, for this Friday NBA slate (5/7)
- He and the Nuggets travel to Utah to take on the Jazz — tip-off at 9:00 PM ET
- The Nuggets are 4 point underdogs, with a game total of 217
With ten days left in the NBA regular season, teams are looking to make their final push to climb the standings. Players too, are hoping to put their final stamp on the season.
My favorite player prop of the night resides on the shoulders of the front-runner for MVP. The Nuggets star will look to ride his recent hot streak into battle versus the Western Conference leading Jazz. Nikola Jokic’s point total is in full focus as my best bet.
Editor’s Note: Join Bet the Prop to get player props from NBA, MLB, & more alerted to your device.
Nikola Jokic Props (5/7)
Nuggets Center Nikola Jokic
Over 26.5 Points (-118 @ FanDuel)
Line available at publishing. Playable to over 27.5 points.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already know about Jokic’s brilliance this season. The sixth year pro is averaging a career high 26.4 points per game, an increase of more than 30% versus last year.
The Nuggets reliance on their big man has only increased of late, due to a slew of injuries. The Nuggets are down starting guard Will Barton, backup guards Monte Morris and PJ Dozier, and most notably, the team’s second leading scorer, Jamal Murray. Without Murray on the floor this season, Jokic averages 28.7 points per 35 minutes. In full games without his Canadian counterpart, Jokic has netted 27.8 points per contest.
What’s notable with Jokic’s production is how he remains consistent versus tougher competition. In his last 20 games against top-ten defenses, Jokic is averaging 28.1 points. This brings us to tonight’s matchup, one that Jokic has repeatedly exploited.
The Jazz possess the league’s third rated defense, anchored in the middle by perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate, Rudy Gobert. It’s almost as if someone forgot to tell the Joker though – he’s put up at least 28 points in their last five regular season meetings. This season, he’s scored a combined 82 points in two games versus Utah, with above average usage and efficiency in each matchup.
In general, opposing centers have had surprising success versus the Jazz this season. Utah allows the eleventh most points per game to the position. Joel Embiid and Nikola Vucevic each also sported their own game with 34-plus points against the Jazz.
Like the Nuggets, the Jazz too will be without their starting backcourt tonight, with Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell both shelved with injuries. I expect this game to flow through the Serbian sensation, in a matchup of which Jokic has proven to be more than comfortable. Scoring 30+ points in his last three games versus the elite defenses of the Lakers, Clippers and Knicks, I project that streak to continue tonight in Salt Lake City.