We have a very small three-game slate on deck with All-Star Weekend ready to kick off, and my best NBA prop bet for tonight features a player who would be in MVP contention in any other season.
However, that honor more than likely belongs to James Harden, who is scoring the most points per game (PPG) since Rick Barry in 1966-1967.
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Thunder SG/SF Paul George
Over 32.5 points (-114 @ BetOnline)
George has been on absolute fire over his past eight games:
- He’s gone over 30 points in seven of his last eight games
- The only reason he didn’t make it a perfect eight of eight was because he only played 3:42 minutes in the 4Q vs Memphis.
- In this span, he’s averaging 38.9 PPG, while attempting 23.1, with 13 of them coming from behind the arc
- He’s also averaging 7.1 free throw attempts (FTA) on the season, the eighth most per game in the NBA
Matchup vs Position Analysis
George has a dream matchup against the Pelicans.
Versus small forwards (SF), New Orleans’ ranks last in the NBA in defensive efficiency (DEFF), letting up the second-most PPG, and the fifth-most three point attempts per game. They’re also tied for allowing the third-most FTA per game to opposing small forwards (SF).
Head to Head Matchup
The Pelicans have been rotating a lot of different players at the SF position, and although George is a hybrid SG/SF, I think he’ll see majority of minutes at SF.
Here’s where some of the Pelicans wing-defenders ranks in defensive real plus-minus (DRPM):
- Kenrich Williams (26th out of 107 SGs)
- Darius Miller (77th out of 88 SFs)
- Solomon Hill (63rd out of 88 SFs)
Matchup vs Team
Over its past 10 games, New Orleans ranks 23rd in DEFF.
On the season, they rank 25th in DEFF out of the paint, let up the fourth-most PPG (114.7), the fourth-highest three point percentage, and they rank sixth in pace, while Oklahoma City ranks second in pace.
The total is currently sitting at 236.5, so points shouldn’t be hard to come by in this one.
In three games vs the Pelicans this year, George is averaging 23.7 PPG on 17.33 shots per game, which isn’t the greatest, but with the injuries to Jerami Grant and Dennis Schroder, combined with PG-13’s scorching-hot play, another 35-plus point night is well within his range of outcomes.
This line is already a little higher than I would like at 32.5, and I wouldn’t be willing to pay much more vig.