The NBA is ending its week on a chill note with only four games scheduled for Sunday. Below, we’ll highlight Sunday’s top NBA player prop predictions.
It’s an East vs. West-only card with an early afternoon tip-off featuring the red-hot Phoenix Suns taking on the Eastern Conference’s current 4-seed in the Charlotte Hornets.
We have a double revenge game when the Portland Trail Blazers play the Toronto Raptors after they swapped combo guards Norman Powell and Gary Trent Jr. at the trade deadline.
The main event is most definitely the showdown between a surging Atlanta Hawks team and MVP frontrunner C Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets.
Sunday’s NBA player prop bet predictions
Odds via BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated at 2:10 p.m. ET.
Portland Trail Blazers PG Damian Lillard UNDER 26.5 points (-110)
There’s no doubt Dame Time will be the best player on the floor in Trail Blazers-Raptors but there are several reasons why Lillard could go Under his points prop.
First, Portland is getting healthier at the right time with second-leading scorer SG C.J. McCollum returning to the lineup March 16 and C Jusuf Nurkic making his second start since being sidelined by a fractured wrist suffered Jan. 14.
Second, the Blazers getting healthier and adding Powell at the trade deadline, means Lillard has less scoring and ballhandling responsibility. Powell is having a career-year, McCollum is beginning to percolate and Nurkic opens up Portland’s offense tremendously.
Third, Lillard missed Portland’s previous game against the Orlando Magic due to a knee contusion so there’s a solid chance his health is compromised and he’ll defer to his teammates.
Dame’s murky health status and Portland incorporating McCollum back into the lineup are major reasons why Lillard hasn’t scored more than 22 points in his last three games.
Finally, Raptors PG Kyle Lowry has held Lillard to 24 or fewer points in three straight meetings, including the Trail Blazers-Raptors first matchup of the season Jan. 11.
BET D. LILLARD UNDER 26.5 POINTS (-110) for 1.5 units.
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Atlanta Hawks C Clint Capela UNDER 12.5 rebounds (-105)
Capela’s rebounding prop for Hawks-Nuggets is shockingly low considering he’s averaging 15.5 rebounds per game over his last four outings, but Denver got bigger at the trade deadline by adding former Orlando Magic forwards Gary Clark and Aaron Gordon and former Cleveland Cavaliers C JaVale McGee.
These additions address Denver’s size and athleticism while allowing Jokic to focus on getting triple-doubles and closing out his MVP campaign.
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Furthermore, Capela is averaging only 10.9 rebounds per game in his 16 career games against Jokic, and he hasn’t grabbed more than 12 boards in any of his last four starts in the head-to-head matchup.
Lastly, both teams play at an ultra-slow pace—Denver has the second-slowest pace and Atlanta is 25th in pace—so I’m expecting fewer possessions in Hawks-Nuggets.
BET C. CAPELA UNDER 12.5 REBOUNDS (-105) for a half-unit.
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