It's a new week, and I'm looking to get back on track in our NBA Best Bets after a LaMelo Ball injury spoiled Sunday's picks.
Tonight, we're looking at a few props -- one in the Indiana Pacers-Portland Trail Blazers game -- and a player prop parlay for Austin Reaves and LeBron James in the Los Angeles Lakers-Philadelphia 76ers game.
With injuries dominating the two late games (New Orleans vs. Utah and Denver vs. Los Angeles Clippers), I'm staying away from those games today.
Let's get back on track with three plays, including a total bet, on Monday.
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NBA Best Bets Record to Date
- 2023-24 season record: 60-48-1 (+6.72 units)
- Overall record (last 2+ seasons): 685-605-10 (+46.66 units)
NBA Best Bets Today
- Buddy Hield UNDER 7.5 Rebounds and Assists (-140)
- LeBron James-Austin Reaves Parlay (-130)
- Portland Trail Blazers-Indiana Pacers OVER 240 (-110)
Buddy Hield UNDER 7.5 Rebounds and Assists (-140)
I can’t get to this number for Buddy Hield, even though he’s been in the team’s starting lineup the last three games in place of Bennedict Mathurin.
Hield is averaging 3.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game, clearing this prop just three times in 15 games. The worst part? Two of those three instances came in the first four games of the season.
Since moving into the starting lineup, Hield has combined for three, seven and four rebounds and assists. His job is to shoot the ball – something he’s doing at a high level as of late – so I don’t see him pitching in much outside of that. Hield is averaging 24.3 points per game on 69.2 percent shooting from the field in three games as a starter.
LeBron James-Austin Reaves Parlay (-130)
Austin Reaves 12+ Points
Austin Reaves is on a heater, scoring 17, 19, 17 and 15 points over his last four games. With the Lakers banged up, Reaves should get all the minutes he can handle going forward for the team.
I love Reaves playing off the bench, as he gets more time to really run the offense, as he’s not on the floor with LeBron and D’Angelo Russell as much as he was earlier in the season.
Reaves has cleared this alternate total in seven of his last 10 games and is averaging 14.0 points per game on the season. He’s scored 12 or more points in 11 of 17 games this season.
As long as he’s pushing double-digit shot attempts, this should be an easy line for Reaves to reach.
LeBron James 5+ Assists
We’re pairing the Reaves alternate line with one for LeBron James, who has been terrific as a playmaker recently.
On the season, LeBron is averaging just 6.6 assists per game, but he’s seen an uptick in those numbers as of late.
Over his last seven games (since sitting out vs. Portland), the NBA’s all-time leading scorer is averaging 8.1 assists per game. Now, he gets to take on a Philly team that is 21st in the NBA in opponent assists per game (26.9).
James has at least five dimes in 13 of his 16 appearances in the 2023-24 season.
Portland Trail Blazers-Indiana Pacers OVER 240 (-110)
There’s one bet that has hit in 93 percent of Pacers games this season…
That’s right, Indiana is an insane 14-1 on OVERs this season, even with oddsmakers pushing the total in the team's game each night.
The Pacers rank No. 1 in the NBA in offensive rating and No. 1 in pace, allowing for them to not only play uptempo games, but they’ve been efficient in those matchups as well. Indiana’s defense has done its part too, ranking 28th in the NBA – one of the worst groups in the league.
Portland is the opposite. The Blazers are dead last in the NBA in offensive rating, and the team plays at the No. 24 pace in the league.
Can the Pacers speed them up? In all likelihood they will, but Portland is going to need to score the ball at a better rate to push this total over. Still, I think the Blazers will, as the team put up 120 points just two games ago against Utah.
The last time a Pacers game combined for less than 240 points was Nov. 3. The team has gone over 240 in games against the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic (top 3 defense), San Antonio Spurs and Charlotte Hornets.
I don’t expect anything to change on Monday.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.