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The Indiana Pacers beat the Milwaukee Bucks for the fourth time this season, while the Los Angeles Clippers won their 11th straight game with Kawhi Leonard in the lineup.
Here are our favorite NBA player prop picks for Thursday.
Giannis and the Bucks fell to the Pacers on Monday and Wednesday, which means they should be motivated to beat a San Antonio Spurs team they’re clearly better than. Although the lack of rest is a concern, the Greek Freak averaged 30.9 points after a loss and 38.3 points on the second night of a back-to-back.
The Spurs are 25th in defensive rating and aren’t getting any better, ranking 28th in def. rating over the last 10 games. Victor Wembanyama is a strong deterrent at the rim for many players but will struggle to cope with Giannis’ physicality and downhill play, especially since Zach Collins is injured and won’t be able to spell him off the bench.
Vassell only scored 11 points on eight field goal attempts on Tuesday, his fewest attempts in a game since Nov. 8. But prior to that, he scored 22 points in three of four games and was shooting the ball efficiently.
Vassell needs to be let off the leash more for the Spurs to have any sort of potential to climb the Western Conference standings. Luckily for him, the strength of the Bucks is not on defense (21st in defensive rating), and their point of attack defender, Malik Beasley, is overmatched almost every time he steps on the court. Expect Vassell to get a lot of looks in a game between two teams ranked third and fourth in pace.
Kuminga’s minutes have been erratic, but he seems to have settled into somewhere around 27 minutes per game. He went under his total in three of his last five games and did not make a three (on one attempt) when the Golden State Warriors visited the Denver Nuggets on Christmas Day.
The Nuggets allow the fifth-fewest threes per game on the ninth-worst percentage (35.6%) in the league. Kuminga’s importance to Golden State is felt with his athleticism and slashing ability, not his spacing. Watch for him to keep his head down but not to find much success from beyond the arc.
Something strange is going on with Jokic. He averaged 9.3 field goals over his last three games and 12.2 over his 11, both significantly down on his season average of 17.8. He averaged 19.3 and 20.5 points during those spans respectively and just hasn’t seemed that interested in scoring the ball recently.
The Joker scored 26 in his Christmas Day matchup with the Warriors but went 18-18 at the free-throw line to help. If Golden State can show better discipline, they have a strong chance to keep a player that has been trending under (five straight games of 26 or fewer points), well, under his projected points total.
Jackson-Davis is a boom-or-bust player on Thursday that could be worth an investment on 8+ (+200) or 10+ (+500) rebounds. He brought down 8+ boards in four of his last eight games and four of his last six in which he played 20+ minutes, which means that he’s a real threat to go over his total if he can just stay on the court.
The second-round rookie’s problem the last time Golden State faced Denver was foul trouble. He picked up five fouls in just 15 minutes and had real trouble guarding Jokic, which led to him only collecting three boards. If he can keep that in check, he’s a live wire in the rebounding market.
Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.
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