NBA Player Props: Picks for Joel Embiid, Jayson Tatum, and More | August 19, 2020

Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics (photo credit: USA TODAY Sports)

The NBA Playoffs are off and running, with all Game 1s in the books, including a couple of upsets that saw No. 8 seeds beat No. 1 seeds. On Tuesday, we told you about six NBA player props we liked. We hit on five of those six and would’ve finished perfect if Anthony Davis didn’t shoot horribly. Let’s not complain, though. A 5-1 result is great and we picked up 2.9 units. We’re going to look to keep the train rolling with some more NBA player prop picks for Wednesday, August 19.

Joel Embiid – Over 27.5 points (-116)

First up is a Joel Embiid player prop, and we’re taking the over on 27.5 points for the Philadelphia 76ers big man. Embiid played well in Game 1, posting 26 points and 16 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Boston Celtics. Embiid logged 37.5 minutes in that game and we anticipate he’s going to get the same workload in Game 2. Without Ben Simmons, the success of the Sixers in this series is largely on the shoulders of Embiid. Plus, Boston’s weakness is playing against big men, especially ones as talented as Embiid is.

If it wasn’t for a ton of turnovers, Philadelphia likely would have topped the Celtics in the first game, and they’d have done it with Embiid being the go-to guy. For the 76ers to beat the Celtics, everything is going to have to go through Embiid. They should recognize that and go right back to that strategy in Game 2.

A ton of minutes as the focal point of an offense going against a team that struggles against elite big men are the reasons we’re on the Embiid player prop of over 27.5 points.

Jayson Tatum – Under 27.5 points (-109)

Next up, we’re eyeing a Jayson Tatum player prop. Tatum played more than 41 minutes in Game 1 and scored 32 points. Even though Gordon Hayward is now injured and likely out several weeks, it’s hard to imagine Tatum getting a bump in minutes because he played a ton last game.

Looking at this specific point total of 27.5 points, Tatum has gone over that mark in each of the last three games he’s played. Add in the 34 points he scored in the second game back to play in the NBA bubble and Tatum’s gone over 27.5 points four of eight times since the NBA got back underway. Tatum is getting a lot of love and it feels like recency bias is pumping up this line a little bit, so we think there’s value betting the under.

We also expect the 76ers to play Tatum a little better in Game 2, both not letting him get off 20 or more shots and also not letting him get to the line for double-digit free throws. Tatum has struggled against Philadelphia in the past, which is largely because Simmons defends him well. Not having Simmons, the Sixers had to do a bit of learning how to defend Tatum in Game 1, and we expect that to improve for Game 2.

Jaylen Brown – Under 21.5 points (-123), over 2.5 assists (+130)

Similar to how we feel the Tatum player prop is a little high, we feel the same for the Jaylen Brown player prop on points, which is at over/under 21.5 points for Wednesday. A better line would be 19.5 points, so we feel there’s already some value baked in.

With Hayward out, Brown could see a bump in minutes, but, like Tatum, he played a lot in Game 1. Brown played almost 39 minutes and we feel 32-35 minutes is more in line with where he’ll be for Game 2.

Where we do like Brown to come in on the over is with his player prop for assists, which is at over/under 2.5 assists. Browns is at 2.1 assists per game this season and averages 1.5 assists per game since the NBA returned to play. Head coach Brad Stevens loves to run plays through Hayward, but Hayward is now out. Using the RotoGrinders CourtIQ tool, we can see that Brown averages 2.32 assists in 916.2 minutes with Hayward off the court. We anticipate Brown to have a greater role in the offense as a facilitator.

Kemba Walker – Over 21.5 points (-112)

Kemba Walker’s minutes restriction is gone and we should see him log plenty of minutes in Game 2. In Game 1, Walker played almost 35 minutes. He’s a player we expect to see on the court more with Hayward out. Using the RotoGrinders CourtIQ tool, we can find that Walker sees a 1% increase in usage with Hayward off the floor. Is it a massive bump? No, but it’s significant enough that could see Walker play extra time.

We’re also on this player prop pick because of the correlation with the Brown and Tatum player props. If we think their point production is going to be done and Hayward is out of the lineup, points will need to go elsewhere. Boston’s third scorer is Walker and he’s very good at it. Walker’s season average is 20.4 points per game, but he has the ability to go off for 25 or more points on any given night.

Lou Williams – Over 16.5 points (-105)

Lou Williams is a scorer. He’s one of the best in the league at it. For our last pick of the day, we’re going with a Lou Williams player prop and it’s the over on 16.5 points.

Williams played more than 31 minutes in Game 1 against the Dallas Mavericks, which is more than his season average (28.7 minutes per game), but not a surprise. It’s the NBA Playoffs and teams’ studs are going to be on the court more often.

The usage is something we can almost always rely on for Williams and we expect him to get plenty of playing time in Game 2, so the floor is there. Williams is also one of those guys who presents a lot of upside and can easily go off for 30 points. He’s not a guy who has a good floor but also a lower ceiling. Williams gives us a good floor and a ton of upside, which is something we like to target when taking the over on player props.

All player prop lines mentioned in this article are taken from the SharpSide sports betting app. Download the app today to make player prop picks for your chance to win real prizes for free.

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