NBA Prop Picks for Friday August 7
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Oklahoma City Thunder vs Memphis Grizzlies Game set for 4:10 p.m. ET on NBATV
Player Prop Picks
Steven Adams Over 20.5 – points + rebounds (-113)Rookie of the Year lead candidate, Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies will take on Chris Paul and the red-hot Oklahoma City Thunder in the first nationally televised matchup on Friday’s slate.
Oklahoma City is coming off a 105-86 victory over the Lakers on Wednesday in a game that the Lakers may have just had their worst performance offensively as a unit.
Friday’s late afternoon tilt should be a different story as the Grizzlies are desperately trying to claw and scratch their way into the playoff mix, falling to 0-4 inside the bubble following their 9-point loss to Utah. Paul led the way for the Thunder on Wednesday night, tallying 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists in the OKC victory, but Steven Adams was right there behind him putting up 19 points along with 7 boards.
Adams has played a marquee role in Orlando so far, going over 20.5 points + rebounds in 2 of 3 games (game he stayed under = 9 points, 10 rebs vs DEN), really holding down the fort for the Thunder in their early bubble meetings.
In his first game against Memphis this year, he recorded 13 points and 10 rebounds in a Thunder win. In his second matchup with Memphis, Adams tallied 16 points and 6 rebounds, easily pushing him over 20.5 points + rebounds again. The Oklahoma City center has a flimsy defensive matchup in Jonas Valanciunas, who ranks 45th among NBA centers in defensive rating (107.5).
That being said, Valanciunas is a better rebounder than Adams (Valanciunas= 27% Adams = 21.2% DREB%), but I don’t think that should matter in this one as the Aquaman has scored 16+ in 2 of his first 3 Orlando matchups.
I am backing Adams to do it again against a porous Grizzlies interior defense.
Philadelphia 76ers vs Orlando Magic Game set for 6:30 p.m. ET on TNT
Player Prop Picks
Joel Embiid Over 39.5 – points + rebounds (-122)Sixers power forward, Ben Simmons, dislocated his knee during Philadelphia’s 107-98 win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, and he will be out for their tilt with the Magic on TNT Friday night.
Joel Embiid has been phenomenal since entering the Disney World bubble, averaging 32.6 points and 13.6 rebounds in Philadelphia’s first 3 games entering the restart.
Simmons plays the power forward position for the Sixers now, so his absence shouldn’t really effect Philadelphia’s guard rotation/volume stats, but it could throw a wrench into Embiid and Harris’s numbers as the ball should naturally end up in their hands more with no Simmons on the floor.
In Embiid’s first game against the Magic, he stayed under 39.5 points + rebounds, scoring 24 points and recording 11 rebounds as the Sixers struggled to get their offense going against the defensive-minded Magic.
But since then, Orlando has had a switch-up in philosophy, converting to a much faster-pace, offensively focused game plan. Embiid has gone over 39.5 points + rebounds in 2 out of his first 3 games inside the bubble, and now the Sixers lose a ton of offensive volume in Ben Simmons (20.6% usage).
Back Embiid to go over this total tonight in Philadelphia’s first game in the bubble without Ben Simmons.
Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors Game set for 9:05 p.m. ET on TNT
Player Prop Picks
Jayson Tatum Over 28.5 – points + rebounds (-122)One of the hottest teams in the NBA in the Toronto Raptors will square off against a potential playoff foe in the Boston Celtics for the nightcap of our TNT double-header on Friday night.
Toronto is 3-0 inside the bubble heading into this game, knocking off the Lakers, Heat, and Magic consecutively to lead off the NBA’s restart. The Celtics have the star-power to put an end to this Toronto run though, and that star-power starts with Jayson Tatum.
Tatum has had some weird contests statistically to start out in Orlando, recording just 5 points on 2 of 18 shooting in the Celtics opener against Milwaukee. Then he also stayed under this total in Boston’s blowout win over the Nets on Thursday (19 points, 2 rebounds, 18 mins). He has gone over 28.5 points + rebounds in his other 2 games, racking up 34 and 23 points in matchups with the Heat and Blazers.
I expect this game to have a playoff-esque atmosphere, as both teams look to gain an edge against the other heading into the Eastern Conference playoffs.
I know Tatum has been underwhelming so far in Orlando, but tonight should be the night he is able to reassert himself as one of the NBA’s top offensive threats. If the Celtics want to walk away victorious in this game, it is going to have to be on the back of Jayson Tatum.
Back Tatum to easily go over his points + rebounds number, as he tries to propel Boston to their first win inside the bubble against an Eastern Conference title contender.
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