3 NBA Player Prop Bets for Thursday 3/14/24

Annie Nader
Annie Nader@ANader33

Player props can be useful in a variety of ways -- from taking advantage of them straight up to measuring a player's potential to produce in daily fantasy basketball on FanDuel. Here, we're going to focus on the former.

Using FanDuel Research's daily basketball projections -- which are powered by numberFire -- as a guide, here are some NBA player prop bets that look appealing via the NBA odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Please note: lines and projections are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published.

NBA Prop Bets

Al Horford Over 16.5 Pts + Reb (-106)

The Phoenix Suns will take on the Boston Celtics for the first game of an NBA on TNT doubleheader.

Kristaps Porzingis (hamstring) has been ruled out for this contest, which makes Al Horford's combined points and rebounds (PR) prop quite intriguing.

Horford has suited up for 16 games without Porzingis. In this split, he is averaging 17.4 PR and exceeded 16.5 PR in 10 out of 16 games.

But if we take a more in-depth look at this sample, alarm bells screech in favor of Horford.

In the aforementioned 16-game sample, Horford played 27 minutes or less on four occasions. Each of those four games was decided by at least 19 points, with the average margin of victory standing at a towering 31.8 points.

Given that Boston's monstrous wins (and one treacherous loss) forced Horford to the bench early, it may be reasonable to remove that four-game stretch from the Porzingis-less split. The Celtics are favored by just 5.5 points against a healthy and rested Suns team, so it seems more likely than not that we have a competitive game on tap.

Once we remove the four blowout games, Horford is averaging 19.9 PR and has exceeded 16.5 PR in 10 out of 12 games sans Porzingis.

The Suns let up the ninth-most three-point attempts (3PA) in the NBA. Big Al is no stranger to getting going from downtown, netting 57.9% of his points from behind the arc and shooting the three-ball at a 40.0% clip, good for the third-best percentage among all centers.

This past Saturday, Horford recorded 21.0 PR against Phoenix despite going just 1-for-7 from three-point land. The veteran then sat out for Tuesday's game, so he's coming into the night with some much-needed rest under his belt.

FanDuel Research's projections also see potential in this prop. They have Horford set to record 17.2 PR this evening.

DeMar DeRozan Under 36.5 Pts + Reb + Ast (-115)

DeMar DeRozan went scorched earth on the Indiana Pacers last night.

He totaled 46 points, including 58 combined points, rebounds, and assists (PRA) in a Chicago Bulls overtime victory. But it's time for him to come back down to earth.

The Bulls were on the road last night and will now play the second leg of a back-to-back on their home floor. After going up against the second-fastest team in the NBA, all while playing 44 minutes and shooting 24 field goal attempts, DeRozan has to be gassed.

Add in that he will now go up against the Los Angeles Clippers, and it doesn't seem he is primed to put on another clinic.

The Clippers play at the 10th-slowest pace in the NBA, while the Bulls play at the second-slowest pace.

Historically, slow-paced games are not DeRozan's cup of tea. He has played in 18 contests against fellow bottom-10 pace teams. In this split, he has recorded under 36.5 PRA in 14 out of 18 games. If we only account for matchups that ended in regulation, he netted below 36.5 PRA in 14 out of 16 games.

Tonight's showdown features a 214.5 over/under, which leaves the Bulls with just a 104.5 implied team total.

On the season, DeRozan is averaging 33.0 PRA per game. But in 19 contests that tipped off with a 218.0 over/under or below, he is averaging just 30.9 PRA. Narrow that over/under split down to 216.0 points, and he is averaging a mere 28.7 PRA through 10 games.

I can't put my trust in DeRozan to exceed 36.5 PRA under these circumstances. Our projections have him recording 33.4 PRA against LAC.

Kyle Kuzma Top Points Scorer in Rockets-Wizards Game (+200)

This is a tough call, but I ultimately think backing Kyle Kuzma to lead all scorers in tonight'sWashington Wizards-Houston Rockets matchup is an awesome deal at +200.

Kuzma's points prop is set at a game-high 24.5 points. Jalen Green (23.5 points over/under) and Fred VanVleet (20.5 points over/under) are the only other players in this game who have their points prop set above 16.5 points.

Jordan Poole is prone to scoring outbursts every once and a while, but since Houston forces teams to shoot the ball at the league's sixth-lowest clip, I can't consider one of the NBA's worst shooters in this market.

With this in mind, let's look at how Kuzma (22.5 points per game) could fare against his main competition -- Green (18.3 points per game) and VanVleet (16.8 points per game).

Kuzma has a much more appealing points average than Green and VanVleet, but Houston's top scorers will have the benefit of going up against the worst defense in basketball.

Factor in that Alperen Sengun (21.1 points per game) is out for Houston, and it becomes a bit more clear why Green (+190) is favored in the top points scorer market.

But with this being said, Sengun's absence has yet to make a glaring impact on any single Houston player. Green is averaging 21.0 points in two games without Sengun, while VanVleet scored 21 in one game without him.

When Sengun has been out, the scoring wealth has been divvied up between Green, VanVleet, Jabari Smith, and Dillon Brooks.

Similar shot volume equity cannot be found over in Washington.

Kuzma shoots 19 field goal attempts per game, five more than the next-best player (Poole).

But in late February, Poole got axed from the starting lineup. Since this time, Kuzma has found new scoring success, averaging 25.7 points through 11 games with Poole out of the starting rotation. He has scored at least 27 points in six of these games, which, for my money, would be enough for Kuzma to come out of this one as the leading scorer.

Kuzma has been on a heater, and neither Green nor VanVleet have shown inordinate success in fast-paced games, as both are averaging below 21.0 points per game against the top-5 teams in pace. I'll side with the player who lacks inter-team scoring competition.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.