3 NBA Player Prop Bets for Wednesday 5/15/24

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

Jaylen Brown Under 31.5 Pts + Reb (-104)

The market is expecting the Boston Celtics (16.0-point favorites) to put an end to the Cleveland Cavaliers season tonight, and while I'd expect the C's to do just that, I wouldn't necessarily tap Jaylen Brown to exceed 31.5 combined points and rebounds (PR).

In the regular season, Brown averaged 28.5 PR per game. He's put up a meaty 31.3 PR per postseason game but has still gone under 31.5 PR in five out of nine playoff contests.

Brown has played at least 30 minutes in 62 games this year, both through the regular season and the playoffs. In this split, he is averaging 30.0 PR and recorded under 31.5 PR at a 58.1% rate, but these -104 odds imply just a 50.9% probability.

His shot volume has remained very steady, averaging 17.9 FGA in the regular season, 18.4 FGA in the first round, and 16.8 FGA in this series against Cleveland. This has been a slow-paced, low-scoring series, so we shouldn't anticipate Brown to take on a higher-than-normal shot volume tonight, especially since Derrick White is coming off a game where he scored only five points.

But perhaps most encouraging is Brown's chance to see some regression in his shooting numbers. In the regular season, he shot the ball at a respectable 49.9% clip.

In four playoff games where Brown has gone 55.0% or lower from the field, he is averaging 25.0 PR and recorded under 31.5 PR in each contest.

But in three playoff games where he has shot 60.0% or above from the field, he is averaging a whopping 36.6 PR.

Across his last two games, he's gone a combined 22-for-32 (68.8% FG%). These are super unsustainable numbers, especially given that Cleveland has been rocking with the fourth-best defensive rating and surrendering the third-lowest FG% during the playoffs.

Brown has also been converting rebound chances to the stat sheet at a higher rate than normal, while FanDuel Research's projections have him slated to record just 30.3 PR this evening.

Max Strus Over 16.5 Pts + Ast (+102)

With Donovan Mitchell (calf) officially ruled out for Game 5, and Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert joining him on the injury report, Cleveland's fate could heavily rely on Max Strus.

Strus averaged 16.2 combined points and assists (PA) in the regular season but could punch well above that number tonight.

In 17 regular-season games without Mitchell, Strus averaged 20.7 PA and exceeded 16.5 PA in 76.5% of contests.

If we take this same split and only account for games where Strus played more than 34 minutes, he cleared 16.5 PA in seven out of seven games. Given that Strus is averaging 38.8 minutes in this series and logged 42 minutes in Mitchell's absence on Monday, we should expect him to remain on the court for a lion's share of Game 5.

Strus nets a whopping 22.9 PA per 36 minutes when both Mitchell and LeVert are off the court.

It doesn't hurt that Boston lets up a ton of three-pointers (eighth-most 3PA in the regular season; third-most 3PA per game in the playoffs), which is Strus' bread and butter. He nets 59.1% of his points from behind the arc and has been shooting threes at a 37.0% clip this series.

In Game 4 -- the first Cleveland playoff game sans Mitchell -- Strus posted 22.0 PA without even shooting at an above-average clip.

I'd consider targeting the alt markets for this prop. You can get Strus Over 17.5 PA (+134), Over 18.5 PA (+174), Over 19.5 PA (+225), and Over 20.5 PA (+290).

He's scorched past 20.5 PA in six out of eight total games without Mitchell wherein he played more than 34 minutes.

Luka Doncic Over 28.5 Points (+104)

In a buy-low spot, it might be worthwhile to check out the alt market on Luka Doncic's points prop for tonight's Game 5 versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Doncic averaged a league-leading 33.9 points per game in the regular season. Though he's scored more than 28.5 points in only half of his playoff games, there's a clear reason why.

On the season, Doncic owns a 48.7% FG%. In five playoff games where he shot 41.7% from the field or above, he is averaging 31.6 points and cleared 28.5 points in each game.

Given Doncic's high shot volume, he doesn't need to have a great shooting night to put up points; he just can't have an abnormally poor shooting performance.

The 38.2% 3P% shooter has shot 25.0% or below from downtown in seven of his last eight games. Oklahoma City's defense is awesome, but Doncic's struggles date back to the first round, where he went 1-for-10 from downtown in the final game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

We saw Doncic go 5-for-8 from long range in Game 2 of this series, so we know he is capable of positive regression, and that could strike tonight.

In 77 total games where Doncic has played at least 30 minutes, he has scored more than 28.5 points at a 74.0% rate.

For what it's worth, he averaged 34.0 points (36 and 32 points) against OKC in the regular season and has found more scoring success in road playoff games, averaging 23.8 points in Dallas and 29.6 points in away battles.

We can rarely find plus odds on a prop that isn't even asking Doncic to put up 30. As the deadlocked series returns to Oklahoma City, I expect Doncic to look for his shot.

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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.