Friday NBA Props: CJ McCollum’s Rebounding Prop Presents Value

CJ McCollum #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans looks on against the Sacramento Kings in the first of an NBA basketball game at Golden 1 Center on April 05, 2022 in Sacramento, California.
Image Credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The NBA playoffs are in full swing, with another three games on tap Friday  — which means another three games from which to mine some NBA props, with the action getting underway at 7 p.m. ET.

While the stakes have changed for the teams on the court, the goal from our perspective has not: help you make money. Throughout the playoffs, will present our top NBA props selections from the day’s action, then do what we do best: Provide in-depth analysis that you can choose to use (or not use!) for wagering purposes.

With that, let’s dive into our favorite NBA props from Friday’s three-game slate.

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Atlanta Hawks: PG Trae Young

Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks in action against the Miami Heat during the first quarter in Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round at FTX Arena on April 17, 2022 in Miami, Florida.
Image Credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The prop: 2.5 made 3-pointers (vs. Miami)
The odds: Over -145/Under +110

Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room: Trae Young was horrible in the first two games of this series.

The Hawks’ floor general and 3-point specialist hardly lived up to those titles while shooting a combined 3-for-17 from 3-point range across Games 1 and 2. How can we trust him to go Over 2.5 made treys when he was barely able to do that over the first two games of this series?

Frankly, Young’s shooting numbers have to normalize at some point. Yes, Miami’s defense is tough, but Young is not going to shoot 12 percent from deep in perpetuity. Coming back home to Atlanta could be just what the doctor ordered to remedy Ice Trae’s cold start to the series.

Young has gone Over 2.5 made 3-pointers in 12 of his last 16 games overall. He has also connected on 3-plus treys in seven of his last eight home games.

I like Young’s chances to get back on track with some home-cookin’ in Atlanta. Take the Over.

New Orleans Pelicans: G CJ McCollum

CJ McCollum #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans brings the ball up court during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on April 09, 2022 in Memphis, Tennessee.
Image Credit: Justin Ford/Getty Images

The prop: 4.5 rebounds (vs. Phoenix)
The odds: Over -125/Under -105

As a 6-foot-3 shooting guard, McCollum isn’t exactly known for his rebounding prowess. However, he stepped up in that department once the playoffs started. Case in point: McCollum corralled eight rebounds in each of the first two games of this series.

I understand that rebounding is a somewhat random stat, especially when it comes to guards fighting for clangs off the rim and loose-ball rebounds. However, we need to consider that McCollum is playing 40-43 minutes per contest in the postseason, and that gives him more opportunities to find rebounds compared with his role of 33-35 minutes in the regular season.

McCollum averaged 4.3 boards per game in the regular season, which nearly matches this 4.5 rebound number set by DraftKings. It’s not hard to see McCollum clear this number for a third straight time when considering his playing time boost of 5-10 minutes.

Go ahead and snag Over 4.5 boards at -125 juice.

Miami Heat: G/F Tyler Herro

Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat controls the ball against the Indiana Pacers during the second half at FTX Arena on December 21, 2021 in Miami, Florida.
Image Credit: Mark Brown/Getty Images

The prop: 4.5 rebounds (at Atlanta)
The odds: Over -105/Under -115

Herro is another guard to consider taking Over 4.5 rebounds. In fact, his analysis is similar to McCollum in plenty of ways.

Here are some factors playing to Herro’s favor on Friday:

  • The Miami wing has notched five-plus boards in seven of his last eight games.
  • Herro averages 5.0 rpg on the season.
  • Herro has piled up five-plus boards in 19 of his last 26 road games.

Herro’s playing time was cut because of the blowout situation in Game 1, but that shouldn’t be the case in Game 3 on Friday. The Hawks should be energized while playing in front of their home crowd, hopefully making for a competitive game through four quarters.

That could help Herro fly past his 4.5 rebounds prop. We are looking at the best price of -105 on the Over at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Phoenix Suns: C Deandre Ayton

Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball in the third quarter against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena on February 05, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Image Credit: G Fiume/Getty Images

The prop: 1.5 assists (at New Orleans)
The odds: Over -115/Under -110

Ayton isn’t known for his passing prowess, but he could fall into a couple of dimes in Game 3 at New Orleans. In fact, Ayton has gone Over 1.5 assists in four of his last five games. That includes Games 1 and Game 2 of this series, in which he notched two and four assists respectively.

Devin Booker will not play for the Suns in Game 3. That’s significant as it pertains to this prop, and here’s why:

  • Ayton in 49 games with Booker: 1.3 assists/game
  • Ayton in nine games without Booker: 2.0 assists/game

It’s a small sample, but those nine games represent a decent uptick in the assists department. It makes logical sense too, as Ayton will have the ball in his hands more with Booker sidelined. All in all, this is a decent edge to consider Ayton Over 1.5 assists.

Once again, you can find this prop at BetMGM Sportsbook with -115 juice to the Over.

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Miami Heat: F/C PJ Tucker

P.J. Tucker #17 of the Miami Heat looks on against the Atlanta Hawks during the third quarter in Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round at FTX Arena on April 17, 2022 in Miami, Florida.
Image Credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The prop: 1.5 assists (at Atlanta)
The odds: Over +105/Under -135

The last two picks in this NBA props article are pretty damn boring. Who wants to root for defensive-minded post players to rack up assists? It’s not the most fun you can have on a Friday night, but that’s where the edge lies.

Miami forward PJ Tucker is plus-money to go Over 1.5 assists in Game 3 at Atlanta. The rational for the Over:

  • Tucker has recorded two-plus assists in five of his last six games.
  • The Miami forward averages 2.1 apg this season. He only needs an average game to cover.
  • Tucker has also posted two-plus assists in eight of his last nine road games.

On top of that, Miami has plenty of knock-down shooters to finish off the assist for Tucker. Think Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry, Duncan Robinson, and Jimmy Butler. Tucker can swing the ball to them for the open shot in order to fly past this 1.5 assist number.