Friday NBA Props: Can Deandre Ayton Bounce Back In Game 3?

Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns
Image Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The NBA Playoffs are in full swing and so are our NBA props.

We have a pair of Game 3 matchups on Friday, starting with the Heat vs 76ers at 7:00 p.m. ET. There are injury concerns for both benches in that contest: Joel Embiid will continue to sit out for Philadelphia, and Kyle Lowry is questionable for Miami.

The Suns and Mavericks will battle things out in the nightcap, as Dallas will try to climb back into the series on its home floor.

Overall, this should be an excellent night of NBA action, so let’s dive into our top NBA props from Friday’s two-game slate.

Odds via DraftKings and updated as of 9:45 a.m. ET on May 6.

76ers vs Heat Player Props

James Harden #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts against the New York Knicks at the Wells Fargo Center on March 2, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers defeated the Knicks 123-108.
Image Credit: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers: G James Harden

The prop: 22.5 points (vs. Miami)
The odds: Over -105/Under -120

In the first round of the playoffs, Harden failed to cross this 22.5-point threshold in all six games against the Raptors. Then the Joel Embiid injury took place. Surely Harden would take on more of a scoring role with the Philadelphia big man sidelined? Well, that hasn’t been the case through the first two games of this series with Miami. Harden posted just 16 and 20 points respectively in those contests.

Joel Embiid is still out, but Harden hasn’t seen much of a boost in this situation. Don’t believe it? We can actually quantify that for proof: Harden carries a 24.7 percent usage rate in 21 games as a 76er this season. That number has been virtually the same (25.3 percent) across the last two games with Embiid sidelined. Harden’s scoring average dropped from 21.0 to 18.0 as well.

There’s a chance Harden will fill up the box score a little more with Philadelphia entering desperation after dropping the first two games of this series. There’s also a chance that Harden is slowly giving up on the series after a pair of deflated performances.

Miami ranks third in defensive efficiency allowed to opposing point guards, and it will continue to make life difficult for Harden. Look for Harden to go Under 22.5 points for the ninth straight time in the playoffs.

Editor’s Note: New to NBA props? Check out our full NBA Props Betting Guide to get up to speed. 

Tobias Harris #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers
Image Credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers: F Tobias Harris

The prop: 18.5 points (vs. Miami)
The odds: Over -135/Under +105

OK, so we’ve established that Harden doesn’t see much of a boost with Embiid sidelined. So who does? If you guessed Tobias Harris, then you are correct! What gave it away, the headline?

Harris has a baseline 21.7 usage rate while scoring 17.2 points per game this season. In nine outings without Embiid, that jumps to a 28.5 percent usage rate with 19 points per contest. Furthermore, Harris has been (predictably) seeing more minutes in the playoffs, consistently finding the 37-44 range. That has led to 19 or more points in five of seven postseason games and 2-of-2 with Embiid out.

There’s reason to believe Harris can fly past this 18.5-point total for a third straight time. He averaged 14 field goal attempts per game in the regular season, a tally that increased to 17 and 18 respectively in the first two games of this series. There’s a good chance Harris will lead Philadelphia in shot attempts and overall points on Friday. Take the Over.

Suns vs Mavericks Player Props

Jae Crowder #99 of the Phoenix Suns reacts to a three-point shot against the Indiana Pacers during the first half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on January 22, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Image Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Phoenix Suns: F Jae Crowder

The prop: 1.5 made 3-pointers (at Mavericks)
The odds: Over -125/Under -105

This prop isn’t complicated. Crowder is an excellent 3-point shooter, and he will continue to see open looks from Devin Booker and Chris Paul.

Crowder shot just 13 percent from beyond the arc in the first round against New Orleans. It seems that those cold-shooting ways are behind him, as the Phoenix forward is a combined 6-10 on 3-pointers in the first two games of this series with the Mavericks.

There’s plenty to like with Crowder, as the Over on his 9.5-point prop (+105 on DK) looks appealing as well. You could easily look toward betting both 1.5 made 3-pointers and 9.5 points to the Over.

Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns celebrates a basket during the second half of a game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on April 08, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Image Credit: Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

Phoenix Suns: C Deandre Ayton

The prop: 18.5 points (at Mavericks)
The odds: Over +100/Under -125

It really doesn’t seem like the Mavericks have much of an answer for Ayton. The Phoenix center came up with 25 points and eight rebounds in Game 1 vs. Dallas. Sure, things didn’t go quite that well in Game 2, as Ayton had just nine points and three boards across 19 minutes. The Suns’ big man got into foul trouble, then they didn’t need him down the stretch in a blowout win.

Things should be more competitive this time around, as the Mavericks will be playing on their home court. There’s reason to believe that Ayton’s 25-point performance in Game 1 is closer to baseline in this series than the nine-point showing in Game 2.

As long as Ayton stays out of foul trouble, which he has done pretty well in the postseason, he should fly past this 18.5-point total. This prop looks very appealing at even money.