NBA Props: Giannis Antetokounmpo Headlines Monday’s Props Action

Milwaukee Bucks forward #34 Giannis Antetonkoumpo brings the ball up the court in a 2020 home game.
Image Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Each week, selects five intriguing NBA props from a busy night of action. Then, we do what we do best: Provide in-depth analysis that you can choose to use (or not use!) for wagering purposes.

Here are our five favorite NBA props from Monday’s slate of seven games.

Odds via DraftKings and updated as of 3:30 p.m. ET on Jan. 10.

Utah Jazz: SF Donovan Mitchell

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell reacts to making a basket and being fouled in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks
Image Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The Prop: 28.5 points (at Detroit)
The Odds: Over -115/Under -115

Through 36 games, Mitchell (career scoring average: 23.7 points) has tallied 29 or more points just 12 times — or one-third of his outings. And has been held to 28 points or fewer in six of his last nine road games.

On the flip side, Mitchell actually is scoring more on the road (26.7 ppg) than at home (25.1 ppg). Also, in five encounters with Central Division opponents this season, Mitchell put up the following point totals: 36 (at Indiana on Saturday), 35 (at Cleveland), 26 (vs. Indiana), 28 (at Milwaukee), and 30 (at Chicago). That’s a clean average of 31.0 points.

Throw in the fact that Mitchell has alternated going Over/Under on this prop in his last five games, and it’s easy to see how oddsmakers came up with this number.

What might a tiebreaker look like? Of his six road trips with 48 or fewer hours of rest this season, Mitchell (last played Saturday at Indiana) owns modest averages of 24.3 points per game. The breakdown: 30, 28, 21, 22, 28, and 17 points.

Editor’s Note: New to NBA props? Check out our complete NBA Props Betting Guide.

Milwaukee Bucks: PF Giannis Antetokounmpo

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo shoots the ball in the second half against the Orlando Magic
Image Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Prop: 51.5 points/rebounds/assists (at Charlotte)
The Odds: Over -120/Under -115

There’s no doubting that Antetokounmpo is one of the best players on the planet. But there’s also no doubting that this prop number seems ambitious. Consider:

— Antetokounmpo has averaged only 46.3 points/rebounds/assists over his last 12 games — and that period includes five games in which he at least hit the 50 mark (56, 61, 50, 53, and 63). That means the Bucks’ superstar has been having more “off” nights than “on” of late.

— Giannis has logged 35-plus minutes just twice in his last eight outings. During this stretch, he’s put up points/rebounds/assists totals of 56, 47, 48, 61, 50, 40, 53, and 31. So he eclipsed tonight’s prop number only three times.

— Of the 10 occasions he’s played in consecutive road outings this season, Antetokounmpo merely averaged 40.9 points/rebounds/assists on the back end.

So, why is Monday’s total this high? Two reasons: 1) The Bucks are playing in Charlotte for the second time in three nights (full rest); and 2) On Saturday, Giannis rolled the Hornets for 43 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 assists.

Boston Celtics: SF Jayson Tatum

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (left) drives the ball against Cleveland Cavaliers guard Denzel Valentine (right)
Image Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Prop: 2.5 made three-pointers (vs. Indiana)
The Odds: Over -120/Under -105

Tatum typically doesn’t get enough credit for his three-point proficiency, but the stats don’t lie: He’s a career 38.6 percent shooter from deep.

True, the Celtics’ big man has lost some of his range this season, as he’s shooting just 33.4 percent from downtown. But after missing 40 of 50 triples during a difficult six-game stretch that included missed time because of an injury, Tatum has rebounded in his last two outings, draining 9 of 19 shots (both against the Knicks).

Of course, the only chance to hit the Over on a three-point prop is to chuck the ball at the basket a lot. Tatum has done that recently, attempting at least eight three-pointers in seven of his last nine outings. Sure enough, he cleared this prop six times during this span.

Also, of the 22 games in which Tatum attempted at least eight treys, he buried three or more on 14 occasions.

All this said, Tatum has made more than two triples just once in his last four games at home (where he’s shooting just 31.9 percent from distance this season). And he’s facing an opponent tonight that’s allowing the fewest three-pointers this season (10.7 per game).

San Antonio Spurs: PG Dejounte Murray

San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray passes the basketball during a game against the Sacramento Kings
Image Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Prop: 9.5 assists (at N.Y. Knicks)
The Odds: Over +110/Under -145

There’s significant juice to the Under on this prop, but recent history suggests it should be the other way around. That’s because Murray has dished out double-digit assists in six of his last nine games. And in the three exceptions, he landed right on nine each time.

The last seven of those contests were played on the road, where Murray has collected double-digit assists seven times in his last 10 games. The breakdown: 13, 7, 14, 11, 9, 13, 13, 12, 9 and 12. In fact, he’s averaging exactly 9.5 assists as a visitor this season (compared with 8.3 assists per game at home).

Then again, Murray hasn’t come close to topping this assist prop number in his last four encounters with the Knicks (7, 7, 6, and 6 dimes).

The Spurs lost at Brooklyn 121-119 in overtime on Sunday. That’s noteworthy, because of the four times he’s played on the tail end of back-to-back outings this season, Murray posted 7, 7, 10, and 13 assists (good for a 9.3 average).

Philadelphia 76ers: C Joel Embiid

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid reacts to chants of MVP from the crowd during a game against the Orlando Magic
Image Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Prop: 10.5 rebounds (at Houston)
The Odds: Over -115/Under -115

Embiid ranks ninth in individual rebounding (10.7 per game), and the Rockets are the league’s 11th-worst team in terms of total rebounds allowed (45.6 per contest).

Given those numbers, the Over should be mighty appealing with this prop, right? Eh, not so fast!

For starters, Embiid has eclipsed this total just twice in his last six road games, during which time he’s averaged 9.2 boards. The breakdown: 5, 7, 11, 13, 10, and 9 rebounds.

Also, while Embiid has 60 rebounds in six games against Western Conference opponents (or 6.0 per game), he’s toppled tonight’s total only twice.

While none of those facts suggest Embiid will have a monster game on the glass Monday, these three do:

— Embiid was a force on the boards against the Rockets back on Jan. 3, yanking down 15 rebounds (five offensive).

— Since returning from his COVID-related absence on Nov. 27, Embiid has notched 11-plus boards nine times in 17 games (and he snatched exactly 10 boards in two of those outings).

— Embiid, who last played Friday against San Antonio at home, will be operating on 72 hours rest Monday. The last three times the Sixers’ big man had two full days off, he pulled down 15, 13, and 10 rebounds in the next game.

Jay Clemons
Jay Clemons remains the only sports writer on the planet to capture Cynposis Media's national award for Sports Blog Of The Year (beating out,,, The Players' Tribune in 2015), along with the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's pre-eminent award for Best Football Writer (2008). Through the years, Mr. Clemons has been a key figure with numerous blue-chip sports/media brands, namely the Detroit Lions, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report and now American Affiliate's Clemons, a graduate of Michigan State University and Wayne State University, has been an on-camera Web-TV host for Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report and FOX Sports. In 2015, he also became the first-ever sports journalism professor at Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta. And for the betting community, covering the last two years of the sports calendar (2019-20 / 2020-21), Clemons enjoyed a rock-solid winning rate of 59.6 percent with point-spread and over/under selections (NFL, college football and college basketball.)