NBA Betting: MVP Candidate Luka Dončić Headlines Monday Props Action

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic drives to the basket and scores past Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo
Image Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Each week, selects five intriguing player and/or team NBA betting 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 props from Monday’s slate of 13 games.

Odds via DraftKings, and updated as of 4 p.m. ET Nov. 15.

Boston Celtics: SF Jayson Tatum

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum brings the ball up court against the Dallas Mavericks.
Image Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Prop: 36.5 points/rebounds/assists (at Cleveland)
The Odds: Over -120/Under -115

Tatum surpassed this prop number in three of his last four games, while also shooting 41.7 percent from beyond the arc.

The former Duke standout, who has five double-doubles on the year, also has topped 36.5 points/rebounds/assists six times in 13 games.

On the down side, Tatum tallied only 27 points, rebounds, and assists in Boston’s road loss to Cleveland on Saturday. The Cavaliers actually have been playing outstanding defense in the early going, ranking second overall in scoring defense (101.3 points per game), third in three-pointers allowed (10.5 per contest), and 13th in opposing-team rebounds (45.1 per game).

Another good news/bad news proposition: Tatum collected 11 rebounds in three straight outings last week against the Mavericks, Raptors, and Bucks. However, he’s cracked four-plus assists just once in his last nine games.

The Celtics and Cavaliers are operating on normal rest, including no weekend travel (same venue as Saturday’s matchup).

Sacramento Kings at Detroit Pistons

Sacramento Kings guard Davion Mitchell dribbles the ball against the Phoenix Suns
Image Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Prop: Sacramento -1.5 (first quarter)
The Odds: Kings +105/Pistons -125

The Kings (18th overall) and Pistons (28th overall) rank in the bottom half of the NBA in first-quarter scoring this season. However, in that initial period, Sacramento has a decisive edge in average scoring differential (2.8 points).

Over their last six games, the Kings have won the first quarter by at least two points just once. Then again, the Pistons have covered +1.5 in the first quarter just twice in their last six.

Both squads have been average against the spread in the opening 12 minutes, with Sacramento going 6-7 ATS and Detroit posting a 6-5-1 ATS mark. The big difference: After starting the season by going 3-0 ATS in the first quarter, the Kings have cashed just three times in their last 10.

Sacramento and Detroit are on sufficient rest Tuesday, with neither club playing Sunday.

Related: New to betting NBA props? Check out our complete NBA Prop Betting Guide

Indiana Pacers at New York Knicks

Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner celebrates a made basket against the Philadelphia 76ers
Image Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Prop: 217.5 combined points (alternate total)
The Odds: Over +115/Under -155

This alternate tally — which is 3.5 points higher than DraftKings’ actual total — might need a little help from the pace-and-space gods, given how New York (109.6 points per game, 9th overall in scoring offense) and Indiana (109.1 points per contest, 11th overall) have only eclipsed 217 total points in a combined nine of 27 games this season.

One of those games was Indiana’s 111-98 victory over New York 12 days ago, a contest that fell 8.5 points short of this alternate total. In fact, here are the combined point totals in the last 10 Pacers-Knicks clashes: 209, 217, 208, 228, 204, 177, 207, 201, 227, and 209.

Also, Indiana and its opponents have failed to get over this number in the Pacers’ last five games, while the Knicks and their foes have done so just once in their last five home outings.

Dallas Mavericks: PG Luka Dončić

Dallas Mavericks player Luka Doncic dribbles the basketball after grabbing a rebound
Image Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Prop: 8.5 assists (vs. Denver)
The Odds: Over -100/Under -120

Fresh off his first triple-double of the season (32 points, 15 assists, 12 rebounds at San Antonio), the notion of Dončić failing to hit 8.5 assists against the Nuggets sounds preposterous, right?

Well, Denver leads the NBA in the fewest points allowed (98.0 per game) and ranks eighth overall in the fewest team assists allowed (21.6 dimes per contest). Also, two weeks ago, Dončić collected only four assists versus the Nuggets — the same night his Mavericks posted season-worst tallies in points scored (75) and margin of defeat (31).

Through 12 games, Dončić has collected nine-plus assists just four times. By comparison, he notched nine-plus assists seven times in his opening 12 games last season; and from Jan. 4-22, 2021, Dončić topped this prop number in nine consecutive games.

On a positive note — at least in terms of the Over on this prop — Dončić is still averaging exactly 10 assists in nine career games against Denver, going over 8.5 on seven occasions. That includes all three meetings last season, when he rolled for 13, 16, and 12 dimes, respectively.

While the Mavs have been idle since Friday, the Nuggets are coming off Sunday’s 124-95 home rout of the Blazers. On the tail end of back-to-backs this season, Denver is yielding 100.5 points per game.

Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis shoots against the Miami Heat
Image Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Prop: 105.5 combined first-half points
The Odds: Over -110/Under -110

The Bulls and Lakers may be on the shortlist of conference-title contenders, but the clubs own a combined 11-16 first-half Over/Under mark this season.

With Chicago installed as a 1-point halftime underdog in this one, it is essentially projected to score 53 first-half points — something the Bulls have only done once in their last five games. For the season, Chicago is averaging 52.8 first-half points, including just 50.5 on the road.

On the other hand, the Lakers rank eighth in the NBA in halftime scoring at 55.9 ppg, which is a tick above what they average at home (55.8). Even without the services of LeBron James, L.A. has tallied 55 or more first-half points in three of its last five contests.

For the season, the Lakers are dead even on halftime Over/Unders at 7-7-0, but the Bulls are just 4-9.

From a logistics standpoint, the Bulls (9-4 overall) and Lakers (8-6) both played at Staples Center on Sunday — albeit at different times. As such, neither squad has travel concerns heading into this showdown.