NBA Props: Will Mike Conley Step Up For Short-Handed Jazz?

Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley brings the ball up the court in the third quarter against the Houston Rockets
Image Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Each week, selects five intriguing player and/or team 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 Wednesday’s slate of nine games.

Odds via DraftKings and updated as of 3 p.m. ET on Feb. 2.

Charlotte Hornets: SF Miles Bridges

Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges leaps in the air and prepares to dunk the basketball during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers
Image Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Prop: 20.5 points (at Boston)
The Odds: Over -120/Under -105

Let’s start with a prop that looks quite favorable for the Over side. Here’s why:

In his last six road outings, Bridges owns robust averages of 24.6 points per game. During this span, the Michigan State product eclipsed Wednesday’s total all six times (22, 22, 22, 38, 21, and 23 points).

Bridges has averaged 23.5 points against Boston this season (22, 25), with both outings hitting the Over.

And charting his last eight overall games, Bridges (operating on two days of rest tonight) has averaged 23.6 ppg, while also shooting a blistering 56.6 percent from the field. Gordon Hayward will not play for the Hornets either, so that could send a few more shots Bridges’ way.

On the downside, the Celtics rank second in opponents’ field-goal shooting (43.6%) and fourth in scoring defense (allowing only 104.6 ppg).

Memphis Grizzlies: PG Ja Morant

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant #12 during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at FedExForum on December 29, 2021 in Memphis, Tennessee.
Image Credit: Justin Ford/Getty Images

The Prop: 40.5 points/rebounds/assists (at N.Y. Knicks)
The Odds: Over -115/Under -115

Morant has been an explosive force since Jan. 19, averaging 35.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 7.3 assists over a seven-game span.

And yet, Wednesday’s points/rebounds/assists total reads curiously low, considering Morant rolled the Spurs for 41 points last week (Jan. 26).

Factoring in the above info, should there be a heavy lean toward the Over, despite the even odds?

In a word, no. It’s too close to call right now.

For Over bettors:

  • Chronicling his last 10 games, Morant owns strong averages of 44.6 points/rebounds/assists.
  • And from Jan. 19-28, Morant amassed five straight outings of 50-plus PRA credits (55, 50, 54, 54, 50).

For Under bettors:

  • Citing his last seven matchups with Eastern Conference foes, Morant toppled tonight’s total only twice (50, 47 PRA credits). The overall average: 34.6 PRAs.
  • And last year, Morant fell short of the 41-PRA threshold both times against the Knicks, posting 19 and 36 credits.

Rest-wise, Morant and the Grizzlies (idle Tuesday) should be fresh for their lone Madison Square Garden appearance.

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

Utah Jazz: PG Mike Conley

Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley (left) drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers forward Isaac Okoro (right)
Image Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Prop: 6.5 assists (vs. Denver)
The Odds: Over -110/Under -120

At first blush, 6.5 dimes seems eminently reachable for a guy orchestrating the NBA’s No. 2 scoring offense (averaging 113.5 ppg).

But ay the rub: Conley has failed to post seven or more assists in nine of his last 10 home games (averaging just 4.8); and citing his last six regular-season encounters with Denver, the Ohio State product missed the 6.5 threshold four times (6, 5, 8, 8, 5, 5 assists).

Also, the Nuggets rank 11th in scoring defense (allowing 107.4 ppg) and 18th in assists yielded (24.5 per game).

Now for the encouraging news, relative to the Over:

Conley racked up 10 assists vs. Phoenix on Jan. 26. It marked just the second time all season the 14-year pro had logged more than 32 minutes, 50 seconds of court time. The other occasion occurred the previous week.

All told, Conley’s recent three-game home stretch included playing averages of 32 minutes, 5 seconds.

Regarding tonight’s game (the Jazz last played Sunday), the additional court time could be a difference-maker … between Conley flirting with 5-6 or 7-8 assists.

Conley should have the ball in his hands often tonight as Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and Joe Ingles are sidelined for the Jazz. Guard Jordan Clarkson is questionable as well. If Clarkson is out, then there’s no doubt that Conley will be the primary ball-handler (and distributor) for Utah.

Brooklyn Nets: PG Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets handles the ball against the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the First Round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center on June 01, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
Image Credit: Steven Ryan/Getty Images

The Prop: 2.5 made three-pointers (at Sacramento)
The Odds: Over +105/Under -135

The Over crowd might rejoice when seeing tonight’s odds — which lean heavily toward the Under — based on the following:

Irving has buried three or more triples in five of his last six games (3, 3, 3, 3, 2, and 3); and for this ongoing period, Irvin’s 3-point proficiency (38.6%) ticks slightly higher than his seasonal rate (36.8%).

It’s a small sample size, but Irving has registered three triples in all five matchups with Western opponents this season.

On Feb. 15, 2021, his last trip to Sacramento, Irving (40 points) drained 9 of 11 shots from 3-point range.

Speaking of whom, the Kings rank just 20th in opponents’ 3-point proficiency (35.7%, tied with three other clubs).

Rest-wise, Irving logged 36-plus minutes Tuesday (vs. Phoenix), meaning tonight will be his first back-to-back experience this season. (Irving has missed 41 games, due to COVID/vaccine-related protocols.)

Los Angeles Lakers: PF Anthony Davis

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis dribbles a ball during a game against the Sacramento King
Image Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

The Prop: 9.5 rebounds (vs. Portland)
The Odds: Over -110/Under -120

Davis collected double-digit rebounds in 12 of his first 25 games this season. But since then, the eight-time All-Star has merely accomplished the feat twice in seven outings.

What prompted the change?

Various injuries have helped diminish Davis’ dominance along the boards, although he certainly possesses the capacity to break out at any time.

On Jan. 27, in just his second outing back from a 17-game absence (knee injury), Davis corralled 12 boards against the Sixers.

Also, charting his last 10 encounters with Portland (including the 2020 postseason), Davis has averaged 10.3 boards per contest. He notched double-digit rebounds six times during this stretch … and three of the misses involved nine boards.

Perhaps best of all, relative to the Over? Davis logged 38-plus minutes Sunday against Atlanta (Lakers’ last game), after sitting out Friday night with a sore wrist.

Take note that LeBron James (7.7 rpg) will not play on Wednesday, so there will be more rebounds up for grabs on the Lakers’ side. Perhaps Davis can snag a few of those to help him Over this total.