Wednesday NBA Props: Will Luka Doncic Light Up Scoreboard At MSG?

Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts against the Brooklyn Nets in the second half at American Airlines Center on November 7, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. The Nets won 102-99.
Image Credit: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

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 1:30 p.m. ET on Jan. 12.

Charlotte Hornets: PG LaMelo Ball

Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during their game at Spectrum Center on November 14, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Image Credit: Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

The Prop: 33.5 points/rebounds/assists (at Philadelphia)
The Odds: Over -110/Under -120

On Monday, we suggested that Giannis Antetokounmpo’s prop of 51.5 points/rebounds/assists was too high. Turns out it was, as the Greek Freak finished with 26 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists (47).

But tonight’s points/rebounds/assists prop with Ball (cue our best Goldilocks voice) feels just riiiiiight for the Over crowd. Here’s why:

— Ball has averaged 35.2 points/rebounds/assists in his last nine road games — and that includes two clunkers of 24 and 25. During that largely productive stretch, Ball surpassed Wednesday’s 33.5 total six times. The points/rebounds/assists breakdown: 24, 42, 25, 38, 26, 36, 50, 33, and 43.

— Ball, who is averaging 19.4 ppg for the season, has racked up 12 double-doubles since Nov. 8.

— The previous two times the Hornets had a one-off road trip this season, Ball tallied 42 and 24 points/rebounds/assists. However, he only played 31 minutes in the latter game on Jan. 3 (finishing with 18 points, four boards, and two assists at Washington).

On Tuesday, Ball runs up against a Sixers squad that ranks 17th in rebounds allowed (45.4 per game).

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

Washington Wizards: SG Spencer Dinwiddie

Spencer Dinwiddie #26 of the Washington Wizards in action against the Miami Heat during the first half at FTX Arena on December 28, 2021 in Miami, Florida.
Image Credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Prop: 8.5 assists (vs. Orlando)
The Odds: Over -115/Under -115

Dinwiddie has been on a selfless roll of late, racking up 10, 10, 4, 11, 6, and 12 assists in his last six outings. Now he goes up against the Magic, who are yielding the fifth-most assists this season (25.3 per game).

Does that make Dinwiddie a lock to go Over this prop number? Not necessarily.

For starters, Dinwiddie has topped this assist total just once in his last five matchups with Orlando dating back to 2019. The breakdown: 10, 6, 8, 3, and 3 assists.

Also, Dinwiddie is averaging only 5.8 assists in his last 11 home games, with just three of the outings surpassing tonight’s total: 10 vs. Oklahoma City (Tuesday night, which was Washington’s last game), 11 vs. Minnesota (Dec. 1), and 9 vs. New Orleans (Nov. 15).

In fact, despite his recent dime-distribution uptick, Dinwiddie is averaging exactly 5.8 assists for the season.

Dallas Mavericks: PG Luka Doncic

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

The Prop: 25.5 points (at N.Y. Knicks)
The Odds: Over -115/Under -110

Doncic has averaged 21.7 points in four games since returning from a 10-game absence. That equates to just 20.2 percent of the Mavericks’ scoring output during this mini stretch. However, in his four games prior to being sidelined, the two-time All-Star averaged precisely 25.5 points and accounted for 26.3 percent of his team’s points.

So, which version of Luka can bettors expect to show up at Madison Square Garden, where Doncic has averaged 21 points over two career visits? Well, Doncic has cleared this number in just 12 of his 25 games this season (while landing right on 25 points three other times).

In his last 10 games against Eastern Conference foes, Doncic cracked the 25-point barrier six times. And in his last half-dozen road games, he’s been red hot from the field (58-for-118, 49.1%). He finished with 26-plus points in five of those contests.

Worth nothing, however: Doncic is battling a Knicks squad that boasts the league’s No. 6 scoring defense (allowing 105.0 ppg).

Houston Rockets: C Christian Wood

Christian Wood #35 of the Houston Rockets looks on at Toyota Center on November 29, 2021 in Houston, Texas
Image Credit: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Prop: 10.5 rebounds (at San Antonio)
The Odds: Over -110/Under -125

Tough call with this one, considering Wood has reached at least 11 rebounds in just 18 of 39 games this season (46.1%). And while he’s averaging 12.3 rebounds in his last four meetings with San Antonio, he hurdled this particular number just twice.

Dating back to Dec. 20, Wood has eclipsed 10.5 rebounds just three times … but each instance took place on the road (he had exactly 11 at Milwaukee, at Chicago, and at Washington).

The free-falling Rockets (1-11 in their last 12 games) launch a five-game road trip against Western Conference opponents tonight. On Monday, Wood logged 35-plus minutes at home versus Philadelphia but only nabbed six rebounds.

Los Angeles Lakers: SF LeBron James

LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first quarter of the game at Target Center on December 17, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Image Credit: David Berding/Getty Images

The Prop: 2.5 made three-pointers (vs. Sacramento)
The Odds: Over -150/Under +115

Let’s finish with an underrated prop in the LeBron universe.

Through 29 games, James is shooting 37.2 percent from beyond the arc — a significant improvement from his career rate of 34.6 percent.

Also, in his last eight games, LeBron has connected on 29 of 67 three-point attempts for a robust rate of 43.2 percent; and during this span, James eclipsed tonight’s 2.5 total a whopping seven times. (The per-game makes: 3, 3, 8, 5, 3, 3, 1, and 3.)

One more thing to celebrate, relative to the Over: Since Nov. 24, LeBron has attempted eight or more treys in 10 of 21 games, perhaps feeling pressure to carry the scoring load during Anthony Davis’s injury-related absence (hasn’t played since Dec. 17).

Whatever the motivation, there’s really no betting downside to LeBron becoming a volume shooter from long distance. Especially when playing only 33 minutes in Sunday’s loss to the Grizzlies (the Lakers’ last game), and subsequently enjoying two full days of rest.