Thursday Best Bets: One NIT Side, Two NBA Props, One NHL Prop

Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets warms up before the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on March 23, 2022 in Memphis, Tennessee.
Image Credit: Justin Ford/Getty Images

Wednesday’s Best Bets went 2-1 overall, leaving us with positive momentum and a 55 percent win rate on the season.

The shining star continues to be our NBA Props, which currently stands at 14-4 since starting this Best Bets experiment. Are we onto something? Or are we just luckier than a leprechaun who found a penny heads-up?

Matt LaMarca puts that luck to the test with another NBA player prop. Meanwhile, The Bostonian vs. The Book crew turns its attention to the NIT Final.

Throw in an NHL Prop and BetPrep’s Prop of the Day, and you could say Props.com is very much living up to its name.

With that, let’s dive into Thursday’s Best Bets!

Best Bets Track Record

Tuesday: 2-1
Year-To-Date: 38-31-1

Bostonian vs. The Book: 11-10-1
BetPrep Prop of the Day: 9-13
NBA Props: 14-4
NHL Props: 4-4

College Basketball Side: Texas A&M Aggies Vs Xavier Muskateers

Texas A&M guard Quenton Jackson (3) in action during the college basketball game between the Texas A&M Aggies and the Ole' Miss Rebels on February 26, 2022 at the SJB Pavilion in Oxford, MS.
Image Credit: Kevin Langley/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The bet: Texas A&M -4.5 (vs. Xavier)
The odds: -110
Where to bet: BetMGM
From: Matt Perrault via The Bostonian Vs. The Book Podcast

The four-day winning streak is over. The Celtics lost out to the Heat on Wednesday, delivering The Bostonian vs. The Book crew its first loss in nearly a week.

Podcast host Matt Perrault is back on the proverbial betting horse, riding with Texas A&M -4.5 against Xavier in the NIT Final.

“Going back to Feb. 15, Texas A&M has failed to cover [the spread] only three times in 14 games,” Perrault said during the podcast. “They have been a machine.”

Dave Sharapan, co-host of the podcast, believes Texas A&M is playing with a chip on its shoulder after not receiving an NCAA Tournament bid.

“Texas A&M felt like they should have gotten into the NCAA Tournament. Everyone did.” Sharapan said. “This is their chance to show everybody.”

On the other hand, Xavier made the NIT Final despite firing its coach. The Muskateers are somewhat limping into this NIT Championship Game, at least from a point-spread perspective, cashing in just three of their last 11 games.

Patrick Everson’s NIT Final Action Report notes that Texas A&M opened -5 against Xavier, then the line dipped to -4 before ticking back up to -4.5 on Thursday.

If you are looking to ride the hot hand like Perrault and Sharapan, you can find Texas A&M -4.5 (-110) on BetMGM.

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Perrault listed two other bets he likes during Thursday’s Bostonian vs. The Book podcast — one NBA side and one NHL total. You can listen to the replay on YouTube, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts.

NBA Prop: PF Marvin Bagley (Detroit Pistons)

 Marvin Bagley III #35 of the Detroit Pistons looks on against the Washington Wizards during the second quarter at Little Caesars Arena on March 25, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan.
Image Credit: Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The bet: Over 7.5 rebounds (vs. Philadelphia)
The odds: +110
Where to bet: DraftKings Sportsbook
From: Matt LaMarca via Thursday NBA Props

Bagley will live in infamy as the player selected before Luka Doncic and Trae Young in the 2018 NBA Draft, making him this generation’s version of Sam Bowie. That’s has given Bagley the unfortunate label of a bust. But while the former Duke star hasn’t lived up to expectations based on his draft position, he’s not a bad player.

Bagley has received new life following a midseason trade to the Pistons. Detroit isn’t a place where you typically want to play basketball, but it’s an oasis compared with Sacramento. Bagley has taken full advantage of his new situation, averaging 14.9 points and 6.8 boards in 17 contests while shooting 56 percent from the field. He’s also drawn seven starts with the Pistons — including each of the past two games — averaging 8.14 rebounds in those contests.

His worst outing on the glass as a Pistons’ starter came last time out (March 29 at Brooklyn), when he was limited to just five boards over 23.6 minutes. Bagley struggled with foul trouble in that contest. If he avoids the whistle Thursday, he’s expected to return to somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 minutes versus the 76ers.

Add it all up, and this is an excellent buy-low opportunity for the Best Bets collection.

NHL Prop: C Nazem Kadri (Colorado Avalanche)

Nazem Kadri #91 of the Colorado Avalanche looks on during warm-ups prior to his game against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on December 6, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Image Credit: Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

The bet: Over 0.5 total assists
The odds
: -104
Where to bet: FanDuel Sportsbook
From: Dan Bradley via Thursday NHL Props

Without looking, who leads the Colorado Avalanche in points this season? Star center Nathan MacKinnon? Norris Trophy frontrunner Cale Makar? Elite winger Mikko Rantanen? Nope. It’s Nazem Kadri with 81 points in 64 games.

Beyond that, Kadri leads the Avs with 55 assists, including four in his last five outings. He’s been the unsung hero in Colorado this season and will play a pivotal role as the mighty Avalanche make their run at the Stanley Cup.

With MacKinnon set to miss Thursday’s game with a hand injury, Kadri should see an increase in minutes — and against a floundering San Jose Sharks team that has allowed 3.8 goals per game in its last five road contests.

Kadri has been making life miserable for goaltenders recently, compiling 28 shots over his past six contests. An even better stat: He has 36 assists in 31 home games this season — including two the last time the Sharks visited Colorado on Nov. 13.

NBA Prop: SF Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) against the Boston Celtics during second quarter NBA action. The Boston Celtics host the Brooklyn Nets during an NBA game at TD Garden in Boston on March 6, 2022.
Image Credit: Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The bet: Over 5.5 assists (vs. Milwaukee)
The odds: -150
Where to bet: BetRivers
From: BetPrep Prop of the Day via BetPrep.com

The BetPrep crew got back on track Wednesday as LaMelo Ball sailed Over 6.5 assists against the Knicks. The Hornets’ guard finished with 15 dimes, and the BetPrep folks are yet again cheering for a pass-happy outing from an Eastern Conference All-Star.

For Thursday, BetPrep’s Prop of the Day is Kevin Durant Over 5.5 assists in what should be a high-scoring contest against Milwaukee.

Jena Garcia checks in with the rationale for this BetPrep Best Bet:

@betprops

Props.com Prop of the Day | March 31st! NBA Regular Season is on the homestretch to the playoffs, let’s get some more regular season props in! #GameTok #props #propbetting #sports #sportsbetting #sportsbook #fanduel #bettingtiktok #sportstalk #bets #money #betresponsibly #playerprops #sportsbettingtiktok #fyp

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This line moved to 6.5 assists at several sportsbooks, but you can still grab Over 5.5 assists (at -150) at BetRivers.

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