Thursday NBA Props: Pascal Siakam, Passer Extraordinaire?

Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors dribbles the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on March 20, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Image Credit: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The NBA Playoffs are in full swing and so are our NBA props. We have three more contests scheduled for Thursday, all of which are potential elimination games.

The action gets underway with the 76ers vs Raptors at 7 p.m. ET, and the Raptors will be looking to stave off elimination for the third straight game. If they can pull it off, they will force a Game 7 back in Philly.

The Pelicans will host the Suns, and Phoenix will be looking to survive a tougher than expected first-round (without the services of Devin Booker). The Suns lead the series 3-2, but the Pelicans have given them much more of a fight than anticipated.

Finally, the day concludes with the Mavericks vs Jazz at 10 p.m. ET. The Mavs won Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead, but the Jazz will have the benefit of homecourt in Game 6.

Overall, this should be an excellent night of NBA action, so let’s dive into our top five NBA props from Thursday’s three-game slate.

Odds via DraftKings and updated as of 11 a.m. ET on April, 26. 

Raptors vs 76ers Player Props

Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers celebrates in the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena on December 26, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Image Credit: G Fiume/Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers: C Joel Embiid

The prop: 27.5 points (at Toronto)
The odds: Over -110/Under -115

There are serious questions right now concerning Embiid’s thumb. He is reportedly dealing with a torn ligament, which has had a serious impact on his scoring ability. His efficiency hasn’t been terrible – he’s shot 14-29 from the field over the past two games – but his usage rate has been way down. He’s posted a usage rate of 28.7% or less in each of his past two games, which is well below his season average of 37.2%. Overall, he’s scored 21 points or fewer in both contests.

With that in mind, it’s not surprising that Embiid’s scoring prop has tumbled all the way to 27.5 for Thursday’s Game 6. It’s hard to have a ton of confidence in him at that number, but I’m willing to bet on some positive regression. He’s still playing a ton of minutes, and he’s averaged 32.6 points per 36 minutes this season. If not for the injury concerns, this number would be at least three or four points higher. Let’s take the discount and #TrustTheProcess.

Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors looks on during the national anthem before playing the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Scotiabank Arena on March 24, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Image Credit: Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Toronto Raptors: PF Pascal Siakam

The prop: 5.5 assists (vs. Philadelphia)
The odds: Over -145/Under +110

The Raptors are looking to do the unthinkable to climb out of an 0-3 hole to start the series. They’ve managed to win each of the past two games, and they’ll be back at home for Game 6. They’re listed as approximately 1.5-point home underdogs, but they at least have a shot to force a decisive Game 7.

Unfortunately, the team is expected to be without Fred VanVleet for the second straight game. He’s currently listed as doubtful, and while that doesn’t carry as much weight during the postseason, it would not be a surprise if he’s sidelined.

If that’s the case, Siakam should see a significant boost in value as a distributor. He’s increased his assist rate by a team-high +5.0% with VanVleet off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 6.1 assists per 36 minutes. He’s also played at least 43.6 minutes in three straight games, and he should be able to eclipse 5.5 assists with that much playing time.

Unfortunately, Siakam’s assist prop is set at 6.0 on Underdog Fantasy. That’s a slightly less appealing number, but it still has plenty of value.

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Pelicans vs Suns Player Props

Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns looks on during the game agains the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on November 14, 2021 in Houston, Texas.
Image Credit: Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images

Phoenix Suns: PG Chris Paul

The prop: 11.5 assists (at New Orleans)
The odds: Over -130/Under +100

Speaking of distributors, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better distributor than Paul. He’s been doing his thing to start the series vs. the Pelicans, handing out at least 10 dimes in all five games. He did miss the over in his last contest by half an assist, but Paul racked up 19 potential assists in that contest (per In general, he’s averaged 19.2 potential assists per game during the postseason, which is easily the top mark in the league.

Devin Booker is also tentatively expected to miss Thursday’s Game 6, so Paul should continue to handle the ball a bit more than usual. He’s increased his assist rate by +3.1% with Booker off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 11.2 assists per 36 minutes. He should play closer to 40 minutes if tonight’s contest is competitive, so there’s value with the over on 11.5.

Jose Alvarado #15 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts after a turnover during the second half of Game Five of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center on April 26, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Image Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

New Orleans Pelicans: PG Jose Alvarado

The prop: 9.5 points + rebounds + assists (vs. Phoenix)
The odds: Over -110/Under -125

Alvarado was a nice find for the Pelicans, and he has served a very distinct role in this series: Make life hell for CP3. He’s picked him up full court, gotten in his jersey, and basically served as a professional pest. If he can generate a few turnovers from CP3, that’s great. If he can get Paul to punch him in the face, even better.

That role has allowed Alvarado to carve out a decent handful of minutes in this series. He’s coming off 20.1 minutes in his last outing, and he responded with 12 points and one rebound. Overall, he’s been above 9.5 points + rebounds + assists in three of the past four games. I’m expecting a similar workload for Alvarado in Game 6, and he’s proven he can provide some value at this number.

Jazz vs Mavericks Player Props

Jalen Brunson #13 of the Dallas Mavericks controls the ball during the second half against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on January 07, 2022 in Houston, Texas.
Image Credit: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks: PG Jalen Brunson

The prop: 3.5 assists (at Utah)
The odds: Over +105/Under -140

Brunson has likely made himself a nice chunk of change in the postseason. The upcoming free agent has served as a quality No. 2 behind Luka Doncic all season, and he even led the team to two postseason wins with Doncic sidelined.

His assist numbers have taken a slight hit with Doncic back in the fold recently, but he’s still managed three and four assists over his past two games. He’s also averaged 6.0 potential assists per game over that stretch. Considering that this prop is available at plus money, the Over is worth a shake in Game 6.