Thursday NBA Props: Jokers Wild In Denver

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets dribbles against the Memphis Grizzlies at Ball Arena on April 7, 2022 in Denver, Colorado.
Image Credit: Ethan Mito/Clarkson Creative/Getty Images

The NBA playoffs are upon us. There are another three games to choose from on Thursday, and the action gets underway at 7:30 p.m. ET. While the stakes have changed for the teams on the court, the goal from our perspective has not: help you make money.

Throughout the playoffs, will present our top NBA props selections from the day’s action, then do what we do best: Provide in-depth analysis that you can choose to use (or not use!) for wagering purposes.

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: 29.5 points (at Minnesota)
The odds: Over -115/Under -110

Morant is one of the most electrifying young players in the league, and he put together a career year in 2021-22. He was selected as a starter for his first All-Star game, is a finalist for the Most Improved Player award, and led the Grizzlies to the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.

Still, scoring 30 points is a big ask for anyone in the playoffs, especially on the road. He got to 32 points in the first game of this series, but he benefitted from a whopping 20 free throw attempts. He made 16 of them, so exactly half of his points came at the charity stripe. Ja only had four free-throw attempts in Game 2, so he came back to reality with 23 points. A bunch of things need to break right for Morant to hit the over on this number, so I like the idea of fading it.

Minnesota Timberwolves: PG Patrick Beverley

Patrick Beverley #22 of the Minnesota Timberwolves celebrates with fans as time expires against the Los Angeles Clippers in the fourth quarter during a Play-In Tournament game at Target Center on April 12, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves won 109-104 to advance to the NBA Playoffs.
Image Credit: David Berding/Getty Images

The prop: 4.5 rebounds (vs. Memphis)
The odds: Over -140/Under +105

Beverley has been a huge part of the Timberwolves’ rotation all season, and that’s not going to change in the postseason. He’s coming off just under 30 minutes in Game 2, despite the fact the Timberwolves lost by nearly 30 points. With a more competitive contest expected in Game 3 of this series against Memphis, Beverley could easily crack the 30-minute plateau so long as he stays out of foul trouble.

Should he get that much court time, Beverley is a great bet to pull down at least five boards Thursday night. After all, he’s averaged 5.9 rebounds per 36 minutes this season. And while he was limited to just two boards in his last outing, he had at least six in his prior two games. This is a prime buy-low spot.

Utah Jazz: C Rudy Gobert

Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz looks on during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Vivint Smart Home Arena on October 20, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Image Credit: Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The prop: 13.5 points (vs. Dallas)
The odds: Over +100/Under -125

Gobert doesn’t get a ton of respect as a scorer, but he probably should. The vast majority of his attempts come from around the rim, but he’s one of the most efficient players in the league at converting them. He led the league in field goal percentage once again this season, something he’s done in three of the past four years.

Gobert has done very little as a scorer so far this series, but he’s a candidate for some positive regression. Unlike in years past, minutes have not been an issue for Gobert so far vs. the Mavericks. He’s averaged 36.4 minutes through the first two games, which is approximately four additional minutes than he averaged during the regular season.

Gobert averaged 15.6 points per game and 17.4 points per 36 minutes during the regular season, so better scoring numbers should be coming, starting in Game 3 on Thursday.

Golden State Warriors: SF Andrew Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Golden State Warriors shoots a foul shot against the Utah Jazz during the first half of an NBA basketball game at Chase Center on January 23, 2022 in San Francisco, California.
Image Credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The prop: 5.5 rebounds (at Denver)
The odds: Over +100/Under -130

I generally enjoy betting against Wiggins to do things on a basketball court other than score. He’s gotten a bit more well-rounded as a player since joining the Warriors, but he still averaged just 4.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game during the regular season. He has at least eight boards in his first two playoff contests, but those seem like outliers.

Additionally, Wiggins could be feeling a bit of a minute crunch moving forward. The Warriors have eased Steph Curry back into their rotation, but he’s obviously not going to play limited minutes forever.

As his playing time increases, where are the minutes going to come from? It doesn’t seem like Jordan Poole should be playing any less – he’s been red-hot over the past month – and Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are both well-established Warriors legends. That could leave Wiggins as the odd man out. He’s racked up just 30.1 minutes per game during the postseason, which makes his strong rebounding numbers feel even flukier. Game 3 against the Nuggets in Denver is the perfect time to sell high.

Denver Nuggets: C Nikola Jokic

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is guarded by Oklahoma City Thunder center Isaiah Roby
Image Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The prop: 51.5 points + rebounds + assists (vs. Golden State)
The odds: Over -115/Under -120

Jokic is the anti-Wiggins: There is nothing that he can’t do on a basketball court. His supporting cast is a bit lacking, but that tends to happen when you’re paying two players a combined $35M and they can’t suit up.

Jokic has been somewhat quiet to start the postseason, but he has his back against the wall heading into Game 3 at home. The Nuggets simply cannot afford to lose this contest, so expect to see a monster workload for the reigning MVP. 51.5 points + rebounds + assists is a massive number, but Jokic averaged 48.8 PRA over just 33.5 minutes during the regular season. He could play closer to 40 minutes on Thursday, so expect the probable MVP to run wild.