Thursday NBA Props: Trust Kristaps Porzingis?

Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the Washington Wizards dribbles the ball during the second quarter of the game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 18, 2022 in New York City.
Image Credit: Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

Each weekday, selects five intriguing players 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. compared the top platforms to find that DraftKings Sportsbook has the most robust offerings for NBA Props. They also have a generous welcome offer for new members (see below).

With that, let’s dive into our top NBA Props for Thursday’s five-game slate.

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook updated as of noon ET on March 24. 

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Cleveland Cavaliers: PF Lauri Markkanen

Lauri Markkanen #24 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots a jump shot during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum on December 18, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Cavaliers defeated the Bucks 119-90.
Image Credit: John Fisher/Getty Images

The prop: 6.5 rebounds
The odds: Over -110/Under -120

Markkanen has been an important player for the Cavaliers this season, and they’ve needed him to play big minutes recently with Jarrett Allen and Dean Wade sidelined. He’s averaged 38.3 minutes per game over his past five contests, and he’s averaged 7.2 rebounds per game over that time frame.

That said, that’s caused his rebound prop to become a bit inflated. Even with all that playing time, he’s still grabbed less than seven boards in four of his past seven games. He’s also averaged just 5.6 rebounds per game this season, and he’s hit the under on 6.5 boards in 33 of 51 outings (64.7%). With that in mind, I’m willing to bet on a bit of regression for Markkanen vs. the Raptors, who rank 10th in rebound rate this season.

Toronto Raptors: PG Fred VanVleet

Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors looks on against the Miami Heat during the first half at FTX Arena on January 17, 2022 in Miami, Florida.
Image Credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The prop: 3.5 rebounds
The odds: Over -115/Under -115

Tom Thibodeau is known for running his players into the ground, but don’t sleep on what Nick Nurse is doing in Toronto. He is pushing his starters extremely hard to try and get them a guaranteed playoff spot. Three Raptors players rank in the top eight in minutes per game this season, and a fourth (OG Anunoby) would also be up there if he played in enough contests to qualify.

The bill for all those minutes will come due eventually, but it makes the Raptors an appealing over target in the prop market for the time being. No one on the team is asked to do more than VanVleet. He leads the league with a ridiculous 38.2 minutes per game, which has allowed him to average a career-best 4.6 rebounds per game. He’s coming off six rebounds in his last outing, and he’s hit the over on 3.5 boards in four of his past six games.

Washington Wizards: PF Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the Washington Wizards shoots a free throw against the Indiana Pacers during the second half at Capital One Arena on March 6, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Image Credit: Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The prop: 20.5 points
The odds: Over +100/Under -125

Porzingis is currently the last man standing for the Wizards from a health perspective. Who saw that twist coming? Some true Keyser Soze stuff going on in Washington.

With Kyle Kuzma joining Bradley Beal on the sidelines, Porzingis is going to have to carry the scoring workload Thursday vs. the Bucks. He’s increased his usage rate to 32.8% with Kuzma off the floor during his brief tenure with Wizards, resulting in an average of 32.0 points per 36 minutes. Porzingis likely won’t get to 36 minutes in this contest, but he did play 32 minutes in his last outing. That should be enough to get the job done.

The only real concern is the point spread. The Wizards are listed as 13-point road underdogs vs. the Bucks, so there’s a chance that Porzingis spends the fourth quarter watching from the sidelines. I’m willing to take that gamble, especially since Porzingis has already proven he can rack up points in limited playing time.

New Orleans Pelicans: SG C.J. McCollum

CJ McCollum #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on March 08, 2022 in Memphis, Tennessee.
Image Credit: Justin Ford/Getty Images

The prop: 30.5 points + assists
The odds: Over -125/Under -105

The Pelicans are expected to be without Brandon Ingram once again on Thursday, so McCollum should continue to run the show for the Pelicans. He’s seen a +2.9% usage bump with Ingram off the court, as well as a +7.5% assist rate bump. Both of those are the biggest increases on the team. Add it all up, and McCollum has averaged 37.1 points + assists per 36 minutes with Ingram off the floor.

I feel the best about his work as a distributor – the over on 5.5 assists is extremely appealing – but that prop isn’t available on Underdog. That said, using the points + assists prop is still a strong wager.

Denver Nuggets: SG Will Barton

Will Barton #5 of the Denver Nuggets plays against the Chicago Bulls at Ball Arena on November 19, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.
Image Credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The prop: 19.5 points + rebounds + assists
The odds: Over -125/Under -105

The Nuggets are begging for anyone to step up alongside Nikola Jokic. There’s still a chance that Jamal Murray or Michael Porter Jr. will return before the playoffs, but for now, Barton is the best candidate to play Robin alongside Jokic’s Batman.

As far as Robin’s go, Barton is a weak one. He’s struggled mightily of late, averaging just 8.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists over his past four games.

That’s caused his PRA prop to crater, and there’s some value in betting on a bounce-back vs. the Suns. Barton has averaged 23.1 points + rebounds + assists this season, so he’s better than his current prop is giving him credit for.

The Suns also stand out as a decent matchup. They haven’t been quite as potent defensively since losing Chris Paul to a thumb injury, and more importantly, the spread on this game sits at just two points. That means this should be a competitive contest, so Barton should be asked to play plenty of minutes. This is an excellent buy-low opportunity.