2017 NBA Playoff Prop Bets: Will Stephen Curry Lead All Scorers?
Published on April 24, 2017
Some of the top NBA betting sites are having fun with the 2017 NBA Playoffs, as fans can place bets on individual games, specific series, conference winners and of course who they think will win this year’s NBA Finals.
Bovada is again offering an even more unique NBA bet, however, as they’re pushing out a sweet NBA prop bet where bettors get to predict which NBA star will score the most points on Monday night. The window is tight to place this bet before the first of three games tips off, while Bovada is also offering a second leading scorer bet that focuses less on the huge stars and tests your knowledge of some lesser known stars and role players.
We had a pretty good grasp on this same bet the other day, when we pointed to Chris Paul (34 points) as a solid sleeper with +1200 odds. He didn’t win (James Harden led the way with 44 points) but he was oddly enough better than the favorite, Russell Westbrook.
Who will pull into the lead for tonight’s top NBA scorers? Let’s take a look at the odds and make a case for each player listed at Bovada:
Stephen Curry unsurprisingly leads the way with the best odds to lead all scorers in points on Monday night, but this is far from a slam dunk case. Here’s a look at the odds at Bovada to see who the other top favorites are:
Curry is just ahead of Damian Lillard, while DeRozan and Wall tie for third. It’s a very tight race at the top, while this list as a whole has several strong candidates to blow up on Monday night.
You could make a case for just about every player on this list, and we’ll do exactly that, as we gauge each player’s betting upside and chances at pacing the league in scoring tonight:
Curry leads the way just because he’s without a doubt the most explosive scorer on this list – if not still the most explosive scorer in the NBA. It’s possible his role is impacted again, as Kevin Durant could sit out a third straight game with a calf injury:
With Golden State up 3-0 on Portland, I'm told Kevin Durant (calf) remains questionable for Monday's closeout game.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes)
If KD can’t go, Curry may need to really bring it to close out the Blazers in Portland.
The upside is pretty interesting here, as Curry has fun +400 odds even as the favorite. Curry is an easy pick, as he’s chipped in two solid outings (29 and 34 points) across three games so far in this series and Portland does not present a matchup problem. He’s on the road and KD could return, but given his upside and these odds, there is plenty of reason to get behind him tonight.
You could vouch for Thrillard just as easily, as the Blazers star has been even better than Curry in this series (31 and 34-point outings) and will be in full-blown desperation mode on his home floor. This hasn’t been a tough matchup for him, either, and he could potentially thrive with his back against the wall.
The downside here is the Blazers like to play Klay Thompson on Lillard, while teammate C.J. McCollum is just as explosive. In addition, we need to be worried about a blowout in a series-clinching game four. If Lillard isn’t hot early, he’d quickly become a very risky bet.
DMR is obviously in play based off of his last game, when he finally figured out Milwaukee’s defense and scored 33 points. He’d been atrocious in this series with the Bucks prior to that, of course, so it’s fair to wonder which version of DeRozan shows up in this contest.
DeRozan has the edge at home at the Air Canada Centre and this is a huge game five where the Raptors can take control of the series. I’m sure DeRozan steps up his game and chips in a good amount of points, but these games have a slower pace and Milwaukee’s length could still be a problem. He’s a solid enough candidate with +550 odds, but he has some shakiness to him.
Wall isn’t the worst bet to lead Monday’s games in the scoring department, as he has completely wrecked in this series, pouring in 29, 32 and 32 points in the first three games. Atlanta as a whole can defend the perimeter and the paint, but Wall has done as he’s pleased against Dennis Schroder and there isn’t much evidence to suggest it will stop anytime soon.
The knock on Wall is three-fold, however. For one, the Hawks play well at home and could rise up in a huge game four. Wall also isn’t historically the best shooter in the world, while he tends to work hard to set his teammates up. He can explode for 30+ points, but his desire to pass the ball more than the usual star scorer could give him an unwanted cap when it comes to this NBA prop bet.
The Greek Freak is worth a look when it comes to Monday’s top NBA scorer, simply because we saw him explode in game one (28 points) and he might be able to get high percentage buckets easier than anyone in the league. That being said, he’s regressed as a scorer in every game since popping off in Toronto in game one and he isn’t a reliable shooter yet.
Toronto has done a masterful job at limiting Giannis lately and it seems they’ll live with him knocking down long two-pointers or the three ball if it comes to that. They’re playing him tight on his drives, though, and with this game back in Toronto, we don’t love the upside.
If you’re going to bet hard on a Blazers star, McCollum might be the better play over Damian Lillard. It seems Golden State has wisely locked in on Lillard more in this series, and that’s allowed McCollum to get more open looks. He’s turned that into some elite production, scoring a whopping 41 points in game one and adding 31 more points in game three.
McCollum can erupt at any moment and he’s had a ton of success against the Dubs in the past, but there is blowout concern here. In addition, he did get bottled up in game two, where he mustered just 11 points in a horrible loss. The other scary part is he does tend to play second fiddle to Lillard, so even if he’s on, it might not necessarily equate to a huge point total in the end.
Thompson might be my favorite sleeper play before we even get through this list, just because he’s been oddly quiet (24 or fewer points in every game) in this series. His 24 points in game three could be a sign of things to come, though, and with Kevin Durant possibly sitting out a third straight game we could see Thompson go off.
Like anyone else associated with this game, a blowout game in a series clincher is a legit concern. Still, Thompson has been known to get hot and this is not a bad matchup for him. With +700 odds, he’s a worthwhile flier bet that boasts plenty of upside.
If we’re seriously considering betting on Klay Thompson, we probably can’t ignore Bradley Beal, either. Beal didn’t show up in game three against the Hawks (12 points), but he’s been solid in this series, dropping in 31 and 22 points in his other two contests.
If Wall isn’t the bet to erupt for the Wizards, Beal is a solid secondary target. He tends to hover around 20-25 points for the most part, but he’s been known to erupt for 40+ points at times this year. Atlanta is at home and can defend the perimeter, but in a huge game four, it wouldn’t be that crazy to see him coming up big.
You could make the same exact argument for Schroder, who has been very solid in this series, consistently producing with 23+ points in all three games to this point. He should continue to be as comfortable as ever on his home floor and so far John Wall hasn’t been able to really slow him down.
Schroder does come with some risk, of course, as he was not always a consistent performer during the regular season and as good as he’s been, he hasn’t even hit 30+ points in this series yet. It’s worth noting the Wizards have been pretty vocal about their shaky defense lately, as well, so it wouldn’t be all that shocking for them to step it up a bit on that end of the floor.
Sticking with Atlanta, Millsap might end up being the most interesting value play when it comes to this NBA prop bet. Millsap has a personal beef with Wizards big man Markieff Morris and has really been focused over the last two games, willing his way to 27 and 29-point efforts.
It’s worth wondering if we’ve seen the very best of a determined Thrillsap to this point, especially since he’s at home and will want to continue showing up Morris. He’s not historically an elite scorer, but he’s looked great in this series and carries insane +1500 odds. We certainly need to consider a flier bet on him with those odds.
Lowry is a very interesting option tonight, as he’s dealing with a back issue and has not gone off in this series. The back issue is not seen as serious, though, and he’s fully expected to suit up:
Lowry had some back stiffness this morning. He didn't participate in shootaround and was sent home early. He's expected to play tonight
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050)
Lowry, like much of the Raptors, has found it difficult to consistently score on a long and athletic Bucks defense. That’s capped him at 22 points through the first three games and plays a huge hand in why Vegas doesn’t deem him as a huge threat to pace the league in scoring on Monday night.
But is that poor logic? After all, Lowry is no slouch as a shooter or pure scorer. This is without a doubt one of the better point guards in the entire league and we’ve certainly seen Lowry erupt as a scorer in the past. In addition, the Bucks could again exert a lot of their energy on stopping DeRozan, which could call for Lowry to step up in this series more than ever.
This really is a tough one, as Curry makes sense as the leader going into Monday’s NBA slate, but there are strong arguments all the way to the bottom of this list.
Ultimately, this is a fun prop bet that probably calls for multiple bets. If you’re looking for safety, Curry is probably the best play and for a flat prediction, we’re picking Curry to pace all scorers.
That being said, we like Klay Thompson as a random sleeper just because he feels due for a big game, while Lowry stands out as the best overall value. He’s just too good to be contained for an entire series, plus he’s at home and the Bucks will be busier trying to contain DMR.