Wednesday night brings us a full nine-game schedule in the National Basketball Association. As we draw closer to the All-Star break, it becomes even more critical for bettors to monitor the injury reports and statuses for star players. Several teams are bound to opt to get their superstars some additional rest ahead of the break as they gear up for the second half and a playoff push. This can create worthwhile opportunities in the NBA props betting market. Basketball Insiders takes a look at the best NBA player props and free picks for the February 2nd NBA betting slate. Odds for the picks can be found at BetOnline Sportsbook.
Best NBA Player Props and Free Picks for Tonight, 2/2
Torrey Craig Over 8.5 Points (-119) | NBA Player Props
No team in the NBA is dealing with more injuries currently than the Indiana Pacers. The frontcourt has been hit particularly hard recently. Just when Domantas Sabonis returned from a brief absence due to an ankle injury, he landed in the league’s health and safety protocols. Yes, sadly those are actually still a thing. Along with Sabonis, both backup center Goga Bitadze and forward Oshae Brissett are questionable at best to play tonight due to injuries. No matter who ultimately suits up for the Pacers, bettors can count on Torrey Craig having a sizeable role in Wednesday’s contest.
While the playing time in recent games has not always translated into high-scoring outputs, Craig has finished in double figures three times over the last seven contests. In three of the games when he didn’t, he scored exactly eight points. If those recent showings are any indication, the NBA player props total of 8.5 points for Craig tonight is well within his reach. From an opposition standpoint, the Orlando Magic rank among the bottom ten teams in defensive efficiency allowing 109.6 points per 100 possessions. Looking at the Pacers’ last five games, two of their opponents joined Orlando in sporting bottom-10 defenses. Craig notably sailed over the prop line in both games.
Spencer Dinwiddie Under 14.5 Points (-112) | NBA Player Props
Things have gotten ugly in a big way on the hardwood in our nation’s capital. The Washington Wizards come into Wednesday night’s road contest against the Philadelphia 76ers mired in a six-game losing streak. On top of that, there are reports of in-fighting amongst the players. Supposedly, point guard Spencer Dinwiddie is at the root of the discontent. Rumor has it that other Wizards players want him out of the locker room and off the team! Despite continuing to play right around his season average of 30 minutes per game, Dinwiddie has only exceeded 11 points scored one time over Washington’s last seven contests. Furthermore, he has only scored in double figures three times over that same span.
Whether it is the locker room issues or just a general slump, Dinwiddie’s shooting numbers have been abysmal. Add in a 76ers outfit that is tied for ninth in defensive efficiency allowing 106.4 points per 100 possessions and it could be tough sledding for all Wizards this evening. The 28-year-old has only averaged 13.0 points per game so far this season, a full 1.5 points below tonight’s NBA player props total. Thus bettors have a statistical edge, a shooting slump, reports of locker room turmoil and a tough defensive opponent all pointing towards a play on the under.
Ja Morant Under 28.5 Points (-114) | NBA Player Props
It’s no secret that Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant has been on fire offensively of late. The third-year pro will attempt to eclipse the 30-point threshold for the eighth consecutive game tonight. However, one has to believe that his volume of shot attempts will regress to the mean sooner than later. Tonight’s matchup could start that downfall as the New York Knicks remain a solid defensive team to contend with. The Knicks rank among the top-10 teams in defensive efficiency coming into tonight’s matchup allowing only 106.4 points per 100 possessions. Furthermore, New York plays at one of the slowest tempos in the league which will work to limit the number of possessions Memphis sees.
Taking all of this into consideration, it will presumably be difficult for Morant to exceed 30 points for the eighth game in a row. The NBA player props market actually lists this prop total primarily at 27.5. Thus, bettors can score an extra point of value through BetOnline while not paying much extra juice. While line moves are always worth noting, sometimes taking a contrarian approach to NBA prop bets is the best way to go.