Best NBA Props: James Harden O

Best NBA Props: James Harden O

Updated: 4 months, 27 days, 7 hours, 37 minutes, 34 seconds ago

As the NBA advances into its second week, sharp bettors can start to pick up on which teams are trending up and which are trending down. The 1-3 Philadelphia 76ers started the year terribly behind a sluggish Joel Embiid. Their 34-year-old point guard, James Harden, has seemingly been asked to carry the team. A look at the NBA odds reveals that they’re listed as a pick-’em against the Toronto Raptors tonight. Bettors looking for a positive return on investment should tail the following NBA predictions.

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Best NBA Props & Predictions | Oct. 26

Magic-Cavaliers Prop: Cavaliers -8.5

The Orlando Magic have started the season 0-4, which is setting them up well for this year’s Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes. They have also started the season a miserable 1-3 against the spread, as they only managed to cover against the Boston Celtics. They rank a dismal 26th in net rating (-7.4) behind their 24th-ranked offense (107.5) and 23rd-ranked defense (114.9).

With Jalen Suggs sidelined, the Magic have leaned on their bigs as ball handlers. As a result, the Magic rank last in assists per game (18) and 20th in turnovers per offensive play (13%). While leaning on the bigs can work against small-ball squads like the Celtics, it won’t work against Cleveland’s similarly massive lineup. The Cavaliers have an excellent traditional center in Jarrett Allen, a switchable big in Evan Mobley, and positive big-man defenders in Kevin Love and Dean Wade.

The Cavaliers handled the Magic last season despite having a worse roster. They went 2-1 against Orlando and won their lone game by 13 with both Allen and Mobley available. The Cavaliers currently rank second in net rating (+12.3) due to their fifth-ranked offense (116.7) and fourth-ranked defense (104.4).

Notably, the Magic have given up an NBA-high 4.9 3-pointers per game to opposing power forwards. Julius Randle rattled off a pair of triples, Jayson Tatum and Grant Williams combined for seven, John Collins hit three and Bojan Bogdanovic hit six. Mobley sunk a season-high two triples on a season-high four attempts in his lone healthy appearance against the Magic last year. As a result, bettors should tail the below same-game parlay.

Magic-Cavaliers NBA Prop: Cavaliers -8.5 (-110) at DraftKingsCavaliers Moneyline & Evan Mobley 1+ 3-Pointers (+245 for 0.2 Units) at DraftKings

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76ers-Raptors Prop: James Harden O/U 3.5 Turnovers

The Philadelphia 76ers have leaned on James Harden as a ball handler early in the year. He trails only Luka Doncic in average time of possession and only Nikola Jokic in touches per game. Despite Philadelphia’s 1-3 start, the veteran point guard has looked efficient as Philadelphia’s offensive initiator and is averaging only two turnovers per game.

However, Harden’s efficient start to the year looks like an outlier. He has averaged 3.7 turnovers per game throughout his career and 4.4 per game just last season, and he last averaged fewer than four turnovers per game in his 2013-14 campaign. While it’s possible that Harden has become more efficient with age, that conclusion feels unwarranted at this point.

Harden will face some savvy ballhawks in Toronto this evening. The Raptors rank fourth in steals per game (9.5) and fourth in turnovers forced against opposing point guards (4.5). Harden faced the Raptors twice in last year’s regular season and averaged 4.5 turnovers per game against them. He averaged only 3.5 turnovers per game against them in the playoffs, but Embiid and Tyrese Maxey were doing much more of the ball handling then.

76ers-Raptors NBA Prop: James Harden OVER 3.5 Turnovers (+100) at DraftKings

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Hornets-Knicks Prediction: Mitchell Robinson O/U 8.5 Points

The New York Knicks re-signed Mitchell Robinson to a four-year, $60 million contract in the offseason, and he has responded well to the vote of confidence. He is averaging 8.7 points per game on the year, and that’s despite an outlier 13-minute performance in New York’s opener against Memphis, brought on by foul trouble. Robinson has made an exceptional 84.6% of his shots from the floor, although he is a concerning 40% from the charity stripe.

That said, this is a smash spot for him. The Charlotte Hornets play at the NBA’s fourth-fastest pace and have hemorrhaged points to opposing centers. They have let up the third-most points per game to the position (30.6) and the third-most points in the paint per game (57.3). Robinson beat this number twice against the Hornets last year and averaged 9 points per game against them. He racked up just three fouls across 85 minutes of play.

FanDuel Sportsbook has Robinson’s points total set a full point higher at 9.5, so bettors should head to Caesars for the best deal before it gets bid off the board. Bettors should also wager enough to profit a half-unit on the points and rebounds combo line — the total sits at just 16.5 at Caesars but 18.5 at DraftKings and 17.5 at FanDuel. The Hornets have given up the second-most rebounds per game to opposing centers (20).

Hornets-Knicks NBA Prop: Mitchell Robinson OVER 8.5 Points (-109) at Caesars
Mitchell Robinson OVER 16.5 Points + Rebounds (-129 for 0.65 Units) at Caesars

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