Best NBA Player Props Today: Anunoby Nixes Nets

The Knicks continue to climb up the Eastern Conference standings, and our NBA betting picks see head coach Tom Thibodeau keeping his foot on the gas pedal. That means more looks for OG Anunoby on Friday night, as Jon Metler explains.

Apr 12, 2024 • 13:22 ET • 4 min read
New York Knicks NBA OG Anunoby
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

We have all 30 teams in action on Friday in the NBA. I repeat, all 30 teams are playing, which means we have plenty of NBA odds to search through to find the best NBA player props

With all 30 teams taking the floor on Friday, our attention will be on two future award winners in the NBA, as Nikola Jokic (MVP) and Victor Wembanyama (ROTY) will square off at Frost Bank Center.

Find out what other player props I'm backing in my free NBA picks for April 12.

Best NBA player props today

Picks made on 4/12 at 1:20 p.m. ET.
Read full analysis of each pick.

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NBA player props for April 12

Prop bet #1: MVP prop appeals

If the Denver Nuggets win their final two games, they will claim the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and secure the Northwest division title. In other words, they aren't resting their starters in this spot; they are going for it because the final two games are very winnable, as they will be facing the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies.

On Friday, the Nuggets will take on the Spurs, and Victor Wembanyama is expected to play after missing the Spurs' previous game. This is crucial for this player prop bet; I need Wembanyama in this game to help keep the score closer and because I'm specifically targeting this assists prop for Nikola Jokic, which is priced at 7.5 (-139) because of Wembanyama.

Wembanyama was the primary defender on Jokic on April 2, and the Nuggets weren't shy about going after him on the offensive end, as Jokic had 32 field goal attempts. Wembanyama is most dangerous as a defender when he is playing help defense and can come over and block a shot. By feeding Jokic the ball, you keep Wembanyama focused on him, which will open up easier shots for other players on the Nuggets and potential assists for Jokic.

When these two teams met on April 2, Jokic only finished the game with six assists, but he had 19 potential assists. That's a massive number for someone trading at 7.5 (-139), which, might I add, is also just a low number for Jokic on any given night.

Jokic is projected to dish out nine assists on Friday against the Spurs, allowing us to price the Over 7.5 assists at -191, but it is available at Caesars at -139. Based on this projection, this bet shows a positive expected value of 13%.

Nikola Jokic prop: Over 7.5 assists (-139 at Caesars)

Prop bet #2: Tre bien

The Spurs have been sitting out players in recent weeks, with Devin Vassell and Jeremy Sochan done for the season, and Keldon Johnson and Cedi Osman will also miss Friday's game. Tre Jones is one of the few starters left, and with so many players out, his minutes are very secure. 

Even in the Spurs' previous game, where they were completely blown out by the Oklahoma City Thunder and down 33 points at halftime, Jones still played 28 minutes. Is the Nuggets being a 13.5-point favorite a little scary for an Over bet? Of course, but even if it is a complete rout, I don't think Jones will fall too far below his projected minutes.

Wembanyama being off the injury report and expected to play on Friday is not only big for our Jokic assists prop but also for our Jones assists prop. We're not betting on Wembanyama, but his presence is directly impacting our other bets. Jones needs someone to convert potential assists for him, and Wembanyama is that player. Swapping out Wembanyama for Zach Collins would really hurt Jones' assists prop because Collins isn't capable of finishing around the rim like Wembanyama and converting potential assists.

When the Spurs played the Nuggets on April 2, Jones had 11 assists on 23 potential assists. Let me say that again for you: Jones had 11 assists on 23 potential assists. You can't look at those numbers and think that Jones was lucky to finish with 11 assists. Based on those potential assists, he should've had even more than 11 dimes. 23 potential assists is a number we would see from Tyrese Haliburton earlier in the season when he was dropping 14 assists in a game. Lucky for us, Jones' total isn't anywhere near what you would see for Haliburton, as Jones is trading at 6.5 (+115), and that's why I'm hitting the button.

Jones is projected to have 7.1 assists on Friday against the Nuggets, which allows us to price the Over 6.5 assists at -126, but it is available at +115 at bet365.

Tre Jones prop: Over 6.5 assists (+115 at bet365)

Prop bet #3: OG goes all-out

The New York Knicks are on the back end of a back-to-back, and with only two games left in their regular season, you might anticipate seeing decreased minutes for their starters in this spot. But this is Tom Thibodeau we're talking about here. 

I think Thibodeau can smell blood in the water with the Milwaukee Bucks being a 14.5-point road underdog against the Thunder and the Bucks playing their final regular season game in Orlando against the Magic, who also have a very high sense of urgency. The Knicks and Thibodeau know they can snag that No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, and I think you might even see elevated minutes for the Knicks' starters on Friday since their minutes were relatively low on Thursday against the Boston Celtics. 

OG Anunoby only played 25 minutes on Thursday because the Knicks crushed the Celtics, so he should be ready to roll on Friday against the Brooklyn Nets. This would be a different story if Anunoby played 40 minutes against the Celtics on Thursday.

Why am I going after Anunoby's assists prop? Well, for one, the bulk of the Nets' offense comes from their backcourt of Cam Thomas and Mikal Bridges. So Anunoby could see elevated minutes because they need his perimeter defense on these two players.

The other reason I'm attacking the OG Anunoby odds is that the Nets like to use Bridges on Brunson as his primary defender. The other players in the Nets' backcourt, Dennis Schroder and Thomas, are not elite defenders by any means. In fact, they are quite the opposite. The Knicks should attack Thomas and Schroder on the defensive end, which should lead to more touches for Anunoby and more potential assist opportunities.

Anunoby is projected to have 2.2 assists on Friday against the Nets, which allows us to price the Over 1.5 assists at -170, but it is available at BetMGM at -105.

OG Anunoby prop: Over 1.5 assists (-105 at BetMGM)

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