Best NBA Player Props Today: Russ Runs Lakers Offense

D'Angelo Russell has had somewhat of a resurgence with the Lakers this season and has become a valuable part of their offense. That's why he's highlighting our favorite NBA prop picks for tonight's slate.

Apr 2, 2024 • 16:11 ET • 4 min read
D'Angelo Russell Los Angeles Lakers NBA
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With nine games on the NBA slate and an important game taking place in the Western Conference between Luka Doncic and Stephen Curry, I looked through the NBA odds to find you the best NBA player props.

The Dallas Mavericks are trying to avoid the Play-In Tournament in the Western Conference, and the Golden State Warriors are fighting to even make it.

Find out who I'm backing in my NBA picks for April 2.

Best NBA player props today

Picks made on April 2 at 12:00 p.m. ET.
Read full analysis of each pick.

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NBA player props for April 2

Prop bet #1: DLo Dimes

The Los Angeles Lakers are desperate for some wins over the final two weeks of the season to, at the very least, pull themselves out of the 9 versus 10 spot of the Play-In Tournament. However, they're on the front end of a back-to-back so they must be careful with the minutes of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

With that in mind I went straight to the D'Angelo Russell odds.

If James and Davis both play, I still like Over 5.5 assists for Russell as we have an edge on this pricing. The thing is, both James and Davis are tagged as questionable and I think there's a chance James sits this one out.

L.A. needs dubs, but the Raptors also don't want to win so they can keep their first-round pick away from the Spurs. I'm not banking on James missing the game, but it's a potential boost we could see to a wager I already favor.

Toronto has one of the worst defenses in the NBA at the moment with Kelly Olynyk is its main rim protector. Bruce Brown was its power forward against the 76ers on Sunday, and Kyle Lowry dropped 10 dimes on the Raptors. If you get Russell working the pick-and-roll with AD, the potential assists to Davis should convert at a high rate.

Russell is projected to have 6.7 assists which allows us to price the Over 5.5 assists at -184 — giving great value to the -130 price I got.

D'Angelo Russell prop: Over 5.5 assists (-130 at bet365)

Prop bet #2: Green in giving mood

Draymond Green odds grab my attention when his assist prop is at 5.5, but I tend to stay away when it hops to 6.5. However, there was another factor that drew me into this bet — and it was what I saw from one of the Dallas Mavericks' opponents on Sunday.

Rockets' Jabari Smith Jr. had five potential assists against Dallas while playing a small-ball center position, which is the same idea as what Green does for the Warriors.

The difference is Green is a high-potential assists player on a normal day and is very involved in facilitating the actions the Warriors run, but Smith is not that type of player at all for the Rockets. Smith only averages 2.4 potential assists per game, and when you average a low number like that, it stands out to me when I see five potential assists vs. someone.

Smith can shoot the 3-ball which was ultimately pulling Daniel Gafford away from the rim for the Mavs. Dallas relies on Gafford and Dereck Lively to protect the rim and clean up its not-so-strong perimeter defense.

This is where I think Green can rack up the potential assists because Golden State will want to deploy him in a similar fashion that draws Gafford away from the rim. Once Draymond gets Gafford guarding the perimeter, it'll open up high-value potential assists opportunities to cutters and dribble handoff actions for potential assists.

Green is projected to have 6.4 dimes which allows us to price the Over 5.5 assists at -152, but it's available at DraftKings at -130. Based on this projection, this bet shows a positive expected value of 7%.

Draymond Green prop: Over 5.5 assists (-130 at DraftKings)

Prop bet #3: Key in on Keon

The Sacramento Kings suffered a devastating injury on Friday as Malik Monk sprained his MCL and will miss four to six weeks. Monk isn't the only backcourt player the Kings are missing: Kevin Huerter is also out for the season.

This will ultimately impact the minutes for several players in Sacramento's rotation, and I think we should take advantage of this before the sportsbooks catch up to this idea. A blowout victory against the Jazz on Sunday kept a lot of the starter's minutes down, and I think it's kind of hiding the impact of this injury and creating a probability gap we can exploit.

Keon Ellis was starting for the Kings before the Monk injury even took place, but what the Monk injury does for Keon Ellis' odds is it brings a level of guarantee to his projected minutes. I fully expect to see the minutes we are projecting Ellis for and wouldn't be shocked at all if they are even higher than the projection.

The matchup against the Clippers also helps with the projection of Ellis' minutes. He's the best perimeter defender on the Kings, and two of L.A.'s main offensive threats are in its backcourt in James Harden and Paul George.

I also like the Over on Ellis' assists prop because two of the starters he plays with, Keegan Murray and Harrison Barnes, don't create offense. Monk was very involved in generating offense alongside De'Aaron Fox for the Kings, and I believe Ellis could take on some of that role.

Ellis is projected to have 2.8 assists which allows us to price the Over 2.5 assists at -106, but it's available at DraftKings at +130.

Keon Ellis prop: Over 2.5 assists (+130 at DraftKings)

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