I’ll be honest. The last time I was at the wheel of our daily NBA player props piece, it didn’t go well.
Handicapping the home stretch of the NBA schedule is an uphill climb, with mixed motivations for teams in and out of the playoffs. Postseason-bound coaches are kicking the tires on different lineups and rotations while team’s staring down an early offseason look to get prospects some extra run, in order to shape next year’s squad.
With only six days of regular-season stakes left, we dive into Tuesday’s 12-game slate and give our free NBA player prop picks for April 5.
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NBA player props for April 5
Picks made on 4/5/2022 at 10:30 a.m. ET.
The odds widgets below represent the best odds currently available for each betting market at regulated sportsbooks.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Today’s best NBA player props
Part of my dismal 0-3 prop showing Sunday involved me fading Denver Nuggets' springy forward Aaron Gordon and his point production versus the Lakers, leaning on the fact that he would draw defensive duties on LeBron James. Well, LeBron sat out, and Gordon poured in 24 points in a victory over L.A.
Gordon has stepped up his game during the home stretch, posting an individual offensive rating of 124.6 over his last nine contests. The dunk contest bridesmaid is averaging 18.8 points during this span and has tallied 20 or more in six of those nine games, including back-to-back 24-point efforts in April.
He’s getting the job done with great inside-out play, finishing at the rim while also making the most of his looks from downtown. He's currently shooting a collective 14-for-30 from 3-point range in those last nine games (46.7%), and is 7-for-11 from deep in his two showings this month.
Gordon’s point total is sitting at 16.5 for today’s homestand with San Antonio. He’s put up 16 and 25 points in his last two efforts against the Spurs, who come into this game with seven wins in their last nine games – albeit against some shite teams, including three victories over Portland.
We aren’t going to get cute with Air Gordon this time: Over 16.5 points.
Pick: Aaron Gordon Over 16.5 points (+100)
The Cleveland Cavaliers are treading water before the postseason, trying to avoid the play-in tournament while overcoming injuries to frontcourt pillars Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.
Taking up the charge for the Cavs is All-Star guard Darius Garland, thriving with Cleveland rolling out a smaller, quicker rotation with those two bigs sidelined. Since Allen went down on March 6, Garland is averaging 25 points and 10.3 assists over Cleveland’s last 15 outings – a jump from his 21.6 and 8.6 season-long average.
The Cavaliers come to the Magic Kingdom on Tuesday, taking on an Orlando team that appears to be in full-on tank mode, tumbling on a six-game slide in which it’s allowed more than 114 points per game. The Magic are also rolling out a lengthy injury report.
Orlando's backcourt could be without starting guard Cole Anthony (toe) tonight and is already down Jalen Suggs as well as limiting minutes for Markelle Fultz. That means Garland could draw the defense of 10-day’r Devin Cannady and reserve-turned-starter R.J. Hampton.
Garland’s points + assist prop is sitting at 27.5 with the Over juiced to -125. We’re going to pay a little extra to keep it simple and instead play his double-double odds at -134.
Pick: Darius Garland double-double (-130)
The Milwaukee Bucks have been careful with center Brook Lopez since his return from a back injury suffered in the very first game of the season. After being cleared in mid-March, the 7-footer is averaging an efficient 10.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in less than 23 minutes per game.
Lopez played only 22 minutes in Milwaukee’s loss to Dallas last time out but finished with 14 points on 6 of 13 shooting (including 2-for-4 from deep) and snagged three boards. The Bucks have removed his minutes restriction and could really use the “Full Lopez” tonight in Chicago.
The Bucks are 2.5 games back of Miami for the top seed in the East and only a half-game behind No. 2 Philadelphia. Lopez saw 24 minutes of floor time versus the Bulls on March 22, scoring 10 points and wrangling six rebounds in just his fourth game back.
With Lopez unleashed from time limitations and getting into game shape, we’re banking on a bigger day against the Bulls.
Pick: Brook Lopez Over 14.5 points + rebounds (-104)
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