Best NBA Player Props Today: Derrick Does Damage

Saturday's Knicks-Celtics clash takes center stage for our NBA player props picks today, as we break down why Derrick White should keep the pressure on Jalen Brunson & Co.

Feb 24, 2024 • 12:58 ET • 4 min read
Derrick White NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

With just three games on the slate for Saturday, February 24, I’ve found that the best value NBA odds all happen to lie in the matchup between the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks. 

My three favorite NBA player props center on three role players who should have outsized roles as these old Eastern Conference rivals face off later today. I’m going with a trio of plays featuring Derrick White, Josh Hart, and Precious Achiuwa.

Here are my free NBA picks for tonight’s player props.

Best NBA player props today

Picks made on February 24 at 4:30 a.m. ET.
Read full analysis of each pick.

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NBA player props for February 24

Prop bet #1: Derrick delivers

The Celtics pose unique matchup problems for the Knicks in two areas. First, by employing a legit stretch five in Kristaps Porzingis, they limit the Knicks' ability to play their more conservative drop defense effectively. If Porzingis’ prop numbers were more appealing, that’s where I would look first.

But the second is that they have no offensively weak players to allow Jalen Brunson to hide and rest. Brunson is a tough and dogged defender, but he’s undersized. 

As he’s also the primary offensive initiator for New York, attacking him pays dividends on both offense and defense, as forcing him into multiple actions wears him out.

Enter White. White has had a breakout season for the Celtics, flashing a multifaceted game that has earned him the trust of head coach Joe Mazzulla. Over his last two games, White is 19-for-30 from the field for 55 points.

Brunson will likely be guarding White for significant stretches of Saturday’s game but only because he’s the lesser evil between him, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum. Because the Knicks can’t crowd the paint due to KP’s perimeter gravity, that means White only has to beat Brunson off the dribble to get to his patented floater. 

Alternatively, White can play pick and roll with Porzingis, shooting if JB goes under or dies on the screen or hitting the roller if both Knicks come out and pressure.

It’s a conundrum, and one this banged-up version of the Knicks likely cannot solve. And it makes these Derrick White odds an easy first bet for my Saturday picks.

Derrick White prop: Over 14.5 points (-104 at FanDuel)

Prop bet #2: Hart of a champion

The Knicks needed the All-Star break in the worst way. Six of their top eight rotation players were out with injuries in the final game before the break, which forced players, including Josh Hart, to carry oversized burdens.

It was easy to nitpick Hart’s play, but he was given an impossible task with the Knicks players getting injured left and right. With some much-needed time off, he looked energized as the Knicks resumed play on Thursday.

Hart is a Tom Thibodeau player through and through. He outworks opponents for rebounds, attacks the rim opportunistically, and guards multiple positions. His style of play is emblematic of the Knicks' identity, which is why Hart often plays more minutes than even Brunson.

Hart is also often the player operating one pass away from Jalen. As defenses swarm Brunson, the ball often finds its way into Hart’s hands. That works well when the Knicks are as banged up as they were heading into the All-Star break, but Hart is a capable and willing passer. 

With all three of Donte DiVincenzo, Alec Burks, and Bojan Bogdanovic in action, there will be quality scorers for Hart to dish to when Brunson gets double-teamed.

Hart is averaging a combined 15.6 rebounds and assists in his last 10 games and has had 14 or more in nine of his last 10. These Josh Hart odds are underselling his consistent production.

Josh Hart prop: Over 12.5 rebounds + assists (-125 at bet365)

Prop bet #3: Precious addition

While Precious Achiuwa was one of the last names mentioned as part of the blockbuster that sent RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to Toronto and OG Anunoby to New York, he’s been wildly impactful as a Knick.

Capable of playing both the four and the five, Precious played only sparingly in his first few games for New York. At first, his tentative play hinted at why the Miami Heat and Raptors had both given up on him. 

But when the Knicks rotation took the triple blow of losing OG, Julius Randle, and Isaiah Hartenstein, suddenly Precious was shoved into a featured role. 

Since being elevated into the starting lineup Precious has been one of the Knicks' best and most dependable players. He’s averaging a staggering 41.2 minutes over his last nine games, the most of any player in the NBA in that span.

And he’s putting up consistent numbers scoring and rebounding with little sign of fatigue. Achiuwa is averaging 14.9 points and 10.9 boards in that span, for a combined 25.8 points and rebounds.

While Hartenstein made his return from injury on Thursday, he was limited to just 11 minutes. As he’s managing Achilles soreness, the Knicks are going to be cautious with him. That means Precious is going to maintain his featured role, and these Precious Achiuwa odds are going to be much too low.

Precious Achiuwa prop: Over 21.5 points + rebounds (-119 at Caesars)

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