Best NBA Player Props Today: Gobert Grabs Boards Aplenty vs Thunder

A matchup between overachieving squads in the Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder is on tap, and a Rudy Gobert prop stands out. Our NBA betting picks are also focusing on props involving Victor Wembanyama and Scottie Barnes tonight.

Rory Breasail - Betting Analyst at
Rory Breasail • Betting Analyst
Jan 20, 2024 • 10:17 ET • 4 min read
Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Rudy Gobert
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Sixteen teams are in action on Saturday, January 20, leaving eight games to pick from for my three favorite NBA player props

My free NBA picks feature a pair of rebounding props featuring Scottie Barnes and Rudy Gobert, and are once again taking advantage of NBA odds makers undervaluing Victor Wembanyama’s per-minute productivity.

Best NBA player props today

Picks made on January 20 at 10:15 a.m. ET.
Read full analysis of each pick.

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NBA player props for January 20

Prop bet #1: Wemby unleashed

Victor Wembanyama still isn’t playing back-to-backs but is suiting up for Saturday’s tilt against the Washington Wizards having rested Friday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets. As I’ve detailed before, Victor is making a massive per-minute impact on the game despite playing fewer minutes and fewer games than he did to start the season. 

While I believe the Victor Wembanyama odds have begun to accurately reflect his rebounding prowess, there is still positive expected value to be gained by zeroing in on his scoring.

While a cursory glance at Victor’s minutes for January might make it appear as if he’s still under his strict 24 minutes per game limit (he’s averaging 24.5 through seven games) that is not the case. Wemby is playing 27 minutes in the normal course of events now and is only averaging fewer because of twin blowout victories over the Hornets and Detroit Pistons.

Victor isn’t particularly efficient yet, though he is up to 53.8% on twos. His penchant for drawing fouls is already paying dividends as he’s shooting north of 80% from the line. His teammates are getting better at finding him around the rim, particularly in transition where he is a matchup nightmare.

Wemby is averaging 24.3 points per game over his last six games and has only scored fewer than 22 points once in that time. Victor also gives maximum effort in the minutes he plays, which is more than can be said for much of the Washington Wizards roster.

The San Antonio Spurs are desperate for another win, and this is a winnable game against an equally struggling opponent. Having sat out last night when his team needed him to get over the line and with his teammates fatigued from the back-to-back, I’m imagining that Wemby will be the focal point of the offense and that Greg Popovich might even extend his minutes if the situation calls for it. 

Victor Wembanyama prop: Over 21.5 points (-115 at SIA)

Prop bet #2: No boards for Barnes

With the Pascal Siakam trade officially a done deal, the Toronto Raptors now hand the keys to Scottie Barnes to usher in the next great era of Raptors basketball. But while the role of top dog in the Six has been settled, that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of work to be done when it comes to role definition and team chemistry.

New additions RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley are still learning to play with Barnes. Fold in Bruce Brown as another possible closer for Toronto, and that is a relatively untested mix of players. While RJ’s play so far has been outstanding, he is having a negative influence on Scottie’s rebounding numbers.

Statistically speaking, Barrett is one of the best transition offensive players in the NBA. Barnes, despite his physical profile and passing gifts, is among the league’s worst. That means grab and go opportunities that once went to Barnes are now going to Barrett. 

Scottie’s rebounding numbers have dropped precipitously since RJ’s arrival. Barnes has gone from averaging 9.4 rebounds per game before the trade to just 5.2 in the 10 games since. Not only has Barnes averaged just 5.2 rebounds in his last 10, he’s only had more than seven on one occasion.

These Scottie Barnes odds aren’t accounting enough for the opposition on Saturday either. The New York Knicks are the NBA’s top rebounding team on both sides of the ball per Cleaning the Glass, which makes it likely that they’ll depress the rebounding totals for Toronto’s players up and down the roster. 

I’ve been making hay out of Isaiah Hartenstein’s rebounding props lately, but the oddsmakers have finally caught on to his production. Shorting this Barnes prop is the next best thing.

Scottie Barnes prop: Under 7.5 rebounds (-140 at bet365)

Prop bet #3: Glass-eating Gobert

The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Oklahoma City Thunder are both blowing away expectations this season. They’re doing it entirely different ways, mind you. 

The Thunder run one of the most beautiful offenses you will ever see and are shooting ridiculously well from just about every spot on the court. The Wolves are a defense first team. They win the possession game by forcing turnovers, not fouling, and rebounding. That contrast of styles makes for an intriguing game on Saturday and for a clear path for a bet centered on Rudy Gobert’s rebounding.

Chet Holmgren immediately starting at center was a massive boon for OKC. His presence enhanced their spacing and rim protection and tied together what was already a highly cohesive group from last season. What Chet didn’t immediately solve, however, was their one true Achilles heel, which is their weakness on the boards.

The Thunder remain one of the Association's weakest rebounding squads, if not for the lowly Wizards they would hold the title uncontested. They rank second-worst on the defensive glass per Cleaning the Glass, and third from the bottom on the offensive boards. The Timberwolves are not an elite rebounding team, but Gobert is one of the best there is on the boards. 

Rudy is going to dwarf every Thunder player, and winning the battle on the glass will be a key element of Minnesota’s game plan. They simply can’t compete with the offensive firepower of OKC without generating more shots. 

Gobert is averaging 14.6 rebounds over his last five games, and these Rudy Gobert odds haven’t shifted despite the Thunder’s glaring weakness on the glass. 

Rudy Gobert prop: Over 12.5 rebounds (-115 at bet365)

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