If your March Madness bracket is as busted as mine, sitting through the remainder of the Big Dance is torture. Luckily, the NBA is always here with a packed slate of games — and gambling options.
Sunday’s schedule features eight encounters and almost endless props to pick from. After a couple days off, I’m trying to put my epic cold streak in the garbage (next to my bracket) and set the tone for a solid week of wagering.
Here are my best NBA player prop picks for March 19.
NBA player props for March 19
- K. Johnson Over 29.5 points + rebounds (-106)
- K. Middleton Over 23.5 points + assists (-109)
- R. Hachimura Over 0.5 3-pointers (-135)
Picks made on 3/19/2023 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Today’s best NBA player props
The odds widgets below represent the best odds currently available for each betting market at regulated sportsbooks.
Spur of the Moment
Oddsmakers have saddled Sunday’s meeting between the Atlanta Hawks and San Antonio Spurs with a 243-point total, expecting plenty of scoring with two porous defenses doing battle.
The bulk of those buckets for San Antonio are projected to come from small forward Keldon Johnson, who has a points prop of 23.5 today (Over -104).
Johnson leads an aggressive Spurs offense that thrives on points in the paint, with the fourth-year guard scoring almost 11 of his average 21.7 points inside the key. The Hawks are one of the worst defenses in the NBA at protecting the paint and allow foes to score 58.5 points per outing inside.
Johnson will also have to chip in on the boards tonight with San Antonio running thin up front. Center Jeremy Sochan is out for Sunday’s game, and frontcourt fixtures Keita Bates-Diop and Zach Collins could also be out of action.
Johnson has wrangled more than five rebounds in five of his last eight games, and is averaging 5.4 boards a night since February. He goes up against a Hawks team ranked out 24th in rebound rate, and plays into a game script expecting plenty of shots from both sides with a total this tall.
These non-conference foes clashed last month, with Atlanta winning 125-105 despite 25 points from Johnson. He shot only 14 times that night but went 7-for-9 from the foul line. He averages 18 shots per game and will have more touches today considering two starters and two key reserves could be sitting out for San Antonio.
Johnson has topped his combo prop of points/rebounds in six of his last nine games, and is set up well to do it again tonight.
Keldon Johnson prop: Over 29.5 points + rebounds (-106)
Milwaukee Bucks’ glue guy Khris Middleton was back in the starting lineup against Indiana on Thursday after a game off for rest, and slogged through a cold shooting night from outside in a contest that went sideways for Milwaukee in the second half.
Middleton still finished with 16 points on 6-of 15-shooting, including a 0-for-5 day from distance. He did impact the offense in other ways, chipping in with seven assists — an aspect of Middleton’s game that has spiked in recent weeks. Middleton has posted five or more assists in eight of his last nine games, going back to Feb. 24.
That’s helped offset his hot-and-cold scoring outputs, and has injected this Bucks offense with new life. According to The Ringer, Middleton’s presence has boosted Milwaukee’s scoring attack from the eighth-worst without him to seventh-best since his return in late January.
Middleton’s minutes are starting to climb as he works his way back from an injury that cost him a chunk of time between December and January. His field goal attempts are ticking up the past few outings as well, with shot totals of 15, 15, 14, and 19 — a significant climb from the average of 11 field goal attempts in the 15 games prior. He’s posted point totals of 16, 31, 19, 11, and 24 in his past five games.
Middleton has a points/assists combo prop of 23.5, which seems low considering his increase in attempts and his passing prowess the past three weeks. The Raptors give up more than 26 assists per game (26th) and watch foes post an assist to FG made rate of 0.643 — second highest in the league.
Khris Middleton prop: Over 23.5 points + assists (-109)
Rolling With Rui
The Los Angeles Lakers seem conflicted when it comes to their plans for small forward Rui Hachimura.
He got some starting time with Anthony Davis out of action, but only scored five points in 17 minutes against Houston, shooting just 2-for-5 from the floor. He followed that with 10 points in 16 minutes off the bench against Dallas, but was 4-for-6 from the field, including 2-for-2 on triples.
Hachimura’s floor time has taken a cut after running for about 22 minutes per game since being traded to the Lakers in late January. That explains why his 3-pointer prop for Sunday’s home date with Orlando is 0.5 with the Over priced at -135.
Hachimura averages only 0.8 triples on 2.3 attempts since joining L.A. but has made at least one 3-pointer in his last six showings and in eight of his last 10. This matchup with Orlando will present plenty of space for the Lakers “shooters” Sunday night.
The Magic allow foes to fire up almost 37 3-point attempts per game (27th) with a lax perimeter defense, giving up the fifth-most points from beyond the arc. They’ll collapse hard on Davis inside and dare a poor shooting Lakers team to hurt from them from 3-point range tonight.
Los Angeles’ new-look lineup is shooting just over 34% from distance, but Hachimura is team’s lone consistent threat from outside. After a rough February in which he was trying to find his way with his new offense, he’s hitting at a red-hot 45.5% clip so far in March.
We’ll roll the dice with the demoted Hachimura to make at least one triple for L.A. tonight.
Rui Hachimura prop: Over 0.5 3-pointers (-135)