Handicapping the NBA: Thursday's Best Player Props
Handicapping the NBA: Thursday's Best Player Props

This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.

Season record: 5-3

Thursday brings a limited slate in the NBA consisting of only four games, although it won't be short on excitement based on some of the matchups and Stephen Curry's return from injury. We don't have a ton of player props to consider, but I've still identified four of them that could prove to be profitable.

Paul George, LAC at HOU: OVER 2.5 Three-Pointers Made (-146; FanDuel Sportsbook)

George has been one of the more durable players in the league, appearing in at least 75 games in each of the last four seasons. However, his first campaign with the Clippers has been marred by injuries, which has limited him to 39 games. When he has played, his minutes have been way down at just 29 a night. He had averaged at least 35 minutes in each of the last four seasons.

Despite his limited playing time, George has been excellent on the offensive end by averaging 21.1 points a game. That's in large part because he's averaged 3.3 three-pointers per contest. He's drained at least three triples in three straight games and could be very busy against a Rockets team that has played at the fourth-fastest pace in the league. He's played the Rockets twice this season, hitting at least three three-pointers in both contests. He even hit six of them the last time they met.

Tobias Harris, PHI at SAC: OVER 21.5 Points (-134; DraftKings Sportsbook)

Things are pretty ugly for the Sixers right now, in terms of injuries. They were already a very top-heavy roster, so losing Joel Embiid (shoulder), Ben Simmons (back) and Josh Richardson (concussion) all at the same time has been a tough blow. They've lost three of their last four games with their only win coming at home. This game should be a struggle for them to emerge victorious when you also factor in their 9-23 record on the road.

With Embiid and Simmons out, the bulk of the Sixers' scoring responsibilities rest squarely on the shoulders of Harris. His usage rate for the season is 23.4 percent, but that number jumps up to 26.5 percent when they are both off the floor. He's scored at least 25 points in two of the last three games, so look for him to provide yet another offensive explosion.

Al Horford, PHI at SAC: OVER 7.5 Rebounds (-110; DraftKings Sportsbook)

To say Horford's first season with the Sixers has not gone well would be an understatement. His average of 11.6 points per game would be the third-lowest mark of his career and he's on pace to average less than a block per game for the first time since his rookie season. His efficiency has also declined significantly, resulting in him shooting 43.2 percent from the field.

Part of the reason for Horford's struggles has been trying to adjust to playing alongside Embiid. With Embiid now out, Horford shifts back over to center. He's averaged 8.7 rebounds with Embiid sidelined the last three games, twice recording at least eight rebounds. He even hauled in 11 rebounds in his last game against the Lakers, which is noteworthy since they have allowed the second-fewest rebounds per game in the league. With the Kings down to Harry Giles III and Alex Len at center, I like Horford's chances of hitting the over on the boards.

Ivica Zubac, LAC at HOU: UNDER 6.5 Rebounds (-110; FanDuel Sportsbook)

Zubac isn't exactly a token starter at center for the Clippers since he's averaging eight points and seven rebounds a game for the season, but his average of 18 minutes a night severely limits his upside. With Montrezl Harrell once again playing well and the recent addition of Marcus Morris, don't expect Zubac to see a spike in minutes anytime soon.

Zubac could really have a hard time finding the floor in this game with the Rockets going with such small lineups. They have been starting P.J. Tucker at center, so that's not exactly ideal for Zubac. While they weren't playing small to this extreme the entire season, the Rockets did generally deploy a lot of small lineups even when Clint Capela was still on the team. That was part of the reason why Zubac didn't log more than 15 minutes in any of their previous three meetings this season. He recorded a total of 12 rebounds across those three games, making the under on this line very appealing.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Barner
Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. In 2018, he was a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. In addition to RotoWire, Mike has written for Sportsline, Sports Illustrated, DK Live, RealTime Fantasy Sports, Lineup Lab and KFFL.com.
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