We had a tough start to the week, finishing 1-2 last night. However, I don’t regret the reads considering Jaden McDaniels had scored four points in the first five minutes before leaving with an ankle injury while James Harden finished with 26 points, rebounds, and assists because of a blowout. Moving on to tonight, there are four young players that I will be backing.
In group play, the Toronto Raptors will head to Orlando to battle the Magic. That could lead to a battle between Franz Wagner and Scottie Barnes at the small forward position.
In Atlanta, the total is 251 points. It appears high on the surface, but not with the Pacers in town. Hawks forward Jalen Johnson could be in a big night.
Meanwhile, the Jazz are coming off a pair of tough losses to the Suns. Tonight, they will look to get back on track in Los Angeles against the Lakers. Keyonte George will help the facilitate the offense.
Let’s dive into my top three NBA prop bets for Tuesday, November 21.
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Scottie Barnes (No. 6) and Franz Wagner (No. 8) were selected three picks apart in the 2021 NBA Draft. Consistency is something that young players often struggle with, but they have been exceptions — particularly now that each player has ascended to featured roles on their respective teams.
Barnes comes into tonight’s action averaging 20.1 points per game, but he did not eclipsed 20 points in four meetings against the Magic last season. However, he did score 17 twice, which may be why you will find his line at 17.5 points tonight. Watering Barnes down to 15 is safer considering that he has scored 15 points in 10 of 13 games this season. He finished with 14 in two others.
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Wagner’s line is at 18.5 points tonight to match his per-game average. He went over in two of four meetings against the Magic last season with 34 and 23 points in those games. This season, Wagner has scored between 12 and 26 points in every game. In nine of those games, Wagner has scored 15 points or more.
In addition to their consistency, the idea for this play stems from the fact that the Raptors and Magic have balanced scoring attacks with most players getting between 10 to 15 points most nights.
On Friday, we backed Jalen Johnson against the Sixers and he scored 18 points, cashing 15 points at +210 in the process. Tonight, his line has been bumped up three points. However, that may be the case moving forward. Including Friday’s game, Johnson has scored 15 points in three straight games and five of his past seven. He finished with 13 points in another.
Since moving into the starting lineup, Johnson is averaging 15.6 points per game over his past nine. In that span, he is shooting 61% from the field and 51% from three, so he is due for some regression. However, as I mentioned on Friday, he plays with two elite playmakers (Trae Young and Dejounte Murray) and he can score in a variety of ways.
I do not expect that regression to come tonight against this Pacers defense. The Pacers are 26th in defensive rating and 29th in scoring defense, allowing 123.8 points per game. Per FantasyPros, they are also 29th in points allowed per game (26.06) to power forwards.
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It did not help that they had to face an angry Giannis Antetokounmpo two weeks ago, who scored 54 points. However, Indiana has also allowed 20+ points to Kyle Kuzma, Evan Mobley, Lauri Markkanen and Paolo Banchero and 15+ points Danilo Gallinari and P.J. Washington.
As I mentioned, the total is 251 points. Additionally, these teams are both in the top three in pace. Johnson is an elite athlete who thrives in transition. An up-and-down game should help Johnson get 15 points and likely 20, which you can take at +250 on FanDuel.
Life in the NBA is not easy for rookie point guards. However, Keyonte George has been thriving as a playmaker. He is averaging 5.4 assists per game this season, which already has him in the top 30 in the league.
Since moving into the starting lineup, George is averaging 8.8 assists per game. He has hit this line in four of those games and finished with six assists in the other.
What helps George is that the Jazz are ninth in pace and have several different scoring options, most notably Lauri Markkanen. While George has not shot the ball well himself yet this season, the Jazz have five players averaging double figures. They have averaged 125 points per game over their last five.
Per NBA Stats, George is averaging 12.2 potential assists per game in that span, which sets up an opportunity for value.
The Lakers have allowed at least eight assists to De’Aaron Fox, Markelle Fultz, and Russell Westbrook. Fred VanVleet just had 10 and 16 assists in two games against the Lakers. While not as high as Pacers-Hawks, the total is at 235 for this game, which means the books are expecting another high-scoring Jazz game.
Head coach Will Hardy has been put the ball in his rookie point guard’s hands and let him to go to work. He has had 11 assists twice in the last five games. You can also take him to get 10 at +425 on DraftKings.
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