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We started the second half of the NBA season on a high note Thursday, hitting three of our four player props. With a loaded slate for Friday, here are the best bets to consider.
Oftentimes the biggest edge in the player prop market is timing. If you're quick to the punch in finding out a certain player is ruled out - and even quicker to know which teammates benefit from said player being out - you can fire on a stale number that hasn't been adjusted. In this case, we aren't breaking new ground by playing Brown in Kemba Walker's absence; the starting point guard's already been ruled inactive and Brown's number has been tweaked a bit. However, what's intriguing is how he's fared without Walker in the lineup this season. In seven games, Brown has averaged 23 points per contest, a notch up from the 20.2 he's posting on the season altogether.
And without Walker, Brown will shift to the two-guard spot, which should play well - Minnesota is allowing north of 23 points per game to opposing shooting guards this season. This is a nice spot to back a player who's averaging more than 15 shots from the floor per game, without the starting point guard in the fold.
The third-year guard has only progressed in this department since coming into the league. He shot 34% from three in his rookie season, improved to 36.2% last season, and is on his way to a career-best in 2019-20. Mitchell's volume is never a problem, considering he's attempted at least six threes in 14 of the last 15 outings. He matches up against a Spurs defense that's No. 27 in the league in opponent 3-point percentage and allowing the third-most threes to opposing point guards.
If you search "Anthony Davis defense," you'll find one link from last season outlining why his defensive metrics are flawed, and another from this past December making a claim for why he could be the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year. It's fascinating stuff. Either way, Davis has made strides on that side of the floor and he should be able to clamp down on Memphis' Jackson Jr. L.A. has allowed the fewest rebounds in the league to opposing power forwards and Jackson's only bagged more than five in two of his last nine games. I want to spare a little leeway here in case he gets going on the score sheet, but ultimately, 21.5 is too high of a number to pass up.
I love fading any point guard or center against Toronto and will take a stab at Booker's under. The Raptors are allowing the fourth-fewest points per game in the league to opposing floor generals and Booker tends to have some inflated numbers. Also, with how solid the Raptors have been at defending the perimeter - they're pacing the league in opponent 3-point percentage - it might take a ton of volume for the Suns' point guard to get past the number.
This is a plus-money play I'll take a shot on when Love and the Cavaliers take on the Wizards. There's no other way around it: Washington's defense has been abysmal this season. However, they've been stout at guarding the perimeter against opposing power forwards, allowing just 1.91 threes per game to that position. Love's also struggled from beyond the arc against the Wizards in 2019-20, going 3-of-12 in the two prior meetings.
Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 12 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AJKolodziej.