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Best NBA Player Prop Bets Today for Saturday, May 18

Let’s go — after an 0-2 Thursday, we rebounded with a 2-0 Friday, bringing us to 15-7 over the last two weeks. We’re making a nice profit now, but we can still be winning at a higher clip, and I’m hoping to get over the 70% mark with another 2-0 performance tonight. I’ve found a pair of NBA player props with the assistance of OddsShopper Premium and our NBA +EV betting tools that stand out tonight, so let’s get straight into my NBA player prop picks for Luka Doncic and P.J. Washington. Check out our NBA betting model for more picks — or use our NBA player prop betting guide to find sharp plays on your own!

NBA Player Props Today: Picks for Luka Doncic & More

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Luka Doncic Player Prop

The Dallas Mavericks have a chance to lock up their spot in the Western Conference Finals tonight with a home win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Although the Thunder are the No. 1 seed in the West, they haven’t played like it this round, and they’re 4-point road dogs this evening. But with elimination on the line, I expect the best from them.

But for as impressive as Dallas’ 3-2 series lead is, Luka Doncic hasn’t been the dominant piece the Mavs expect him to be. Over the first five games of this series, Doncic stayed under 37.5 points and assists four times, failing to clear that number until Game 5. He shot 55/46/67 in the process.

Use our sports betting tools to find noteworthy trends for spreads, totals and player props!

While it’s possible that Doncic is over his injury and is truly back in form, Oklahoma City’s slow pace and defensive aggression (well, at least the defensive aggression of Luguentz Dort) deserve some credit. While this has been the fastest-paced series at 94.6, that’s still well below the clips OKC (100.8) and Dallas (100.6) played at in the regular season.

OKC’s defensive rating this round (109.7) is slightly better than what they posted in the regular season (111), and it’s led to Doncic averaging 23.8 points and 8.4 assists (32.2) in the postseason. They’ve held him to splits of 42/35/68, which, while well below his regular-season rates (49/38/79) aren’t so far off as to suggest they’re unsustainable. For the first time all series, we can sell high on Doncic.

NBA Player Prop Pick: Luka Doncic Under 37.5 Points -105 at DraftKings
For the best price currently available, check out our Luka Doncic points live odds page!

P.J. Washington Player Prop

When the Mavericks acquired Daniel Gafford and P.J. Washington at the trade deadline, few expected them to make a deep playoff run, but that’s exactly what’s happened following the move. Washington averaging 11.7 points and 6.2 rebounds in the regular season, but he has averaged a dominant 19.4 points and nine rebounds per game this series. Will the wheels fall off, or will he keep producing?

While I’m skeptical of Washington’s ability to keep this up, we’re getting action on this NBA player prop pick mostly due to the odds we’re getting at bet365 and ESPNBET. His rebound prop (7.5) is at the same number across the market, but the under will cost only -115 at bet365 and -120 at ESPNBET despite clocking in at a far less friendly -148 at Pinnacle, a sharp book. Our NBA +EV betting tools reveal this pricing split offers us plenty of positive expected value (+EV):

OddsShopper’s NBA +EV betting tools estimate that the breakeven odds (called “true odds”) for this bet are -127. The tools arrive at that number after indexing the odds across the market; factoring in book sharpness, hold and more; then using that data to generate the true odds.

When a bet is trading for odds longer than that fair market price, we know it has +EV, which is exactly what we’re seeing in this case. Don’t just play this at any book, though — only bet365, ESPNBET, SuperBook and BetMGM are offering a +EV line.

Sports bettors new to +EV betting may not be used to the volume required to turn a profit. Since your edge is usually slight, you’ll make money over the long term, but it is a long term. Our backtested simulations prove this strategy is profitable, but iffy early returns can’t discourage you.

NBA Player Prop Pick: P.J. Washington Under 7.5 Rebounds -115 at bet365
For the best price currently available, see our P.J. Washington rebounds live odds page!

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OddsShopper’s NBA Tools & Tips

Looking for more 2023-24 NBA predictions? OddsShopper’s experts are here to break down this NBA season — make sure to check out the rest of our NBA articles. Still need more picks? Subscribe to OddsShopper Premium for our market-based betting model’s picks and best bets.

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