It’s been quite a run over the past week as our winning streak improved to eight straight games. We’ll try to make it nine in a row by targeting a player prop on Thursday. Let’s head to Madison Square Garden for an Eastern Conference showdown between the Knicks and Bulls.
A Tom Thibodeau-coached team is often known for its defensive prowess. While that hasn’t necessarily been the case this season, it doesn’t make the challenge any more straightforward. Per TeamRankings, the Knicks are ranked 16th in defensive efficiency as they’re allowing opponents 105.1 points per 100 possessions this season. In terms of pace, New York is averaging 101.1 possessions per game. However, its had the second-fewest possessions with 97.7 per game over its past three games. That lends some credence to more of a lower-scoring, defensive play, and it makes it even more critical for the Bulls to display good ball movement against this Knicks team.
As a result, I’m looking to target an assists prop with DeMar DeRozan going over his projection of 4.5. DeRozan’s averaging 4.2 assists this season, and he’s coming off a game in which he dished out six dimes. But here’s something interesting about playing the over in this spot: There have been four occasions this season where DeRozan finished with six assists, and all four times, he’s managed to log at least five assists in the next game.
Moreover, DeRozan’s leading the team with 25.9 points per game, so I surmise that Thibodeau’s game plan will center on taking the ball out of his hands â especially after DeRozan torched the Knicks for 31 points in their last meeting two weekends ago.
We’re getting even money at +100 tonight with DeRozan’s assist prop, and that price is good enough to get me to the betting window.
Hopefully, when it’s all said and done, we’ll be staring at a ninth-straight win.
Pick: DeMar DeRozan assists over 4.5 (+100)