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Keys To Betting On NBA Point Guard Props

Point guards used to be the generals on the “field” in the NBA. Nowadays, the position has morphed a little bit as points are doing a lot more than just running the offense. In some cases, they might be the offense themselves and in other cases, teams might simply move over a shooting guard to start at the point. With so many dynamics in play, handicapping NBA point guard props can be tricky. There are so many over-unders on the board for point guards but before you dive into that deep sea, here are a number of tips to think about when handicapping NBA point guard props.

Keys To Betting On NBA Point Guard Props
Keys To Betting On NBA Point Guard Props

Is Your Guy In A Timeshare?

Most bettors think about timeshares in terms of football fantasy but it is quite relevant to NBA fantasy and prop betting too. The logic is mostly the same: if you’re betting on a player to deliver, are they going to be getting the lion’s share of the minutes or is there somebody that they’ll have to split with?

A good example of this might be the Boston Celtics in the 2022-23 season. The team went into the year with three players looking for minutes at the point guard position. While Marcus Smart was entrenched as a starter, Malcom Brogdon and Derrick White each actually received quite a bit of playing time at the position. And Smart would often move over to the shooting guard spot too – even if the positions somewhat overlap.

In cases like this, you want to know who is getting the start, who is getting minutes due to versatility and who is going to be called off the bench. In this case, the Celtics trio all got to eat but for bettors, you really had to figure out who is going to earn the predominant minutes each night. It’s much easier to handicap a situation where it’s someone like Damian Lillard at point guard because you know he’ll get minutes and doesn’t have to worry about looking over his shoulder. However, these trickier, harder-to-handicap situations are the ones where you find more value.

What’s The Game Flow Looking Like?

When you’re betting on NBA point guard props, it’s always prudent to take a look at what the game flow is going to look like. An easy way to check-in on this is do two things: look at the Pace Factor for both teams and examine the total.

Starting with the over-under, that’s going to give you a clue as to whether the oddsmakers expect this contest to be a high-scoring or low-scoring affair. If you’re looking at a total somewhere in the range of 230 or even 240, that means that the oddsmakers are looking and a shootout. Both teams will roughly be projected to score around 120 points and therefore, the players on each squad should have elevated totals for points, threes and assists. On the other hand, if you’re looking at a total that’s in the range of 215 or 218, then that means the game is projected to be more of a grind. In this type of affair, you have to be careful betting on overs for categories like points and assists.

In terms of the pace of play, this typically goes hand-in-hand with the total but it’s another piece of evidence that you can look at that will give you an idea of the game flow. You can visit to check out Hollinger’s PACE Factor, which gives you an idea of how many possessions a team has per game. Typically, if a team is an offensive juggernaut and is running and gunning, they’re going to have more possessions. Teams who play slower and set up their offense in the half-court will have fewer possessions per game. Of course, when you have fewer possessions, it’s hard to trust the offensive players to outperform their stat categories (and over-unders).

Who Is Lining Up Against Your Guy?

One of the most overlooked factors in NBA prop betting is not double-checking who your point guard will be going up against. Defense in the NBA seems like mostly an afterthought these days but when it comes to certain defenders, it matters.

Taking a look back to the 2022-23 season, Jrue Holiday was second-best in the NBA with a Defensive Rating of 112.4. Meanwhile, Trae Young was second-worst with a Defensive Rating of 119.2. Of course, this stat can be impacted by the defensive performance of the rest of the team. At the same time, it also gives you a window as to which defenders you’d rather face if you’re betting NBA point guard props.

Beyond just the individual matchup, you should also consider the team you’re going up against. You can look at stats such as turnovers forced per game (by the opponent), opposing field goal percentage and Team Defensive Efficiency. The combination of the immediate defender along with the outlook of the team defense you’re going up against will point you in the right direction. Obviously, a much more difficult defender and team defense will provide a lot of friction for over bettors. On the other hand, if the matchup looks good all the way around, then you might be in good position to lock in a bet and succeed.

Scan The Steals, Rebounds

Speaking of defense, the general public tends to avoid defensive props when it comes to point guard props and sticks with the obvious offensive categories. That makes sense because it’s much easier to handicap something like points more so than something like turnovers. While the turnover over-under tends to be tricky – it can very much be a luck-based proposition – betting on something like steals or rebounds could present some value.

Steals is something that sharp bettors do look at because you can come to a fairly good conclusion in most cases. If you’re betting on a point guard that thrives with thefts and he’s going up against a team that plays loose, that’s a good sign for the over. At the same time, you might just need a player who averages well with steals and then bet on the over in a game where there figures to be a lot of possessions. More possessions and more pace usually means that teams are a little more careless with the ball.

Chris Paul averaged 1.5 steals per game in the 2022-23 season. He was typically buzzing around 1-2 per game, so many of his totals were right on the number of 1.5. If you pick the right spots based on pace, the opponent and the point guard he’s going to face, you’re tipping the scales in your favor. Usually, you can find softer lines with things like steals since they’re more under the radar.

When it comes to rebounds, it’s mostly the same idea. Most bettors will have a general gauge of how many points a certain player will score but only advanced bettors will have a better read on how many rebounds a player will finish with. Again, you want to take a look at your player, who they’re matching up against, the pace of play and then also cross-reference how good of a rebounding team they’re facing.

These types of categories like steals, rebounds – or even the combos – are harder for oddsmakers to get the right line. If you study up and crunch your own numbers, you’ll find the edge.

Rely On The Outlier Algorithm

Of course, one way to do the handicapping is to do it on your own. It’s a good practice but we’ve advanced to the point where technology can help you out and save you some time. On one hand, you could pull up the day’s card and start filtering through every single game, checking the matchups and seeing where there might be value. On the other hand, you could just open the Outlier tool, look at Insights and be presented with a whole host of options.

When you rely on the Outlier tools, the algorithm is going to spit out all of the best options on the board. It automatically looks at recent trends and cross-references it with the odds at a number of sportsbooks. It’s not only useful to see where there’s an edge, you have to make sure that the odds are worth it.

If you get in the habit of checking in with the Outlier Insights, then you’ll have a great place to start your handicapping each day. When you check out the Insights, you’ll see a list of options and then you can start to evaluate what makes sense. If you see a trend that shows Chris Paul over 1.5 steals has hit in nine of his last 10 games, you can then take a look into the specific matchup that he’s heading into. From there, you can see if all of the other stars lineup for your bet to make sense.

Study Up For NBA Point Guard Props

If you’re looking to bet NBA point guard props, you’ll definitely see opportunities to find some good value. These lines don’t get nearly as much action as the mainlines such as the spread betting, moneyline and total, which means that you can definitely find an edge. If you do your homework, rely on the Outlier algorithm and know what to look for, you’ll put yourself in a good position to succeed with NBA point guard props.

Outlier Team
December 10, 2023
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