While tackling the multitude of individual NBA prop bets at Bovada this year is a sheer impossibility, we have taken the time to uncover a few of the bigger names in the Association, in this case, three point guards. Two of the three join new teams this season, which opens a window for some value betting. Let’s dive in!
All odds c/o Bovada.lv
Kyrie Irving Over/Under 6 assists per game
Kyrie Irving Over/Under 25.5 points per game
Kyrie Irving joins the Boston Celtics after basically crying his way out of the Cleveland Cavaliers organization, but it is likely the best thing that could have happened for his career. Tired of playing in the shadow of LeBron James, Irving now embraces the opportunity to thrive as a first-option for the Boston Celtics. The best part is, he will have plenty of talent around to pass the ball to, other than that cocky No. 23 fella that he ran alongside in Cleveland.
Among the pieces the Celtics have for Irving to target with his passes is Gordon Hayward, a versatile swingman who came as a free agent after having spent his career playing for the Utah Jazz up until this point. While Hayward certainly will have his share of the playmaking duties, between he and Irving there are plenty of opportunities to rack up both the buckets and dimes.
But can we see Irving surpassing the 25.5 points and six assists per game set as the bar by NBA oddsmakers at Bovada?
Absolutely, yes, we can.
Irving tallied 25.2 points per game last season in Cleveland with a usage rate of 30.8 percent. While he is unlikely to surpass that mark this year, he should match it. What’s better is that Irving shot a career high 47.3 percent from the field last season while knocking down over 40 percent of his triples. That kind of hot shooting bodes well on a team like Boston, where the ball has been shared well under Brad Stevens’ guidance the past several seasons.
Irving attempted 19.7 shots per game last season, but the idea of coming to Boston was that he would be a legitimate No. 1 option (and not referred to as “son” by someone barely his elder). While we do like the OVER on the scoring, it is probable that he does fall below–UNDER— the six assists per game, simply because he has only averaged more than that once in his career, and that was in 2013-14. As mentioned, Hayward will share some of the playmaking duties, which is something Irving is used to, but still it does not bode well for his chances of surpassing six assists per game.
Steph Curry over/under 25 points per game
Steph Curry over/under 42.5 percent from three-point range
Stephen Curry is coming off both his second NBA title, and something of a down year—at least statistically. Curry averaged 25.3 points per game last season after leading the league in scoring two seasons ago (30.1 points per game in 15-16). The thing is, to go ‘under’ the 25 points per game, it would require his average dropping from last season’s 25.3. There is simply no reason to expect that, most especially after head coach Steve Kerr repeatedly commenting both on how locked in Curry seems and also how he is at his absolute peak as a player.
Guys in their prime do not just randomly regress, usually, and Curry shot 46.8 percent from the field and 41.1 percent from three last year, in what really was a down season. His MVP campaign saw him put together an elusive 50/40/90 season, quite easily in fact, and his shooting prowess seems to assure the 25 points per game. We take the OVER. As for the 42.5 percent from three, that is a little tougher to wager, but Curry has finished 42 percent or better in five of the six past seasons, with last year being the notable exception.
While certainly some will scream, “What have you done for me lately?” it seems a little silly to decry Curry’s performance from last year considering the team was incorporating a major piece in Kevin Durant, and trying to build the chemistry for the title they ultimately did secure. We will go with the OVER on the 42.5 percent, as well, because just two years ago Curry was good for 45 percent, and over his career he beats the mark by nearly a full percent as well (43.8 percent career threes).
Chris Paul over/under 18 points per game
Chris Paul over/under 9 assists per game
Chris Paul, seasoned veteran though he is, may be on the verge of having a career year, at least from a statistical standpoint. The league’s best pure point guard and best true floor general joins the offensive mastermind that is Mike D’Antoni, along with James Harden, in what will possibly be the league’s highest scoring offense in Houston.
The Rockets are going to put up numbers and win a lot of games, and in doing so, Paul is all but destined to put up some gaudy stats. One not think back far to recall that 20/10 used to be a staple line for the future Hall of Fame, and while it may seem slightly audacious to expect a return to the type of figures he tallied up in New Orleans early in his career, we expect absolutely nothing less.
Paul bests the scoring mark by over a point, and he should be good for double-figure assists, too. Make that an OVER along with an OVER for CP3.