Tonight, there are five NBA teams playing on the second night of back-to-back games. Two of them will meet in Detroit when the Pistons host the Nuggets. However, with both teams coming off blowout losses and traveling short distances (from Cleveland and Toronto), they should be a bit fresh. The additional rest may help Reggie Jackson take advantage of a favorable matchup against his former team.
In one of the games of the night, the Knicks will be in Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves. It could be a defensive battle, and Jaden McDaniels will have a hand in that. However, he will also contribute offensively as well.
The Clippers’ starting-lineup change was a success as they snapped a six-game losing streak on Friday against the Rockets. James Harden proved to be the difference with his game-winning four-point play as he finished with 24 points. He is in another excellent spot to go off tonight.
Let’s dive into my top three NBA prop bets for Monday, November 20.
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Now on his fourth team with the Nuggets, Reggie Jackson has a few games per season against his former teams. We backed him last Tuesday against the Clippers, another one of his former teams, and he scored 18 points, his second-highest total this season.
Since then, this line has bumped up slightly, but that is because he has been exceeding his point totals. Including the game against the Clippers, Jackson has hit this line in five of his past seven games.
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Jackson will return to Detroit tonight, where he spent parts of six seasons. He hit some big shots as a Piston, particularly in leading the team to a playoff berth in 2016. However, by the end of his tenure, he became much maligned for questionable shot selection and turnovers. Jackson would likely love to have a big game against another one of his former teams and will have a favorable matchup to do so tonight.
The Pistons are 20th in the NBA in scoring defense, allowing 114.6 points per game. They are fresh off allowing 142 points to the Raptors last night and will likely have similar issues against a Nuggets offense that is eighth in Offensive Rating. The Pistons already have allowed eight point guards to score 20 points or more this season, and three more have scored at least 17 points, including Dennis Schröder yesterday.
If Jackson gets up 10 shots, he will likely cash this play regardless of whether tonight’s game is a blowout. He has hit this line in six of seven games in which he has attempted at least 10 field goals.
Last season, Jaden McDaniels enjoyed a breakout campaign in which he averaged 12.1 points per game, shot over 50% from the field and nearly 40% from beyond the arc. Thus far, McDaniels’ numbers are down slightly as he is averaging 10.1 points per game, but an average game would be perfectly fine for us tonight.
However, he has still hit this line in six of his last seven games. The lone exception was the second meeting against the Warriors — in which he was ejected just two minutes into the game. However, he scored 13 points against the Warriors last Sunday. Remove the ejection from his numbers, and McDaniels’ scoring average goes up a point to 11.2 per game.
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Tonight, McDaniels gets a tough matchup against the Knicks, who are first in scoring defense (104.9 points per game) and fifth in the league in Defensive Rating. However, the Knicks are allowing 20.6 points per game to small forwards, per FantasyPros. Additionally, their focus tonight will be on slowing down Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns, whom the Knicks’ big men may take particular interest in slowing down.
Any extra attention drawn to Edwards and Towns will lead to open looks for McDaniels, and he has done a nice job of capitalizing. This season, McDaniels is shooting 57% from the field and is knocking down 38% of his 3s. Seven to eight attempts may be all he needs to clear this line tonight.
Over the past two weeks, I have been very minimally interested in Clippers props. They are currently undergoing a huge transformation as they try to incorporate James Harden. Thus far, it has not gone well as the team has lost five of its last six games since acquiring him. They were able to snap the losing streak on Friday against Houston.
That coincided with Russell Westbrook volunteering to come off the bench as Harden, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard combined for 73 of the Clippers’ 106 points.
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With Westbrook now out of the starting unit, this also leaves Harden to operate as the primary ball-handler among the starters. On Friday night, Harden dished out seven assists against the Rockets. He has an even better matchup tonight against San Antonio, as the Spurs are 28th in assists allowed per game.
They are also in last in scoring defense (124.2 points per game) and 29th in Defensive Rating. Harden has scored over 20 points in each of the last two games, including 24 against Houston. However, being the triple-double threat that he is, he also pulled down nine rebounds. With the Clippers’ other triple-double threat now coming off the bench, I would expect that to continue.
Harden surpassed 30 points, rebounds and assists (PRA) for the first time this season against Rockets, but he finished with 40 PRA in that game. Tonight, we only need 31 from him against a Spurs team ranks fourth in Pace. This line could prove to be far too low moving forward.