Nets vs. Mavericks: The best player prop bets for Dec. 7
The Brooklyn Nets are in Texas tonight to take on the reeling Dallas Mavericks as they begin the first leg of a back-to-back in the Lone Star State.
After a strong start, the Mavs risk falling below .500 on the season with another loss tonight, and Luka Doncic’s status is questionable with both ankle and thumb injuries. Does Dallas have enough to slow down Brooklyn’s two-headed monster without him?
Nets vs. Mavericks tips at 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT, and we have the three best player prop bets below.
Wed, December 8 2021, 12:30 AM
LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE OVER/UNDER 14.5 POINTS
LaMarcus Aldridge is having a renaissance season. Not only is it a joy that he’s able to play basketball at all after nearly being forced into retirement by heart problems, he’s also found a real role on this Nets team. The Nets picked a bevy of veteran big men off the scrap heap for their roster, and Aldridge has emerged as the best of that group by a wide margin, even pushing Blake Griffin out of the rotation entirely.
In a reduced role, Aldridge is having a superbly efficient start to the year. Through 22 games, he’s shooting 59.9% on 2s, and in typical Aldridge fashion nearly all his damage is being done from the midrange. 67% of his shot attempts are from the midrange, with 39% being the otherwise dreaded long-2. But Aldridge has no fear from that distance, and he’s hitting a blistering 55% on those long-2s and 56% from midrange overall.
While Kristaps Porzingis is listed as probable for tonight's contest with knee soreness (and given his troubling history with lower-body injuries), it's likely Jason Kidd and the Mavericks will look to reign in his minutes, particularly if Doncic is out himself. With Kevin Durant drawing Dallas’s best defensive forward in Maxi Kleber most of the night, that leaves Aldridge against the likes of Dwight Powell and Boban Marjanovic for large stretches. Aldridge feasts on those kinds of traditional bigs with his relentless pick-and-pop game.
JAMES HARDEN OVER/UNDER 2.5 3-POINTERS MADE
Though his overall production has returned to All-NBA territory, James Harden is in a bit of a shooting slump. Over his last five games, he’s shooting just 24.2% from 3, including 1-5 against the Chicago Bulls, 0-5 against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and 0-6 against the Phoenix Suns. But beyond the misses, it’s the declining attempts that are troubling for Harden. He’s taking fewer 3s than at any time since the 2014-15 season, despite having a 32.7% usage rate.
His first preference is still to break the paint during any given offensive possession, and Harden remains one of the league leaders in drives per game at 14.4 per contest. In the past, it was easy to bet on Harden to break out of a shooting slump by sheer force of volume, but that’s no longer the case. "The Beard" revolutionized isolation basketball with his patented stepback 3, but given how easy it will be for he and Durant to score against the Mavericks, it’s unlikely Harden will feel the need to break it out much.
KEVIN DURANT OVER/UNDER 40.5 POINTS, REBOUNDS, and ASSISTS
Durant is the definition of unstoppable this year. He's averaging 28.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game, with a cool 63.4% true shooting percentage to boot. But those gaudy numbers have been made possible by him logging an absurd 36.0 minutes per game, the most since he was 25 years old.
The bet here then isn’t against Durant being more than capable of hitting the Over, it’s that the Nets, who are currently top 10 on offense and defense, are going to blow Dallas off the court in a timely fashion, allowing Steve Nash to rest Durant for large parts of the fourth quarter.