Warriors vs. Magic: The best player prop bets for March 22
Sometimes the scheduling gods smile upon you when you need their help most. Tonight is one of those times, as the reeling Warriors have been given a golden opportunity to get back on track against the cellar-dwelling Magic.
Golden State has lost two straight and six of its last 10 as it has struggled to field a healthy roster. Draymond Green only recently returned from a 29-game absence, and the Warriors have had to solider on lately without Andre Iguodala, Andrew Wiggins, and James Wiseman. Adding injury to insult, leading scorer Steph Curry sprained a ligament in his left foot on March 16, and could miss the remainder of the regular season.
The Magic have been far healthier, but the results have been largely the same, as the club has also lost six of its last 10 games. Orlando sports the second-worst point differential in the Eastern Conference and has been absolutely hemorrhaging points lately.
That was especially evident on March 15, when the Brooklyn Nets dropped 150 points on 60% shooting from the field and 59% shooting from beyond the arc. Kyrie Irving did much of the damage with a season-high 60-point performance, but it felt like the kind of night where even Brooklyn’s assistant coaches could have dusted off the cobwebs and chipped in 20 apiece.
Warriors vs. Magic gets underway tonight at 7 p.m. ET, and we have the three best player prop bets below.
Tue, March 22 2022, 11:00 PM
Franz Wagner Over/Under 14.5 points
We’ve been steadily riding the Over on Franz Wagner’s point production lately, and he hasn’t disappointed. The 6’9” small forward is averaging 15.3 points this season, and has had some of his finest outings since the calendar turned to March. That includes a 26-point outburst against the Detroit Pistons on March 17 in which he went 10-15 from the floor and nailed two of his three 3-point attempts. Lest you think he’s just a one-dimensional long range bomber, Wagner showcased this running hook shot that looks like it came from another era:
Wagner also had a solid showing in his first encounter with Golden State earlier this year, contributing 15 points on 7-13 shooting in a lopsided Dec. 6 road loss. That performance occurred when the Warriors were close to being at full strength, but just imagine how many more clean looks Wagner will get this evening without Iguodala hounding him on the perimeter and Wiggins still working his way back into the lineup.
While many of his peers have hit the proverbial "rookie wall," Wagner has shown no sides of slowing down. Take the Over again in a favorable matchup that should bring out the best in Orlando’s first-year phenom.
Wendell Carter Jr. to record a double-double
March is typically a time of year when Duke dominates the headlines, so it feels only appropriate that our next prop selection focuses on former Blue Devil Wendell Carter Jr., who has been positively destroying teams lately with his efficient paint play and tireless work on the glass. The Coach K protégé is averaging 20.2 points and 12.0 rebounds per game since the All-Star break, and is fresh off a monstrous 30-point, 16-rebound performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder in which he weaved in and out of OKC’s defenders as if they were traffic cones.
Like Wagner, Carter also fared well against the Warriors earlier this season, contributing 14 points and 11 boards in 29 minutes. The bruising center has recorded 32 double-doubles overall this season, good for 13th in the league, and is poised to have another solid all-around game tonight.
Kevon Looney Over/Under 6.5 points
Looney has never been known for his offensive prowess, and that's been especially true lately. The two-time world champ has scored four points or less in three of his last four games and is averaging just 6.3 points per contest since the All-Star break.
Unlike Klay Thompson or Jordan Poole, Looney isn't the kind of player whose touches will suddenly go up in Curry's absence. Quite the opposite, in fact. Looney depends on Curry's pinpoint passes for a high percentage of his baskets, and tends to get fewer wide open looks without Curry pulling defenders 25 feet from the hoop. That was evident in Golden State's last game against the San Antonio Spurs when Looney took just two shots.
Take the Under as Looney struggles to adjust in a post-Steph world.