NBA Player Props Today – Our Best Bets for January 1

Domantas Sabonis has been a revolution for the Sacramento Kings offense, and we’re taking him to continue his dominance as a main distributor against the Grizzlies. Read more in our daily NBA prop picks.

There are just three games on the New Years’ Day NBA schedule, but that’s more than enough to find some great value to start off 2023 with a bang.

Our favorite three props for Sunday feature two members of the Beam Team doing what they each do best, as well as Jayson Tatum’s steady play as a ball handler.

Here are my best NBA daily prop picks for Sunday, January 1.

NBA player props for January 1

Picks made on 1/01/2023 at 5:00 am ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

Best NBA bonuses

Looking to bet on some NBA action? Here are two of the best bonuses* available:

A) New users at FanDuel can get a no-sweat first bet up to $1,000! Sign Up Now

B) New users at DraftKings can bet $5 and get $150 in free bets! Sign Up Now

*Eligible USA locations only. So, check out our full list of best promo codes for 2023.

Today’s best NBA player props

The odds widgets below represent the best odds currently available for each betting market at regulated sports books.

Domas dimes

Sometimes the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree. When Domantas Sabonis was first drafted in the NBA seven years ago and the Thunder had him parked in the corners hoisting corner threes, one would have needed a thoroughly optimistic disposition to imagine that one day his play would so mirror that of his famous fathers. Sabonis is now playing the best basketball of his career and has developed into an offensive hub with teammates.

That’s not to say that he’s better than Nikola Jokic as a distributor, as the two-time MVP is still (by far) the superior passer. Still, Sabonis leverages his talents in a unique way that no other player can hold a candle to. He acts as the fulcrum of the Kings’ offense by being an outstanding screen setter and dribble handoff player.

Sabonis runs more handoffs than any player in the NBA by a wide, wide margin. The next closest player is (unsurprisingly) Jokic, but the Sacramento power forward still runs 50% more handoffs than the Serbian big man.

Those handoffs lead directly and indirectly to all kinds of scoring opportunities, with Malik Monk, Kevin Huerter, and De’Aaron Fox working off him to great effect. In the simplest version, he’ll make a handoff and then immediately screen the shooter’s man, frequently generating a high-quality look or creating space to drive.

But he has so many little variations that opponents can’t get an easy read on them. He flips the angle on screens, fakes the dribble handoff and drives himself, and even passes and immediately receives the ball back before flowing into yet another handoff. It’s a dizzying array of optionality for one simple exchange, and it’s the foundation of the King’s new motion offense.

It’s also seen a spike in his assists. Sabonis is averaging 6.7 assists per game and 8.4 over his last five outings. He’s also had seven or more assists in six of his last seven games, which is why this is my favorite prop on the board.

Domantas Sabonis Prop: Over 6.5 assists (-157)

Steady on Tatum

Jayson Tatum gets a lot of well-deserved praise for his growth as a shooter, a passer, and overall MVP-caliber play for the Celtics. However, he doesn’t get as much credit as I believe he deserves for something he’s not doing, which is turning the ball over.

Tatum continues to improve as a ball handler, and despite his usage and scoring soaring to new heights, he’s found ways to decrease his overall turnovers per game. That’s a credit to him, but also to the Boston front office, who identified the need for more ball handling and playmaking on the Celtics roster in the middle of last season.

Since then, they’ve added Derrick White and Malcolm Brogdon, which has seen Tatum’s overall playmaking responsibilities decline.

His 17.7% assist percentage is lower than his previous two seasons despite a similar usage rate. He’s acting more as a straight-up isolation scorer and initiator, and because that involves making fewer passes, he has few opportunities to cough it up. That all contributed to a stingy 9.9% turnover percentage, which is the lowest of his career, despite his usage rate landing in the 99th percentile of all forwards.

The Nuggets are also short on big-wing defensive playmakers. Aaron Gordon is a solid on-ball defender, but he’s more of a container than a playmaking type. Bruce Brown has previously taken on that rover responsibility for the Nets but has seen a decline in that role for Denver.

As a group, the Nuggets rank among the Bottom-8 in opponent turnover rate. Getting this line at even money is nice value.

Jayson Tatum Prop: Tatum Under 2.5 turnovers (+100)

Beam bomber

Do you think the Hawks regret trading Kevin Huerter yet? While the Hawks are fumbling through the Eastern Conference, the Red Mamba is in the midst of a career season for the Sacramento Kings, aka the Beam Team.

Huerter is coming off a career-high 30 points against the Jazz on Friday, and he got them precisely how one would expect… slithering off of picks and Sabonis handoffs to catapult a copious amount of threes.

It’s a culmination of what has been a wildly successful season for Huerter, who is up to 42.2% from deep on the year on a career-best seven attempts per game.

That should continue against the Grizzlies on Sunday. They’ve been the league’s best defense over the last few weeks, but even the best stop units have to concede something. In the Grizzlies’ case, it’s precisely Huerter’s specialty — above-the-break threes.

Memphis allows more above-the-break shots from downtown than all but one team in the NBA per cleaning the glasswhich is the same zone where Huerter is generating a whopping 48% of his offense from.

Kevin Huerter Prop: Over 2.5 3-pointers made (-128)

Pages related to this topic

Leave a Comment