Every team but the NBA In-Season Tournament finalists are in action tonight. That means Friday’s schedule offers almost a full slate of games for wager consideration.
We’re looking at the best NBA player props for the vast array of games, including some of the NBA’s biggest stars. Joel Embiid, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Donovan Mitchell headline our player prop picks.
Multiple competitive games are on the calendar, and we put together the best player props for Friday NBA games for betting action.
Tonight’s best NBA player prop bets for Friday, 12/8/23
Our favorite player props of the day are courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.
- Joel Embiid OVER 31.5 points
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander over 30.5 points
- Donovan Mitchell to score the first basket
Top NBA prop bets tonight include Joel Embiid, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Donovan Mitchell
Joel Embiid OVER points
Joel Embiid leads the league in scoring again, averaging 33 points on 51% from the field. He has scored at least 32 points in nine of his last 10 games. That includes a 32-point night at Atlanta back in November, and he will face them again tonight.
In his last game, he finished with 50 points on 19-for-29 shooting from the field and only one free throw. He is being far more aggressive, which will cause problems for a struggling Hawks defense.
Atlanta is a bottom-five team in points in the paint allowed per contest and a bottom-10 team in opponents three-point percentage allowed.
Meanwhile, the 76ers are a top-10 three-point shooting team. That allows Embiid to operate on the block in isolation for much of the game. If teams double-team him, his teammates make them pay from behind the arc.
He has a significant size advantage over Atlanta’s starting center, Clint Capela, who is the biggest they have to offer in their otherwise small ball lineup. Look for Embiid’s hot streak to continue tonight.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander OVER points ()
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is fifth in scoring in the league, averaging 30.1 points per game. He has scored at least 31 points in six of his last eight games, including two 40-point performances. One came against the Warriors in a come-from-behind victory back in November.
Gilgeous-Alexander usually brings his A-game against the Warriors. Since 2021, he is averaging 28 points per game against them.
The Warriors aren’t the team they were during their championship runs. They have taken a step back in both offensive and defensive production. This year, the Warriors’ defensive rating is 16th, and they are also middle of the pack in points allowed in the paint.
What also helps SGA out in these battles is the game’s pace. Both teams are top-10 in pace this year, which means they’ll have more than enough possessions for Alexander to do damage.
The last time the two met, OKC pulled out a narrow 130-123 win in overtime. Another one of their contests ended 141-139 in early November. Offense is usually never a problem in this battle, and SGA is a big reason the Thunder don’t struggle when they face Golden State.
Donovan Mitchell to score the first basket ()
The Cavaliers and Heat are battling tonight, and the Heat will be without starting center Bam Adebayo, one of the best jump ball big men in the league, despite being on the smaller side of the position.
With him, Miami owns a 62% tip win percentage. Thanks to Jarrett Allen, the Cavs aren’t too far behind, owning a 57% top win percentage. Without Adebayo jumping it up, the odds lean heavily toward the Cavs getting the opening tip.
When the Cavs get the ball first, Donovan Mitchell is one of the most aggressive players in the league. He takes 44% of the Cavs’ first shot attempts, and he makes 38% of their first baskets of the game.
Mitchell has six first-made field goals this season and two in the last 10 games. Given how aggressive he is, we like his odds on this line without the Heat’s big man available to jump it up.